Red Velvet Brownies!
Yes, I know what you're thinking 'I didn't know Red Velvet Brownies even existed...' and neither did I. Until Now.
May I say, that if anyone reading this stumbled upon this post in search of a red velvet cake recipe, look no further. I know these are brownies but trust me, these have all the red velvet flavor and texture without the work of cake. Oh, and did I mention no need for certain ingredients that are not always on hand in everyone's kitchen? (I'm looking at you buttermilk and vinegar.)
1. I found the idea of making a paste with red food coloring, cocoa powder and vanilla extract a really intriguing way to make sure the flavor and color were evenly distributed in the batter. She did call for 2 oz of food coloring and I only had about 1 1/2, but it seemed to work just as well. Plus, food coloring is so expensive, if you can use less, spend less, and achieve the same effect, why not?
2. Creaming butter and sugar with eggs and vanilla is quick and easy; then you add your "red velvet" paste and some flour and...
Voila! Red Velvet Brownie Batter. Just scrape into any square-ish greased pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, and you will be in red velvet heaven.
This is a fabulous recipe for anyone interested in red velvet cake but perhaps does not need an entire cake of it sitting around in the house, only to end up being eaten late at night by the baker herself on a hunt for a sweet bite to eat. You can cut these brownies as little (or as huge) as you'd like, and the cream cheese frosting drizzle is delicious without being overly heavy or overpowering.
I found this recipe by SmellsLikeHome on FoodGawker and just knew I had to try it. Though I did take some liberties in the frosting. White chocolate buttercream does sound amazing, but with no white-chocolate on hand I whipped up a quick cream cheese frosting to drizzle over the brownies instead. No one complained about the switch (who would though, white chocolate or cream cheese frosting - neither a bad choice!).
Hope you enjoy this new take on Red Velvet! And just a heads up, the Sweet Escape will of course still be occurring every Monday, but until I stock up my apartment pantry with baking supplies, there may be a delay in posts with recipes. I apologize and promise I will be back to baking in the kitchen in no time!
Red Velvet Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting Drizzle
slightly adapted from Smells Like Home
3 tbsp cocoa powder
2 oz red food coloring (I got away with about 1 1/2 oz)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, room temp.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 8x8 or 11x7 baking pan (whichever pan you have handy)
2. In a small bowl, gently mix together the cocoa powder with 1 tsp vanilla extract and red food coloring. It should end up as a thick, smooth paste with no lumps.
3. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 min). Beat in eggs, one at a time, then mix in 1 tsp vanilla. Turn mixer off and add the cocoa powder/food coloring paste to the mixture and beat on medium speed until well incorporated.
4. Slowly add in flour and beat until just combined and no clumps remain.
5. Spread batter into prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely in pan on wire rack before icing or slicing :)
Cream Cheese Frosting
2 oz cream cheese, room temp.
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 2/3 cup powdered sugar
splash of milk (as needed)
1. Cream together cream cheese and butter. Add vanilla.
2. Slowly add powdered sugar and beat until well incorporated. Add splash of milk if needed to adjust consistency.
3. Scrape frosting into Ziploc bag and snip off small corner. Pipe/drizzle frosting over cooled brownies.