Now first let me just say, to any of my English friends/family reading this; I APOLOGIZE! Making 4th of July desserts, I am well and truly Americanized. I am pretty sure that I am more patriotic than most Americans at this point, smiling like a serial killer whenever the national anthem is played at track meets is another indicator of my love….for the country that is celebrating their independence away from my ancestors!
As a disclaimer, this is my first 4th July themed food I have ever made, and it isn’t technically an Independence day dessert as you can make it any day of the year, but it does have the three colors representing America…..BUT they actually represent Great Britain too. Does that take me off the hook?
I decided to make Red Velvet Brownies with White Cream Cheese frosting, topped with Blue edible glitter, hows that for creative with words!
Brownies are one of those treats that you cannot help but love, they have that thin “crust” on the top, the crunchy layer around the edge, and the wonderful texture and taste of the middle. When you add red food coloring, it just makes them that much more exciting! Especially when you add the contrast of cream cheese frosting to the top! They go together like peanut butter and chocolate (this is a dessert website after all, jelly does not really count as dessert!).
I found the recipe from this cute little blog, although I decided to go for the traditional cream cheese frosting from The Food Network rather than the white chocolate, but it is here that I got the idea for the red, white and blue theme!
Chewy, not too gooey and full of 4th July fun!
Red Velvet Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 65 minutes
Yield: 12 brownies
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 oz red food coloring (or a scant 2 tbsp)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract, divided
1/2 cup (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
Cream Cheese Frosting
4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. To make the brownies: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8″x8″ baking pan.
2. In a small bowl, slowly stir together the cocoa powder, food coloring, and 1 tsp vanilla into a thick paste until no lumps of cocoa remain. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, then stir in the remaining 1 tsp of vanilla. With the mixer off, add in the cocoa mixture, thenturn the mixer to medium and beat the two mixtures together until they are one uniform color. Slowly add in the flour and salt and mix on medium-low speed, just until combined. Do not overmix.
4. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir up the batter with a rubber spatula once or twice just to ensure all of the flour has incorporated from the sides of the bowl and there isn’t anything stuck on the bottom of the bowl. You’ll want one uniformly colored (red) batter.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the brownies. Allow brownies to completely cool in the pan on a baking rack, about 45-60 minutes.
6. To make the frosting: In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract.
7. Frost brownies in the pan, cut into 12 bars, and serve, or remove the entire batch from the pan to a cutting board, cut into 12 bars, frost, and serve
(we are thrilled to be sharing with you some delicious RED, WHITE & BLUE inspired recipes. For updated list of 4th of July recipes featured on Sugar Loco click HERE)