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Red Velvet Brownies and Cream Cheese Lovin’

Ever surprise yourself by realizing you like something you thought you hated?  I have.  I always thought I didn’t like cream cheese frosting, which isn’t that farfetched considering for years I refused to eat any dessert with cream cheese in it.  Mom’s no bake cherry cheesecake at Christmas – wouldn’t eat it.  Lick the beaters after she mixed the cream cheese layer for sex in the pan?  No thank you. 

But at some point in the recent past, I discovered I liked restaurant style cheesecake and that opened up all kinds of cream cheese dessert possibilities. 

I’m a cream cheese eater now, but I was still hesitant about cream cheese frosting.  Why would I want to eat that when buttercream frosting is so darn good?  Anyways, Food Network delivered 50 brownie recipes to my mail box.  This completely broke my resolve to “eat healthy” for my upcoming beach vacation (the nerve of them to tempt me with a chocolate issue!) and I decided I NEEDED to try some of their brownies.  I’ve also been wanting to make something red velvet for a while, so I figured I’d combine two desires and go with brownie number six – red velvet with cream cheese frosting. 

I was skeptical about the frosting… until I tried some.  Let’s just say I pretty much licked the bowl clean… and then ate three brownies.  I’m a total cream cheese dessert convert now.  I will no longer hesitate.  Cream cheese + sugar = awesomeness. 

Red Velvet Brownies
(#6 in the ‘50 Brownies’ insert from the March 2012 issue of Food Network Magazine)
 
Brownies:
1 cup flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup margarine
2/3 cups water
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp red food coloring
 
Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
 
Preheat oven to 325°.  Grease pan with margarine wrapper.  Whisk flour, cocoa, and baking powder in a bowl.  Bring brown sugar, margarine, and water to a simmer over low heat.  Take off heat and whisk in chocolate.  Cool slightly.  Whisk in eggs one at a time, vanilla, and food coloring.  Stir in flour mixture.  Bake 20 to 25 minutes until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool.  Meanwhile, make frosting by beating frosting ingredients until smooth.  Frost brownies.  Enjoy!

Tips: Next time I’ll use clear vanilla so it doesn’t turn the frosting brownish and sift my icing sugar first.  Bulk barn icing sugar is lumpy… and makes lumpy frosting (another lesson in kitchen patience).

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