Long Weekends

Nothing trumps a long weekend, when everyone scrambles to get to the beach.  Everyone except you.  You  walk to town without waiting for the lights to change, because there are no cars on the road.  You get to those random things on your to do list that have been hanging over your head for too long.  You  park at the grocery store without doing battle behind the wheel of your SUV.  You make plans with friends.  And you bake.  Something a little more special than what you would on a typical weekend, because you’re not in any rush.

This weekend, it was Sparkly Red Velvet Brownie Bites, from A Farmgirl’s Dabbles.

They’re exactly the kind of brownies I love.  Gooey and dense, with a healthy layer of frosting slathered on top.  They also gave me a chance to use the red velvet cake flavor Santa put in my stocking this year.

And they SPARKLE!  What more could you want from a baked good?

To make an 8 x 8 pan’s worth, you will need:

  • 1 stick cold butter, diced
  • 3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 C sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 oz. liquid red food coloring, a 1/4 tsp. red food gel, or 1 T red velvet cake flavor
  • 1 C flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line an 8 x 8 pan with tinfoil, and spray with nonstick cooking spray.  In a large, heavy bottomed pot, melt diced butter and chocolate, stirring as needed.  Remove from heat and whisk in sugar.  Crack eggs and whisk in, one at a time.  Stir in vanilla, salt, and red coloring.  Add flour and baking powder and stir, just till combined.  Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until tester inserted in center comes out with just a few crumbs, about 35-40 minutes.

Let brownies cool completely.  Unfortunately for the world, it takes brownies several hours to cool.  Exercise willpower.

You can make the frosting at any point in the game, and just let it hang out till your brownies are cool.  I made mine while the brownies baked.  To make the cream cheese frosting, you will need:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 oz. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 C powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese and butter together on medium speed till light and fluffy.  Stir in vanilla, and slowly beat in powdered sugar.

When brownies have cooled, add layer of frosting, and a healthy coating of clear sanding sugar (mine was from this variety pack, also from Santa).  Slice brownies into 1 x 1 inch squares.  To make clean cuts, wipe knife after each slice.


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