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A few months ago my mom said, “Isn’t Jannine the one who likes red velvet cake? Let me know when her birthday is because I have a recipe I want to try out.” The recipe was red velvet brownies, and lucky us that work with Jannine, her birthday was this week. My mom actually tripled the recipe, because she asked if I wanted to feed an army, and since I’m no dummy (I know how good of a baker my mom is and I know what bottomless pits my co-workers are) I said yes. Unfortunately, I have no pictures. These are gorgeous brownies…picture what a raspberry swirl cheesecake might look like and you’ve got the topping. The brownie itself is that pretty red velvet color. Just google images for red velvet swirl brownies and you can see for yourself.
And holymarymotherofgod are these suckers GOOD. Although one co-worker commented that we probably all gained 3 pounds after eating them. But it was Jannine’s birthday, so it was for a good cause.
Red Velvet Swirl Brownies (recipe adapted from Sunny Anderson at the Food Network)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, for pan
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon red food coloring
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans (optional)
Cream Cheese Topping:
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter an 8 by 8-inch baking pan, and set aside.
Brownie layer: In a pan on medium heat melt the butter. Remove the butter to a large bowl and add the sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder, salt, food coloring, and vinegar, in that order, mixing between additions. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and stir it into the cocoa mix. Fold in the flour until lightly combined. Stir in the pecans and pour batter into the prepared baking pan, saving 1/4 cup of the batter for the top.
Cream cheese layer: Blend together the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Gently spread the cream cheese layer on top of the brownie batter in the pan. Dollop the remaining brownie batter over the cream cheese layer. Using the tip of a knife, drag the tip through the cream cheese mixture to create a swirl pattern. Bake the brownies for 30 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely before cutting.
Final thoughts: If you love red velvet cake, you must try these brownies. They’re so much better. They’re still dense and filling, but since there’s no oil in the cake, and no confectioner’s sugar in the frosting, you don’t get that “that was so good but I feel sick” feeling that you (or at least I do) get after eating the cake. And they’re more chocolaty tasting than the cake. Once again, everyone loves my mom.