Monday, February 11, 2013

Red Velvet Brownies with White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

It's February folks!  Can you believe it?  It seems like yesterday we were celebrating Thanksgiving and getting ready for Christmas.  We've not only observed and celebrated Christmas, rang in the New Year but now we're about to celebrate Valentine's!  Where has the time gone? 
Since Valentine's is this week, in 3 days to be exact, I thought it would be fitting to share some yumy sweets with you that would be perfect to make for your sweetheart!  Since February and Valentine's are all about chocolate, it's only fitting that each and every goody I have for you this week invovles chocolate! Since I am all about chocolate too, this doesn't hurt my feelings in any way!
Let's start off the week with a bang, how about some brownies?  But not just any brownies, red velvet brownies.  Red velvet brownies with white chocolate buttercream smeared on top.  If this doesn't say "I Love You", then I don't know what does!
These brownies are fudgy, gooey and packed with chocolate.  Which is everything I love about a traditional brownie!  Then all that fudgy goodness is combined with rich, red velvet goodness. Typically, I'm not a huge red velvet fan.  I can take it or leave it.  I know others that are die hard fans of the red velvet; they could eat it morning, noon, and night and even for snacks in between.  I'm not sure if I just haven't had the right red velvet recipe or what, but I'm not a die hard red velvet fanatic.  But, I think maybe...just maybe these brownies have converted me.  This recipe just might be the recipe that turns me into a fan! (I probably need to make another batch or 3 just to make sure!)
These brownies start out like many traditional brownie recipes, but instead of the the cocoa being added to the flour, it is combined with vanilla and red food coloring to make a paste.  That paste is then added to the butter and then mixed.  Before you know it, you have a deep, rich red batter.  The flour is added, to form a dense yet fudgy brownie batter.  To that rich batter is added more chocolate, chocolate chips are stirred in to amp up that fudgy, chocolate flavor even more.  After the brownies are baked and cooled, a generous helping of white chocolate frosting is then slathered over the top, to take you to a whole new level of chocolate ecstasy.  Each bite is packed with 3 different kinds of chocolate; fudgy chocolate brownies studded with chocolate chips and then the silky, fluffy white chocolate frosting to seal the deal. 

Whip up a batch of these deliciously rich and intense brownies for your sweetheart!You'll earn major brownie points, for sure!

Red Velvet Brownies with White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

For the brownies-
3 1/2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 oz red food coloring (or about 2 tablespoons)
2 Tsp vanilla extract, divided
1/2 Cup (1 stick/8tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 Cups granulated sugar
2 Large eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 Cups all-purpose flour
1/4 Tsp salt
1 Cup chocolate chips

For the frosting-
1/2 Cup (1 stick/8tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 Cups confectioner's sugar
1 Tsp vanilla extract
4 oz good quality white chocolate (do NOT use white chocolate chips)
1-2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream


For the brownies-
Preheat oven to 350.  Line a 9x9 baking pan with parchment paper, spray with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

In a small bowl combine the cocoa powder, red food coloring and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and stir to combine.  Set aside.

In a large bowl combine the butter and sugar and beat on high until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition.  Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated.  With the mixer off, carefully add the cocoa powder mixture.  Turn mixer on low and mix to combine.  Once the cocoa is incorporated into the mixture, slowly add the flour and salt and mix until incorporated.  Stir in the chocolate chips with a heavy spatula, until evenly mixed.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread until evenly distributed.  Place in the preheated oven and bake for 30-45 minutes, until the brownies are cooked completely and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Remove from ove and allow to cool completely.

For the frosting-
Place the white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl.  Place in the microwave to melt, stirring after each 20 second interval (to prevent burning).

Place butter in a large bowl and beat on high until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Slowly add the confectioner's sugar, and mix on low until combined.  Once all the sugar is added increase mixing speed to medium-high and beat for 30 seconds.  Add the vanilla and melted white chocolate and beat on medium until combined.  Reduce mixing speed to low, and add heavy cream 1/2 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is achieved. 

Spread the frosting evenly over the cooled brownies.  Cut into 12 equal squares and serve.

Recipe source: adapted from Smells Like Home, originally from How Sweet It Is

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