Happy Valentine's Day! And I'm serious when I say "happy." I hate it when people complain about Valentine's Day because they aren't in love with a significant other. There are lots of things to love! Your family. Your friends. Grey's Anatomy. The upcoming long weekend. Red velvet brownies. Cheesecake swirls.
I happen to have 3 funny valentines this year. Two of them aren't afraid of the camera. The other runs to the bedroom the second it gets pulled out of the case. All three of them are snugglebugs. And all three of them love cheese (which is possibly the most important trait to look for when searching for a valentine).
On a side note, I made lots of friends giving these away at work and, as my father taught me, giving sweets away at work is the cornerstone to success.
Red Velvet Cheesecake Swirl Brownies
Red Velvet Layer: 3 1/4 cups flour 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar 3 tablespoons cocoa powder 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 3 large eggs 1 cup vegetable oil 4 tablespoons milk, divided 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1 tablespoon red food coloring 2 teaspoons white vinegar
Cheesecake Layer: 2 8oz packages cream cheese, softened 3/4 cup granulated sugar 2 large eggs 3 teaspoons vanilla 3 tablespoons sour cream
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13 x 18 jelly roll pan with butter or cooking spray.
Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons milk, vanilla extract, red food coloring, and white vinegar.
Combine the dry and wet ingredients, until completely combined. The batter will be very thick, but that's ok. Remove 3/4 cup of the batter and place it in a separate bowl. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of milk (into the 3/4 cup of batter you just took out) and set aside.
Pour the remaining batter into the prepared jelly roll pan. Using a spatula, smooth out the batter to reach all the edges.
Now, beat cream cheese and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, vanilla, and sour cream, beating until combined and there are no lumps. Pour the cream cheese mixture on top of the red velvet layer and smooth mixture until it reaches all of the edges.
Drop spoonfuls of the remaining red velvet batter (that was mixed with the extra milk) onto the top of the cheesecake layer. Drag the tip of a knife through the red velvet and the cheesecake layers to create swirls.
Bake for 30 minutes, rotating half way through, or until the center is set and it no longer jiggles. Let the brownies cool completely before cutting.
Source: very slightly adapted from The Novice Chef Blog