To be honest, I’ve never really understood the craze over red velvet. I tried it first at a family barbecue in high school. I was not impressed to say the least. The color was gorgeous, but it tasted like cardboard. Ten years later, to early this year on Valentines Day – I am an old fart – I tried it again and it was good enough for me to want to attempt to bake with this insanely popular flavor.
So I combined my favorite dessert and America’s favorite flavor and voila!
Normally, I would have veganized this recipe, but I didn’t want the substitutions to alter the recipe in any way since this was a first attempt (and I was using expensive Dutch processed cocoa powder). Feel free to add your substitutions and share your results!
I feel a good red velvet anything should not be red, but a cross between deep red and the color of coca cola. So I settled on the following recipe. Make sure to read through the entire recipe first to prevent any mise en place mistakes
Red Velvet Brownies
1 stick of butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract, separated
1 1/4 cup AP flour, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
3 tsp Dutch processed cocoa powder*,sifted
1 Tbs + 2 tsp red food coloring
Preheat oven to 350. Spray oil in a 9 x 13 pan. In a small bowl, combine cocoa powder, red food coloring, and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy – about 7 minutes. Add one egg at a time, then add the 2nd tsp of vanilla. Add cocoa powder to the mixture. Mix until the batter is red. Mix in flour and salt until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Spread the batter in the pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool completely.
At this point, you can choose to enjoy as is, which I did, or add cream cheese frosting. I’m not a big cream cheese fan outside of cheese cakes, but in this case, I think I would’ve enjoyed the brownies more with the frosting.
* You can sub in any cocoa powder in this recipe. Learn the difference between the two here.