red velvet cream cheese swirl brownies

Boxed chocolates  Roses.  Jewelry.  Aren’t those the things woman want on Valentine’s Day?  Nope.  But that’s what commercials say women want.  So as a woman, you convince yourself that’s what you want.  But really?  You want a new pair of shoes.  Or an appointment at a hair salon to finally get your roots touched up.  Or a batch of brownies made  from someone special.  That’s what you want.  Can I get an amen?!?!    Ah hem, husband, are you listening.  Bueller?!?!

These brownies take only minutes to whip up and don’t require any special equipment.   I made them with 1 child on my hip and the other child sitting on the counter insisting on ‘mixing’ the brownies (translation: flinging flour and red food coloring all over the counter).  So ya, these don’t get much easier.  And on top of that, I was blown away by just how much I enjoyed these.  easy AND delicious, double whammy awesome!  The brownies are super smooth, dense and velvety.  The cream cheese swirl is just the right amount of sweet and creamy.  And the combination is phenomenal.  I mean come on, we all know just how delicious a red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting are, right?  So why not a red velvet brownie, with a cream cheese swirl.  Ya, it may just trump that silly little cupcake.

red velvet cream cheese swirl brownie 1

Make these for Valentine’s Day.  Make them for your friends, neighbors, co-workers, spouse, your imaginary Valentine.  I don’t care who you intend on giving them too, just make them and grab a few for yourself too!

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies

Ingredients

    Red Velvet Brownies:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (semi-sweet chocolate chips work too)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp liquid red food coloring
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (if you don’t have it, just leave it out)
  • 4 large eggs
  • Cream Cheese Swirl:
  • 1 block (8 oz) cream cheese (low fat is fine, but NOT fat free)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease (or line with parchment paper) a 9×13-inch baking dish.

*Lining the dish with parchment paper just makes it easier to lift the entire batch of brownies out of the pan.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.

in a large microwave safe bowl, add chopped chocolate and butter. Heat in the microwave for about 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds.

*You can melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler over stove top too.

Once it’s melted, remove from the heat and add the sugar. Use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon and stir to combine. Mix in red food coloring, vanilla and apple cider vinegar. Stir in eggs. Add flour mixture and mix just until combined.

Pour the brownie batter (reserving about 1/ cup) into prepared baking dish and spread evenly.

Mix the cream cheese frosting ingredients in a bowl (I just used a small mixing bowl and a fork). Dollop the cream cheese frosting over the brownies and spread (it’s a very thin layer). Dollop the remaining brownie batter over the cream cheese and use a butter knife to swirl it.

*Sprinkles aren’t mandatory, but add them before baking if you plan on adding them.

Bake in preheated oven 35 – 40 minutes until toothpick comes out with only a few moist crumbs. Place pan on wire rack to cool completely. Using a very sharp knife, cut into squares (I cut mine into 12 large squares)

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Red velvet Brownie recipe adapted from Cooking Classy (I doubled the recipe and added my own swirl)