Wednesday, October 5, 2011


It's secret time.  I know secrets don't make friends, but friends definitely make secrets.  And we're all friends here, right?  Okay, I'll go first.

  • I prefer red wine to white.  Not that I don't have a fondness in my heart for the white stuff, I just like picking out a good red more often.
  • My caffeine addiction is getting a little...unsettling.
  • I can't poach an egg...yet. 
  • Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.  
  • I get a warm, glowy feeling when someone loves something I made.  
  • I will always give a funny birthday card before a shmoopy one.  I am not a shmoopy person.
  • The one place that a massive crowd does not make me break out in hives is Williams-Brice Stadium. Otherwise, I should probably have a Xanax.  Or a cocktail.  
I secretly used to be really suspicious of red velvet cake.  Um, there's no logical explanation for this.  But if someone had just told me it was chocolate with red food coloring, I probably would've been much more receptive.  I know, I'm a weirdo.  And I wonder where my dog gets it from.

You should totes be excited for this.  Red velvet meets brownie meets my face.  Nom.  It's dense, it's rich, it's got great moisture.  And Lord, is it a mess.  If you have to work with food coloring, don't wear anything you'd be sad to throw away.  This isn't a lesson I've had to learn the hard way, just one that should be repeated and often.
Easy enough: Bittersweet chocolate, eggs, all-purpose flour, salt, butter, baking powder, vanilla extract, sugar, and the stuff that puts the red in red velvet.
Start by lining your baking pan with tin foil and greasing it.  I promise this makes things 1000x easier.
The butter and chocolate go into a heat-proof bowl.  Give the chocolate a rough chop before tossing it in the bowl.
Melt them in a microwave in 30-second intervals.  I think mine took a minute to come together.  Stir them together between intervals to help it along.
Add the sugar and don't worry about the odd consistency it takes on.  I promise it'll get smoother.

Add each egg one at a time.  See?  Told ya it'd get smooth!  I won't judge you if you take a little swipe of the chocolate with your finger.
Add your flour and stir until you're a bit short of combined.  That's when you'll add the red food coloring, vanilla extract, baking powder, and salt.
Hot damn!  It's the stuff dreams are made of.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 350º for 44-48 minutes.  Mine might've taken even a little longer than that.
It comes out the most sinful looking red.  Ignore the cracks because it's going to get a healthy dose of frosting.  Let the brownies cool completely before trying to frost them.
The frosting is simple: Powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter, salt, and vanilla extract.
The butter and sugar get creamed together first.
Add the powdered sugar a 1/2 cup at a time along with the salt.  A hand mixer will ensure the frosting comes out smooth.
Add the vanilla extract and blend away.  Again, I won't judge you if you "get a little on your finger."
This is where the tin foil comes in handy.  Use it to lift the brownies out of the pan before you frost them.    Slide the frosting out onto the middle of the brownies.  Spread it over the top.
Slice and eat!

These brownies are festive and perfect for a party.  As long as you don't mind finding red crumbs all over your floor.  Ix-nay the idea if you have carpet.  Or put down some towels.  Kidding.  But for realz, these babies are moist and rich.  They puff up in the oven and don't really sink down.  They get smothered in cream cheese frosting!  Basically, crowd pleasers.

Red Velvet Brownies (makes 16)
Courtesy of Southern Living

1 (4 oz.) bittersweet chocolate bar, roughly chopped
3/4 c unsalted butter
2 c sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 (1 oz.) bottle red food coloring
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
3 tbs unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 c powdered sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

  • Preheat oven to 350º.  Line a baking pan with foil and grease foil.
  • Melt butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second intervals for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring between each interval.  Whisk in sugar until combined.  Add eggs one at a time, stirring until fully combined.  Carefully stir in flour, food coloring, baking powder, vanilla extract, and salt.  Pour into prepared pan and bake 44-48 minutes or until a tester comes out with a few moist crumbs on it.  Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • For frosting, cream butter and sugar together.  Add powdered sugar and salt gradually, blending until smooth.  Add vanilla extract.
  • When brownies are completely cool, use foil to lift them out of the pan.  Spread frosting over top of brownies and enjoy!   

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