I cannot believe it’s already February! How the heck did that happen?!? That means Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.
Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that I just don’t get excited about. I think the best part is getting a free pass to eat lots of chocolate and anything red velvet (you do that too, right?). Lance and I have spent 11 Valentine’s Days together…we celebrated when we were first dating but nowadays we normally just plan to spend the evening together at home – we normally aren’t up for battling crowds at restaurants and movie theatres. I guess that makes us boring, but I love it
Let’s chat about red velvet for a second. There are those people that really love red velvet, they go nuts for it – and then there’s everyone else. I think I probably fall into the second category..I like it just fine, but it’s not usually my first choice.
However, I do like my red velvet to be a vibrant red. It’s not always easy to achieve but it’s what makes it so awesome. Then you pair it with stark white cream cheese frosting. So gorgeous – there’s no two ways about it! My secret to the bright red color is to use the Americolor Super Red gel color – it never fails me!
I made these red velvet brownies for book club last week and they were a huge hit! And Lance was really happy that I had some extras to bring home.
They are dense and chewy with the perfect hint of chocolate. I don’t normally frost my brownies (let’s be honest, they are delicious on their own) but this cream cheese frosting does magical things to these guys. The frosting isn’t too sweet and comes out nice and fluffy, which makes it a wonderful compliment to the brownies.
- 1 ½ sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
- 1 ½ cups white sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 oz red food coloring or 3-4 drops red gel color
- 3Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 F°. Grease an 8 inch square pan.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla, eggs, sugar and red food coloring until thoroughly combined. Mix in cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and salt until well blended.
Pour batter into prepared pan, spread with a spatula to smooth out top.
Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Let cool before frosting.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter and cream cheese at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Beat in extract and salt until well combined about 15 seconds.
Add powdered sugar; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl and add heavy cream. Beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 20 seconds, then increase speed to medium-high until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.
Spread frosting over cooled brownies, slice and serve. Store left over frosting in an airtight container and refrigerate.