Monday, February 20, 2012

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Bars

Ah, it's been too long since I last posted!  I blame this partly on my husband's departure to Panama and partly on my new found obsession with Mad Men (yes, I know I'm about 4 years behind on this).  To help me transition to living on my own for the first time ever, I have been trying to keep busy. It's funny, but when I started this blog, I meant it to be mainly the crafts I do rather than the cooking and baking. knitting has been rather intermittent but my cooking and baking, well, that happens every day.  

I made these red velvet bars for some friends around Valentine's Day (or should I say GALentine's Day).  They were a hit and so pretty!  While they are a bit late for Valentine's Day, they are still a great solution to the winter doldrums.  

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Bars

1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tablespoon red food coloring
1 tsp white distilled vinegar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Cream Cheese Layer:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 8×8″ baking dish with parchment paper or foil and spray with cooking spray (you can double this recipe for a 9x13" pan). 

In medium bowl, combine melted butter with sugar and mix well. Add vanilla, cocoa powder, salt, food coloring, and vinegar in that order, mixing between additions.

Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each. Fold in the flour. Pour all batter except 1/4 cup into prepared baking pan.

To make the cream cheese layer, blend together the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Spread the cream cheese on top of brownie batter. Drop dollops of remaining brownie batter over cream cheese layer and using a knife, swirl through the cream cheese mixture to create a swirl pattern.

Bake for 30-35 minutes in preheated oven and cool completely before cutting into squares. Enjoy!