Thursday, December 15, 2011

Red Velvet Brownies with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

I made these yesterday for Evan's work luncheon. He decided to volunteer me to make the dessert...and I was more than happy to do it! I saw this recipe a few weeks ago and literally started drooling, but didn't have a reason to make them...until now. 
They looked so yummy and delicious on Smells Like Home's website that I just couldn't resist! Good thing Evan took them to work before I devoured every last bite!

Red Velvet Brownies with Whipped Cream Cheese Icing
Recipe adapted from Smells Like Home

For the brownies:
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 oz red food coloring (or a scant 2 tbsp)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract, divided
1/2 cup (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

For the frosting:
16oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup heavy cream, cold

To make the brownies:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line and 8x8 in pan with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, slowly stir together the cocoa powder, food coloring, and 1 tsp vanilla into a thick paste until no lumps of cocoa remain. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, then stir in the remaining 1 tsp of vanilla.  With the mixer off, add in the cocoa mixture, then turn the mixer to medium and beat the two mixtures together until they are one uniform color.  Slowly add in the flour and salt and mix on medium-low speed, just until combined.  Do not over mix.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir up the batter with a rubber spatula once or twice just to ensure all of the flour has incorporated from the sides of the bowl and there isn’t anything stuck on the bottom of the bowl.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the brownies.  Allow brownies to completely cool in the pan on a baking rack.
To make the frosting:
Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. In a separate bowl, beat the heavy cream to nearly stiff peaks, then add the whipped cream into the cheese mixture and quickly and briefly beat to combine. Do not over beat.

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