"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

Salute This: Fourth of July Red Velvet Swirled Brownies

by Julie on July 4, 2011

in Holiday Hell, Sweet!

red velvet swirled brownies

Looks like steak! But they're brownies!

I don’t know what got into me the other day. It was a frenzy of cooking/baking brought on by intense summer heat and too little cold beer in the house.

My flamenco friend Shari, an artist and designer, made an offhand comment on Facebook that she was making these red velvet swirl brownies, but using Droste cocoa instead of Hersey’s and my God, what a difference!

Talk about key words. Red Velvet! Brownies! Droste Cocoa! I’d click on any of those, mouth watering. And when she sent me the recipe, courtesy of the Food Network, I didn’t think twice.

I actually had everything on hand. Or so I thought.

Here’s the recipe:

Red Velvet Brownie layer:
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon red food coloring
1 tsp. vinegar
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1/4 chopped toasted walnuts

Cream Cheese Layer:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/8 tsp. vanilla extract

Here’s how you put it all together.

Butter an 8 X 8 pan and set it aside. Set your oven to 350.

Brownie layer:

Melt the stick of butter, gently. When it’s melted, dump it into a large bowl. Add the following ingredients, in this order:

Sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder, salt, food coloring, and vinegar. Mix together after each ingredient.

Whisk the eggs together in a small bowl and add it to the mix. Then fold the flour mixture in. Then add the walnuts.

Add to your prepared 8 X 8 pan, leaving 1/4 cup for the top layer.

Mistakes I made:

  • I didn’t have an 8 X 8 pan, I had a 9 X 12 pan. So my brownies were thinner than they were supposed to be. Whoops.
  • My little bottle of red food coloring was nearly empty with dry clumps within. I had to use that old shampoo trick of adding water and mixing it together to blend the residuals in order to come up with a tablespoon of the stuff. Whoops.
  • I didn’t add in the vanilla in the proper order. This is because I had the boy reading out the procession, and I realized at the end that he hadn’t mentioned the vanilla. Sure enough, it wasn’t opened. I added it at the end. Whoops.
  • Toasted walnuts? Whoops.

Cream cheese layer:

Easier. Dump all the ingredients into a bowl and cream together.

Add this to the top of the brownie layer.

I found that simply by trying to spread this on top, I created nice red and white swirls. Even though the effect came out looking suspiciously like nicely-marbled meat.

Spread the remaining brownie layer over this as best you can. When you’re using a too-big pan, this will prove challenging.

Bake for 30 minutes. Check for doneness with a fork.

Let cool before transferring onto a rack before cutting into squares.

So my red velvet swirled brownies weren’t perfect, but were they yummy?

red velvet swirled brownie happiness

One supposes they were tasty enough

Happy Fourth of July!

What are you bringing to the BBQ?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Shari July 5, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Walnuts? I didn’t use nuts. I guess practice makes perfect. I’ve made them twice to improve the cocoa. I imagine you’ll do this one a few times as well. Thanks for the mention btw.


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