Monday, January 30, 2012

Sweets for my Sweet - Red Velvet Oreo Cheesecake Brownie

Okay, this title is totally a mouthful. There were a number of things I could have called it like "Love Bars", "Red Velvet Bomb Bars", or just plain old "Deliciousness". They would have all been great but I wanted you to immediately know what was coming up in this recipe so that you could be prepared to drool all over your keypad and get ready to run to your kitchen to start cooking. I LOVE Red Velvet cake! That is one cake my mom made from scratch growing up that we couldn't get enough of. She would always make it around valentines day and her recipe had this magical fluffy frosting, unlike anything I have ever had before. Extra news, I love cheesecake. I love the sinfulness of it and how you almost feel the need to eat it in private so that you can lick the plate when you are done. I also love a good brownie. I have an awesome brownie recipe on here that if you have not tried before, than bless your heart. I have learned that the best scratch brownies must have melted chocolate in the mix, not dry cocoa powder, but a good quality dark chocolate combined with melted butter in order to get things started on the right path.  And, I love oreos. What's not to love. Although I hate milk, so the idea of dunking them in anything other than chocolate makes me a bit sick. We were asked to go to dinner this week with some friends and I thought what better way to try out a new dish then when going to someone elses house, right? If they don't like it, they will NEVER tell you the truth. I have had my eyes on a recipe for some red velvet brownies but wanted to change the recipe up a bit. So, I did...then I added in a few more things and I have found a new love in my life. These are great because they are simple and very non-complicated but the finished product is a work of art. These have the elements of a yummy cheesecake but not the two hours worth of cooking and tip-toeing around the oven to make sure you don't bother it for fear of it falling and cracking. It has the gooey, rich, sinfully red velvet brownie base that makes you want to jump up and shout for joy for having accomplished a gourmet dessert, but the sprinkling of oreos on top remind you that you are not trying to overly impress anyone...well, maybe you are. These would be the perfect addition to a valentines meal, and if your valentine is like mine then this will have him in the palm of your hand :) By the way, this may look complicated but stick with me. It is really easy and must be done!

Red Velvet Oreo Cheesecake Brownie
Brownie Batter:
4 oz unsweetened (at least 70% cocoa) chocolate finely chopped (I love Trader Joe's dark chocolate, among many other things there. If you don't have a Trader Joe's then I strongly recommend that you get one!) It is easiest to chop chocolate with a serrated knife, just fyi.
3/4 cup or 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter
Combine the chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals for around 2 minutes, stirring in between cycles until the chocolate and butter have melted and become one. Allow it to cool for a minute or two and set aside.

2 cups white sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 Tbsp red food coloring (1 1/2 bottles)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp salt
Combine the eggs and sugar in a large bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour in the melted chocolate and butter and whisk until combined. Slowly add in the remaining ingredients and mix just until combined.

Take the bottom of a 10" spring form pan and cover it with parchment. You can remove the bottom and trace the circle then just lay it in there flat and spray it. I used foil the first time and it stuck. If you don't have a spring form pan then you can use a 10" round baking dish, just totally cover the bottom with parchment, but a spring form will allow you to remove the dessert easily so that you can see the beautiful sides when it is all finished. Assemble the bottom inside of the pan and spray with non-stick spray. 
Pour the batter into the pan. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

While the brownie is baking, put together the following cream cheese mixture so that you can pour it on as soon as the buzzer goes off.

10 oz softened cream cheese. It must be soft so that you don't have major lumpage.
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
In the bowl of a stand up mixer (or with a hand mixer) beat the cream cheese until it is smooth. Pour in the sugar and allow it to thoroughly combine. Add the egg and vanilla and mix just until combined.

When the buzzer goes off, turn the oven down to 350 degrees and gently spread the cream cheese mixture of top of the brownie as evenly as you can. You may need to drop light spoonfuls of it around the brownie then take a spatula to spread it out. Be gentle so that you don't force any of the red to come through. Gently pat 1/2 -3/4 cup crushed oreos onto the cream cheese layer.
Place back into the oven and bake for around 30-35 minutes until the cream cheese has set and the mixture is mostly firm when jiggled. There might be a slight wobble, don't panic because it will firm up as it cools. If it is super wiggly then cook for 3-5 more minutes but watch it close because you don't want the cheesecake to burn.

Allow the brownie to set on the counter to cool slightly for around 1 hour, then place in the fridge and allow it cool completely, around 2 hours, before serving. Use a knife and slide it around the edges before removing the spring form pan sides, and place it on a platter to serve.

Enjoy Y'all!

1 comment:

  1. YUMMY! WISH YOU COULD MAKE ME ONE. Do you want the recipe for the old icing that you liked? I am so glad my daughter likes to cook and improve the recipes out there!! It definitely would be yummy!
    Love, MOM