Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies

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Oh my ~ these are delicious!  I know red velvet everything is big right now and I don’t usually follow trends but this recipe sucked me in.   I actually made them around Valentine’s Day and I put the recipe aside and forgot about it until I downloaded the pictures and there they were.

I chose to try this recipe because it made the brownies from scratch ~ no boxed brownie mix was involved.  I am trying to stay away from boxed mixes especially since it’s so easy to bake from scratch without all the preservatives.  I also liked that it didn’t use a whole bottle of red food coloring like so may recipes do.  Be careful when using it because it turns everything red.  The only thing I did different from the recipe was to leave out the nuts.

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Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies

Brownies:
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 tbsp red food coloring
1 tsp white vinegar
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup toasted almonds

Cream Cheese Layer:
8 ozs cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/8 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350º. Butter an 8×8 baking pan and set aside.

Brownie layer: Melt the butter either on the stove top or in the microwave and pour into a large mixing bowl. In order, add the sugar, vanilla, cocoa, salt, food coloring, and vinegar, mixing between additions. In an small bowl, whisk the eggs and stir into the cocoa mixture. Fold in the flour until combined. Stir in the walnuts if using. Save 1/4 cup of this mixture and set aside. Pour what’s left into the prepared pan.

Cream cheese layer: Blend the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Gently spread this mixture on top of the brownies mixture in the prepared pan.

Using a spoon, drop the remaining cocoa batter over the top of the cream cheese layer. Using the tip of a knife or a skewer, drag it through the cream cheese layer and the dropped batter to create a swirl effect.  Try not to mix in the brownie layer on the bottom as much as you can.

Bake for 30 minutes and allow to cool completely before cutting.

Makes 8 servings

Adapted from Food Network

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Happy Cooking!

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Brownie, Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Cup Treats

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Today, my recipe for Slow Cooker Garlic Mashed Potatoes is the recipe of the week at Gooseberry Patch.  I don’t think I’ve posted this recipe here so grab it over there.  It’s really good and can sit in the slow cooker for a bit if the rest of your meal isn’t ready.

This recipe is all over Pinterest and it looked really good and easy to me.  Once I made it, I thought it was just OK while the rest of the family thought it was great and ate them all up.

Now this recipe uses lots of packaged products so if you want to make them from scratch I think it would work fine.

I happened to have a square muffin pan but I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t use a regular muffin pan.  Just make sure you grease the pan ~ the recipe didn’t call for it but it’s super hard to get them out of the pan if you don’t.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Brownie, Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Cup Treats

1 box brownie mix (milk chocolate or fudge or use your favorite)
1 pkg miniature peanut butter cups
1 pkg Nestle Chocolate Chips (they are in squares in the pkg)

Generously grease a square muffin pan.

Take one chocolate chip cookie and press in the pan to cover bottom as in the picture above. Place one unwrapped peanut butter cup upside down on top of the cookie dough. Spoon some brownie dough over the peanut butter cup, covering it.

Bake at 350º for 18-20 minutes or until brownies are done.

Makes 12 treats.

Happy Cooking!

Brownie Holi-Pops ~ Land O’Lakes

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A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by Land O’Lakes to see if I would let my readers know that their website had been redesigned and I jumped at the chance.  Why?  I LOVE Land O’Lakes products and use them all the time.  So I decided to make one of their recipes and blog about it instead of just telling you all that they had a new website.  Since I am such a procrastinator, it took me awhile.

I chose to make the brownie holi-pops because they are cute and I had never done anything like it before.  They are very easy to make although in my usual style ~ I did things my way.

They are DELICIOUS!

Brownie Holi-Pops from Land O’Lakes

Brownie Mixture:
3/4 cup butter, divided
3 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate, divided
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Coating:
16 ounces vanilla or chocolate-flavored candy coating (almond bark) ~ I used Wilton candy melts in white chocolate and light cocoa

40 lollipop sticks

Decorations:
Holiday nonpareils, jimmies and/or decorator candies

Heat oven to 350°.

Combine 1/2 cup butter and 2 ounces chocolate in 2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until melted (3 to 5 minutes). Add sugar, flour, eggs, vanilla and salt; mix well.

Spread batter evenly into greased 8-inch square baking pan. Bake for 23 to 27 minutes or until brownies just begin to pull away from sides of pan ~ mine took 25 minutes. Cool completely.

Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter and 1 ounce chocolate as above ~ I did it in the microwave.
Finely crumble cooled brownie into large bowl.

Add butter mixture and powdered sugar; mix well.

Shape mixture into 1-inch balls; place onto waxed paper-lined jelly-roll pan.

Cover with plastic food wrap; refrigerate until firm (at least 2 hours or overnight) ~ I left them in overnight.

Melt candy coating according to package directions; keep warm ~ I only used about 1/3 of each pkg. if that. Remove 1/3 of balls from refrigerator; insert lollipop sticks ~ I took them all out at th esame time and they didn’t soften up too much since I worked quickly to keep the chocolate from firming up. Dip balls into melted coating, swirling or tapping off excess; press coated balls into desired decorations. Push lollipop stick into craft foam or place coated balls onto waxed paper. Repeat with remaining balls. Let stand until coating is set.

I am freezing them until I am ready to give as gifts.

Makes 40 pops but I made around 30 since I made them a little bit bigger.

Don’t forget to visit Land O’Lakes and check out all their great recipes !!!!!!

Happy Cooking!

Christmas Party Recipes ~ Sweets

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I made a couple of sweets for our party and there weren’t any left at the end of the night.

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Charleston Cherry Bars

2 cups flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
1 10 ounce bottle maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350º and coat a 13×9 pan with butter.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar about 2 minutes. Add 1 of the eggs and 1 egg yolk, reserving the egg white. Mix well. Add both extracts. Blend in flour mixture until smooth.

Place dough in prepared pan and pat down evenly. Set aside.

Beat reserved egg white to stiff in a medium bowl. Pat cherries dry with a paper towel. Stir cherries and brown sugar into beaten egg white until well combined. Spread over dough in pan. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Bake at 350º for 30 minutes. Cool completely on rack before cutting into squares and serving.

Makes 24 bars.

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Mini Turtle Cheesecakes

1 box refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on package
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsps caramel topping
1 egg
1/2 tsp vegetable oil
2 tbsps finely chopped pecans

Heat oven to 450º. Remove 1 crust from pouch and unroll on work surface. Roll lightly with a rolling pin. Cut 12 rounds from crust with a 2 1/2 inch to 2 3/4 inch cookie cutter. Press rounds into 12 mini muffin cups. Repeat with remaining pie crust. Place about 5 chocolate chips in each crust.

Bake 6 minutes. Leave crusts in pan and reduce oven temperature to 375º.

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, brown sugar, caramel topping and egg with electric mixer until well combined and creamy. Spoon about 1 1/2 tsps into each crust covering chocolate chips.

Bake at 375º for 10 to 12 minutes or until cheesecake is set. Cool 10 minutes. Remove tarts from pan to cooling rack.

In a small microwaveable bowl, place remaining chocolate chips and vegetable oil. Microwave 30 seconds on HIGH and stir. Continue to microwave on HIGH at 30 second intervals until melted. Stir to smooth out. Drizzle over each cheesecake and immediately sprinkle chopped pecans over the top.

Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Cover and refrigerate any remaining tartlets.

Makes 24 mini cheesecakes.

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Famous Fudge

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk (one of those little cans is 2/3 cup)
1 package semisweet chocolate chips
1 7 ounce jar marshmallow cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts, optional

Grease a 13×9 pan and set aside.

Mix butter, sugar, and evaporated milk in a saucepan.

Bring to a rolling boil and boil, stirring constantly, for exactly 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate chips until smooth. Add marshmallow cream and vanilla and nuts (if using). Stir until smooth. Pour into prepared pan and cool to room temperature. Cut into small squares.

Makes 3 pounds.

Happy Cooking!

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Brownies!

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Brownies are great for many reasons but I like them because they are easy to make and when I am really craving chocolate, they are quick to stir up and bake.  I don’t like add-ins like chocolate chips ~ just give them to me plain and chocolate-y.

Thie link to this recipe can be found here on Recipezaar .

Happy Cooking!

Brownie Bites

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When my kids were young and in elementary school, they used to love those Hostess brand little bags of mini brownie muffins. I never liked buying them for a few reasons so I went on a hunt to try and find something that they would like instead. This recipe was it! I would put a few in a ziplock and they were happy ~ and so was I.

This recipe is easy and although it says it makes 40, I’ve never made that many ~ more like 32 or so. Sometimes I put the nut on the top, sometimes I don’t. I used pecans when I made them today because that’s what I had in my freezer here in the kitchen.

This recipe would be great for a bake sale ~ the elementary school my kids went to used to have bake sales with each grade’s Moms and Dads supplying the treats. I used to make lots of goodies but these I would put 5 in a bag and charge around 50 cents. We would sell out every time.

Brownie Bites

1/2 cup butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup flour
walnut or pecan halves, optional

In a medium-sized pan, melt butter and chocolate over low heat. Stir occasionally until it is melted and smooth.

Remove pan from heat and stir in the sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Stir in flour.

Spoon batter into mini muffin pans sprayed with cooking spray. You can also use mini muffin paper liners, too. Fill cups almost to the top and place a nut half on the top of each.

Bake at 325º for about 20 minutes (I use my convection oven and bake about 15 minutes) or until tops of brownies look dry and are firm when lightly touched.

Let cool in pans for 10 minutes then place brownie bites on a rack to col completely. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 40 brownie bites ~ or 32 in my case.

Happy Cooking!

Marbled Brownies

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OK, so I have a thing for desserts. These brownies are so good and super easy to make but look like you have been baking all day. I found the original recipe in an old Duncan Hines cookbook about 25 years ago. I have made them many times since always to rave reviews.


Marbled Brownies

Brownies:
1 package Duncan Hines Brownie Mix (I use milk chocolate lovers)
2 packages of 3 ounce each cream cheese
5 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Easy Milk Chocolate Frosting:
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350º. Soften cream cheese and butter; beat together. Add sugar, eggs, flour, and vanilla; beat until smooth and set aside. Mix cakelike brownies as directed on the package. Pour half the brownie batter into a greased 13×9 pan; pour all the cream cheese mixture over the brownie layer. Spoon remaining brownie batter in spots over the top. Swirl the two mixtures together with a knife or spatula. Bake at 350º for 35 to 40 minutes or until done. Cool.

Easy Milk Chocolate Frosting~~Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in cocoa until dissolved. Add confectioner’s sugar, milk, and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Add more milk if needed for a soft spreading consistency. Frost brownies. Let set until firm; cut into squares.