Friday, December 28, 2012

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

Just so you know, I still fully intend to blog about desserts that are bad for you but oh-so-good for your tastebuds.  Really.  Your tastebuds will thank you for these.

I constantly reaffirm how much I'm not on the "red velvet" bandwagon.  But these brownies are thought-provoking.  As in, "I think I may be in love with these red velvet brownies".

Let's break this situation down:
1. There's cheesecake involved.  Actually, there's cream cheese involved that turns into a cheesecake-like batter.  Gimme.
2. I melted some high quality dark chocolate all up in this piece.  Things went down like that.
3. I'm a sucker for a good swirled dessert.  It could be a simple marble cake that gets me.  In this case, it just happens to be a fudge-y, rich red-and-white brownie.

On a related side note, do you know what I DON'T have in my kitchen?  An 8- or 9-inch square pan.  Exactly the pan that I need to bake brownies.  I guess I just never bake brownies enough for this to be a problem.  For about 3 minutes, I entertained the idea of running to Target to pick up a new pan.  Then I realized I didn't have enough time to do that.  Then I tried to use two loaf pans instead.  Um, these will make thin brownies.  Thin brownies are no bueno.  Finally, I ended up using an 8 x 10 inch casserole dish.  So maybe I should have asked for a brownie pan for Christmas.  Only need to wait 360-something more days for it to come...

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies
yields ~16 brownies

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red food coloring
  • 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1) Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8- or 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease.

Prepare the chocolate layer:

2) In a small, heatproof bowl, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir with a fork until very smooth. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.

3) In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and red food coloring.

4) Add in the chocolate mixture and stir until smooth.  Batter should still be red.  If a brighter red is desired, add an additional 1/2 tsp food coloring.
...this needs more red food coloring...

5) Add flour and salt into the bowl and stir until everything is just combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain.

6) Pour batter into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.

Prepare the cheesecake layer:

7) In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla extract until smooth.

8) Drop in dollops onto prepared brownie batter.

9) Gently swirl two batters with a butter knife.

10) Bake for 35-40 minutes, until brownies and cheesecake are set. A knife inserted into the cheesecake mixture should come out clean and the edges will be lightly browned.

11) Cool in the pan completely before slicing and serving.  Brownies can be refrigerated, covered, for several days.

Note: Don't be lazy like me and just break apart your chocolate.  When the recipe says to coarsely chop that bad boy, just do it.  It will save you a lot of additional stirring and reheating.

While these brownies were smooth and rich and decadent, I would have absolutely no problem eating more than one of these.  I'm pretty sure that means this is a bomb diggity brownie.  Get at this before the holidays are really really over, but if you don't, I'm sure your friends will not hold this against you.


  1. Just about everyone in the family loves brownies so this will be a nice change to the regular ones for one of our Sunday dinners. Sounds delicious!