Tomorrow is Valentine's Day.
As much as I want to say it is only a Hallmark holiday and as much as I truly believe one shouldn't need a holiday to show someone you care...I do appreciate the excuse to get into "cheese" mode and do something cute.
I firmly believe that being thoughtful and showing someone how you feel about them should happen frequently...on Holidays or on your average plain ol' day. BUT...yes, there is a BUT...I will accept the Hallmark holiday as an excuse to have a nice dinner and eat a
That man of mine and I are making dinner together tomorrow. We did it last year when we made that lovely salmon meal and I kind of like the idea of making it a tradition to make a nice dinner together.
It is usually me doing the cooking so it should be nice to work on a meal together...and I think stuffed shells is just perfect for that.
In other news...I have a confession.
I know this is going to set me apart from all that is normal but I am not the biggest fan of red velvet.
Ok. Ok. Hear me out. It is really just a mild chocolate cake with some vanilla that tastes like food coloring. Yes, the frosting (if it is cream cheese) is da-fricking-bomb but the cake for me has always been "eh".
Yeah, I know. I have heard that I am crazy once or twice.
That man of mine happens to love red velvet...as do the other inhabitants of his man cave so I decided to suck it up and make him/them some of these brownies...
That I can't stop eating.
It must be the use of dark chocolate rather than cocoa and my lack of control when it comes to cream cheese.
Yeah, that must be it.
Long story short? These brownies are the exception to my "red velvet rule"...and The Cheesecake Factory's red velvet cheesecake (again...the cream cheese is totally to blame there).
Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies
Adapted from SweetPeasKitchen.com
1/2 cup butter
2-oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp red food coloring
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
8-oz neaufchatel cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 8 inch metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Butter the parchment.
In a small, heatproof bowl, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir until combined and very smooth. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and red food coloring. Add chocolate mixture and stir until smooth. Add flour and salt and stir until just combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
Pour into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
To prepare cheesecake mixture, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla extract in a medium bowl until smooth. Distribute the cheesecake mixture in 8 dollops over batter in the pan. Swirl in with a knife or spatula.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until brownies and cheesecake are set. A knife inserted into the cheesecake mixture should come out clean and the edges will be lightly browned.
Let cool completely in pan on a cooling rack before lifting out the parchment paper to remove the brownies.