Red velvet cake just screams Christmas for me. I’m not from the South and I have only recently been introduced to the dessert, but it’s made a VERY strong impression on me. These brownies are a tribute to the greatness of red velvet cake- red velvet cream cheese brownies. If you’re telling yourself how incredible they sound… you’re right. But even better than sounding incredible- they are incredible.
I whipped up a batch of these for a Christmas party for my Husband’s company, where they hosted a cookie swap! Oh cookie swap’s, how I adore everything you stand for…. I baked up three items to share with everyone: Oreo cheesecake cookies, Italian ricotta cookies, and these red velvet cream cheese brownies. All of them were a huge hit! I wanted to be sure to feature them on my blog to not only share the recipe with those at the party, but to get you in on the goods too. You know how I am always looking out for you guys ; )
All of the treats I made for the party were made in a big rush, the early morning of (oh 5 am, how I detest thee..), so I didn’t have time to take any photos. Sorry : / But these bars follow all the same principles as any typical brownie and the cream cheese topping is a no-brainer.
Oh, and head’s up! Don’t use foil to line the pan like I did. These brownies stuck to it like they were holding on for dear life. Use parchment or just butter the pan and serve them out of it.
Honestly, other than the red color there isn’t too much that these have in common with red velvet cake. Don’t get me wrong, they’re very delicious! I just wanted to throw that out there. Red Velvet Cake has buttermilk and vinegar in the mix. If these brownies were to add that then they would become cake-like brownies, and who wants that from their brownies. Not I!
PLUS, they are red… what a perfect treat for the Holidays : )
- ½ cup butter
- 2 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ tsp red food coloring
- ⅔ cup all purpose flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 8″ square baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a small, heatproof bowl, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir with a fork until very smooth. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and red food coloring. Add in the chocolate mixture and stir until smooth. Batter should be red. If a brighter red is desired, add an additional ¼ tsp food coloring. Add flour and salt into the bowl and stir until everything is just combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
- Pour into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
- Prepare cheesecake mixture. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar until smooth. Then add egg and vanilla extract. Drop in dollops onto prepared brownie batter. Gently swirl two batters with a butter knife.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, until brownies and cheesecake are set. A knife inserted into the cheesecake mixture should come out clean and the edges will be lightly browned.
- Cool in the pan completely before slicing and serving, either at room temperature or chilled.
- Brownies can be refrigerated, covered, for several days.
Adapted from Baking Bites.