I don’t usually do much celebrating for Valentine’s Day, but when I saw these beautiful Red Velvet Marbled Bars on Foodnetwork.com, I absolutely had to make them! In fact, I planned an entire dinner around the anticipation of presenting these lovely treats as dessert.
Red Velvet Marbled Bars
Adapted from Sunny Anderson’s recipe on Foodnetwork.com.
Red Velvet Brownie Bottom Layer
• 2 melted sticks of butter
• 1 ½ cups sugar
• 1/2 cup cocoa powder
• Pinch salt
• 1 ½ tablespoon red food coloring (just enough to create the color you desire)
• 1 ½ teaspoon vinegar
• 4 eggs
• 1 ½ cup flour
Cream Cheese Top Layer
• 8 ounces softened cream cheese
• 4 ounces almond bark
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Things You’ll Need
• Large rectangular cake pan
• A thin spatula
• One toothpick
Use two separate bowls, and start with the red velvet bottom layer. Begin by mixing eggs, sugar, salt, and cocoa powder. Plop the two sticks of butter in a mug, and melt it in the microwave for 40 seconds. Let it cool for another 20 seconds, until it is warm to the touch. In the meantime, grease your pan and set it aside. I wanted to keep my brownies thin, so I used a large rectangular cake pan. At this point, begin whisking the melted butter into the bowl. Next, start crafting the color of your red velvet with the food coloring, and add the vinegar (which is supposed to enhance the red with a chemical reaction). Finally, add the flour in three parts, and whisk away, until smooth. Pour almost all of the batter into the pan. Keep about a cup left in the bowl for the last step.
In the second bowl, and with the help of your hand-mixer, cream the softened cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Heat the almond bark in the microwave for 90 seconds. It does not become hot enough to disturb the cheese; incorporate this last ingredient into the cream cheese mixture. Preheat your oven to 350°. Pour the cheesecake mixture as evenly as possible over the red velvet layer. With a light hand, use the spatula to continue spreading until the red layer is completely covered in white. Now for the best part! Use a spatula to scoop small blobs of the remaining red batter onto the top of the white layer. Use a toothpick to swirl the batter out and away from each red portion. I almost over mixed, I would say about 4-5 passes through each, is perfect. Pop these beauties in the over for about 40 minutes.
Wait a full hour before attempting to cut the brownies. I cut mine into 2 ½ inch squares and packaged them with tissue paper into small gift boxes decorated with a red label and adorned with a heart-shaped gift tag. At our recent dinner party, my girlfriend and I served wonton soup with Red Velvet Marbled Bars for dessert. Our guests loved them and were so happy to be sent home with a pretty sweet-filled box to enjoy later.
Things to Try Next Time:
• I love a slight hint of coffee in brownies, but I was afraid it would render brown rather than red for this Valentine’s Day treat.
• I might try adding a tablespoon of oil in place of two eggs, because I like my brownies to be a bit fudgey.
• I want to try this in every color, know that I know it’s so easy!
More Valentine’s Day Recipes & Ideas:
Valentine Rum Truffles Double Thumbprint Heart Cookies Sweetheart Cupcakes Heart-Shaped Brownies
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