Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

13 Feb

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies
We’ve already discussed my love/hate relationship with cream cheese. We’ve also discussed my feelings on the use of boxed mixes. So, let’s skip the formalities and just declare that Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies are delicious. And they are red, which makes them perfect for Valentine’s Day. And they’re super quick and easy, which makes them perfect for completion by tomorrow.

Now, Betty Crocker calls these “Red Velvet Espresso and Cream Swirled Brownies,” but I choose to leave “espresso” out of the title, because I couldn’t taste it at all in these brownies. According to redhead math, the subtraction of “espresso” from the title allows me to insert the word “cheesecake.”

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies
For the longest time I thought all the recipes for “red velvet” this and that, that call for a full bottle of red food coloring were crazy. What good would that four-pack of food coloring be if there was no red? How would I be able to make pink, salmon, orange or melon? And surely a whole bottle would dilute the batter and make it runny. Thus, I never used a full bottle, only half. Shocker… my “red velvet” this and that was never all that red.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies
Then, when I made these for the first time, I discovered I could purchase a solo bottle of red food coloring at the grocery store. I always knew I could do that with the gel colors, but apparently I was the last person to know you could do this with the generic water-based ones as well. Since I was already making these with brownie mix, I figured ‘what the hell’ and went all in with the red food coloring.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies
Why? Why did I ever question a full bottle of red food coloring? Look how brilliantly scarlet these guys are! What’s not to love about red? Everything is better if there’s more red 😉

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies
by Betty Crocker

Ingredients
Cream Cheese Swirl Layer
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon vanilla

Brownie Layer
1 box Betty Crocker® Original Supreme Premium brownie mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box
2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder
1 bottle (1 oz) red food color

Directions
Heat oven to 350ºF (325ºF for dark or nonstick pan). Grease bottom only of 13×9-inch pan.

In small bowl, beat cream cheese swirl layer ingredients with electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Set aside.

Make brownie batter as directed on box, using water, oil, eggs and adding espresso coffee powder and red food color; mix well until batter turns a rich red color. Spread batter in pan.

Dollop cream cheese mixture by tablespoonfuls evenly on top of batter. With knife, cut through mixture a few times to marble.

Bake as directed on brownie mix box or until toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Store in refrigerator.

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