Red Velvet Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Brownies

My favorite cake is my Aunt Cathy’s red velvet cake.  I have yet to taste another red velvet cake as good and trust me I try a piece or cupcake any chance I get 😉  Don’t worry I will be sharing that recipe.  My love for this cake has translated to loving anything red velvet including ice-cream – yum and twinkies – yes they make red velvet twinkies (probably called snack cakes or something else as I think Twinkies is trademarked).  It is a regional thing, I guess because I have only found them in an area of Ohio which is a good thing, I guess or I would be eating them all the time!  When I saw red velvet brownies on Smells Like Home, I knew I had to make them.  Tara of SLH used white chocolate buttercream icing, which sounded delicious but I had some cream cheese and decided to use a half-batch of the frosting from my Aunt Cathy’s red velvet cake recipe.  These were amazing!  These would be a great addition to a goodie plate for the holidays or for tailgating.

Red Velvet Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting
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Ingredients for the brownies
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ounces food coloring (about 2 Tablespoons)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided (1 teaspoons + 1 teaspoon)
1/2 cup (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for the frosting
4 Tablespoons butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups confectioner’s (powdered) sugar, sifted

Directions for the brownies
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Grease and flour an 8-inch square pan.
3.  In a small bowl mix the cocoa powder, food coloring, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to make a thick paste.  Make sure no lumps of cocoa remain.
4.  In a large bowl, either by hand or in a mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes on medium speed if using a mixer).
5.  One at a time, add the eggs, mixing well after each addition.
6.  Mix in the remaining teaspoon of vanilla to the butter mixture.
7.  In a separate bowl, mix the flour and salt; set aside.
8.  If using a mixer, turn it off and add the cocoa mixture.  Turn the mixer on to medium and beat until the cocoa mixture is mixed in.
9.  With the mixer on medium-low, slowly add the flour and salt mixture. Turn off the mixer, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure everything is mixed in.  Continue to mix until incorporated.  Do not overmix.
10.  Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes (check at 25 minutes), or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean.
11.  When brownies are done, cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
12.  When brownies are cooled, either frost in the pan, cut and remove or remove from the pan, cut, and frost.

Directions for the frosting
1.  Either by hand or in a mixer cream the butter and cream cheese until mixed well.
2.  Add powdered sugar and vanilla.  Beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Source:  Brownies from Smells Like Home originally from How Sweet It Is
Frosting:  Aunt Cathy

Mangia!
Lindsay Lou

Apple Brownies

I am on a brownie kick, obviously 😉  Actually I made these to take to new parents who are also good friends of ours.  I wanted to take them a meal and something sweet.  This recipe is from the bakery I worked at in high school, Baker’s Peak.  I had never had apple brownies before that and have not seen them anywhere else.  Even though they don’t have chocolate they are one of my favorite deserts.  The apples make the brownies nice and moist.  You could use any type of apple you want, I tend to use gala because that is what we usually buy to eat.

Apple Brownies

Printable Recipe

Ingredients
2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup apples, peeled, cored, and chopped


Directions
1.  Preheat oven to 350F, grease a 9×13 pan
2.  Mix flour, baking powder, and salt, set aside.
3.  Cream butter and sugar.
4.  Add eggs and vanilla, mix well.
5.  Add flour mixture and stir until mixed. 
6.  Stir in apples (by hand if you have used a mixer).
7.  Spread mixture into a pan and bake for 30 minutes, rotating the pan half-way through baking time.

Mangia!
Lindsay Lou

Source:  Baker’s Peak

Caramel Brownies

This post is dedicated to my official taste-tester, my loving  @font-face { font-family: “MS 明朝”;}@font-face { font-family: “MS 明朝”;}@font-face { font-family: “Cambria”;}p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Cambria; }.MsoChpDefault { font-family: Cambria; }div.WordSection1 { page: WordSection1; }fiancé who likes to ask when I will be baking since this is a cooking AND baking blog 😉

Randomly, we receive a section of the Baltimore Sun and it is usually about food.  I actually get excited when I see the rolled up paper on our lawn as I know there will be some kind of yummy recipe inside.  When I saw this recipe I knew I needed to make it and as soon as possible.  I made these brownies to go with soup and bread I took to friends who are new mothers so they would have a couple nights off from worrying about dinner; which would give them more time to spend with their adorable new babies and husbands.  These brownies were amazing.  They were super simple to make and absolutely decadent.  The most time intensive part is to unwrap all the caramels.  I am not usually a cake mix kind of girl but I would highly recommend these and will be making these again.  Since I was taking them to friends I sprinkled pecans on half of the brownies, just in case someone didn’t like nuts. 

Caramel Brownies
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Makes 24 Brownies

Ingredients
1 (18.25 ounce) chocolate cake mix (I used Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge*)
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted
2/3 cup evaporated milk, divided (1/3 and 1/3)
1 bag (14 ounce) caramels, unwrapped
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Optional
1 cup chopped pecans

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Grease a 9×13 inch pan (I used my glass one)
3.  Unwrap caramels and set aside
4. In a bowl mix the cake mix, butter, 1/3 cup of the evaporated milk (optional:  you could mix the nuts in at this step if you would like).
5.  Divide the dough and press 3/4 of it in the bottom of the 9×13 pan, set aside the rest of the dough.
6.  Bake the dough you have pressed in the pan for 6 minutes.  Melt caramels (see next step) while dough is in the oven.
7.  Melt the caramels and remaining 1/3 cup of evaporated milk over medium heat in a medium saucepan.  Make sure to stir frequently – this can burn easily!
8. Remove the pan of brownies from the oven, sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the warm dough and pour the caramel mixture over the chips.  Using an offset spatula or regular spatula, spread the caramel.
9.  With the rest of the brownie dough, flatten small pieces and scatter across the top of the caramel.  You will not cover the entire dough so this will allow caramel to bubble up in between.
10.  If you haven’t added nuts to the dough, you can sprinkle nuts on the top or on half or none at all
11.  Bake brownies for 20 minutes, rotating pan half-way through baking time.  The brownies will look gooey but they will be done after 20 minutes.
12.  Let the pan cool on a wire rack then refrigerate for 1 hour before cutting.

Just thought I should include one more gooey picture to convince you to make these this weekend.

Mangia!
Lindsay Lou

Source:Ever so slightly adapted from The Baltimore Sun Recipe Finder Section submitted by Tzippie Mahr, originally from Mr. Food
*This is not a paid advertisement from Duncan Hines – I just saw this cake mix in the grocery store and I think I might have heard a chorus of angels sing so I bought it.