Friday, August 2, 2013

Red Velvet Brownie Cheesecake Bars

This weekend I wanted to bake something special for my Niece Mandy's birthday. You may have seen Mandy on the blog before. For years, she's been one of our helpers for our annual Christmas Cookie Bake and has literally decorated hundreds of cookies. Mandy is out on her own now, going to College and working as a Catering Manager for a local sandwich shop. Needless to say, these days I don't get to see Mandy as often as I would like, so I thought baking these Red Velvet Brownie Cheesecake Bars would be a great birthday gift.
This recipe starts off with a Brownie base, but not just any brownie, Red Velvet Brownies. The Red Velvet Brownie base is topped with a creamy cheesecake mixture then swirled with more of the Red Velvet Brownie batter...yum! These are definitely a special occasion brownie.
Happy Birthday, Mandy!

Red Velvet Brownie Cheesecake Bars
Makes 12-16 bars

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon red food coloring
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
2 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup all purpose flour
8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350f
Line an 8x8 baking pan with nonstick foil or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Place the cream cheese and 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a medium size bowl and beat with a mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add 1 large egg and vanilla extract and beat at medium speed until combined. Set aside.

Place the melted butter in a large bowl. Whisk in the following ingredients in the order listed, whisking after each addition until combined before adding the next ingredient:
~ 1 cup granulated sugar
~ 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
~ 1/4 cup cocoa powder
~ 1/8 teaspoon salt
~ 1 tablespoon red food coloring
~ 1 teaspoon vinegar

Place the 2 eggs in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Add the eggs to the cocoa mixture and whisk to combine.

Add the flour and fold in using a rubber spatula until just combined.

Reserve 1/4 cup of batter and spread the remaining batter in the bottom of the prepared pan. Pour the cheesecake batter over the brownie batter and spread carefully trying not to disturb the brownie patter. Dollop small spoonsful of the reserved brownie batter over the cheesecake batter then use the tip of a knife to swirl the brownie batter into the cheesecake batter to create a swirl pattern.

Bake approx. 30 minutes or until the cheesecake batter is set (feels firm when lightly touched). Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temp. Refrigerate for 3 hours before serving.

Store refrigerated for up to 2 days.

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