February 01, 2011

Red Valentine Brownies

In the middle of a blizzard today so after cutting my time at the office short, I returned home and felt like baking.  My family likes things that are 'chocolate' however, since I don't, when I saw this recipe in Southern Living for a red velvet brownie I immediately pictured the taste of a traditional 'red velvet cake' in my mind.  I could almost taste the distinctive flavor and immediately decided to make them.

Unfortunately for me, this is not a red velvet anything...  but are just regular brownies that happen to be colored a deep, rich red.   But I am excited to post them anyway as they are tasty, easy and best of all?  Brilliant red, just in time for Valentine's Day!  Make them for your sweetie or enjoy them yourself.  A basic brownie made with a bottle of red food color to get you in the red and white holiday spirit.

Valentines Day Brownies

4-oz. bittersweet chocolate baking bars, chopped
3/4 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 (1-oz.) bottle red liquid food coloring
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 t vanilla extract
1/8 t salt
Cream Cheese Frosting
Garnish: white chocolate curls

Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottom and sides of a 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over sides; lightly grease foil.

Microwave chocolate and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals. Whisk in sugar. Add eggs, 1 at a time, whisking just until blended after each addition. Gently stir in flour and next 4 ingredients. Pour mixture into prepared pan.

Bake at 350° for 44 to 48 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 2 hours).

Lift brownies from pan, using foil sides as handles; gently remove foil. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting on top of brownies, and cut into small 16 squares or larger 8 squares. Garnish, if desired.

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