Ok, enough with the (semi) healthy blog items. Just give me the butter and sugar.
Full disclosure: this recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups of sugar, 4 eggs, and 2 1/2 sticks of butter. There. I said it. Out loud. Let’s just put our stretchy pants on and march forward.
I’m all about the classic desserts. We live in a world filled with fancy French macaroons, cronuts, tortes, and crazy pastries. But give me a classic chocolate chip cookie (think and chewy!) or a brownie (thick and fudgy!) and I’m one happy girl.
I also live with my boyfriend who has a deep and true love for anything and everything red velvet. Whenever I ask him what I should make next, about 95% of the time, his response is “red velvet cheesecake brownies!”
What should I make for breakfast? “Red velvet pancakes!”
What kind of cookies should I make? “Red velvet cookies!”
What should I make for dinner? “Red velvet chicken!” You get the idea.
His favorite thing I’ve ever made are the previously mentioned Red Velvet Cheesecake Swirl Brownies. The man L-O-V-E-S them. But I wanted to do something a little more classic. None of the extra’s. So how do I fulfill his need for red velvet, while satisfying my need for a classic dessert?
Red Velvet Brownies.
Naturally brown butter is in there as well, because the love I have for brown butter runs deeper than my boyfriend’s love of red velvet. Can’t fight a love quite like ours. If you have not yet baked with brown butter, stop reading right now and get to it. The smell is one of my favorite things. It’s so intoxicating! I wish someone (a lot less lazy than me) would bottle that up. I’d buy it.
And the flavor? GAH. I can’t even stand it. The depth and richness it gives to whatever you are making it with is unreal. Nutty and almost caramely. It’s insanely addictive and luscious. (Did I just describe butter as luscious?)
In conclusion: Brown Butter Red Velvet Brownies are the perfect compromise in our household.
I kept debating about putting white chocolate chips in these. I put white chocolate chips in my red velvet cookies to mimic the cream cheese frosting that goes so well with red velvet. But, I eventually decided against it. I wanted something pure. I’ll save the chips for next time. Because there will definitely be a next time.
These red velvet brownies were based off one of my FAVORITEEEEE brownies (which I will share. Eventually.). The thickness and fudgyness that I absolutely adore in those brownies, truly comes through in these. I hate hate hate cakey brownies. If I want cakey brownies, I’d make a chocolate cake. But even then, I like some denseness to my cakes. I can’t help it.
As always with red velvet, the slight flavor of the cocoa powder comes through without overpowering the sweet vanilla flavor. Red velvet is the perfect flavor for indecisive people like myself. Can’t decide between chocolate or vanilla? Make some red velvet. It’s the best of both worlds.
I used a full 2 tablespoons of liquid red food coloring, but feel free to add more or less. I know people get weird when it comes to using liquid red food dye, but I’ve never thought twice about. If you would like to use gel food coloring instead of the liquid kind, go crazy 🙂
I made these before heading to dinner with a dear, dear friend of mine. I gave her and her fiance a box of them and I received this message shortly after I got home: “I couldn’t resist (even on a fully belly of Greek food) and had a few bites of one. They are dynamite!”
Can’t argue with that 🙂
BROWN BUTTER RED VELVET BROWNIES
(Recipe by: Something Swanky)
- 2 1/2 sticks salted butter (I used unsalted)
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp red food coloring
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare a 9×13 baking dish by spraying with non-stick cooking spray and lining with parchment paper (important so they don’t stick!).
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Stir constantly until butter has reached a light brown color and little “bits” have formed. It can be difficult to see the color of the butter as it foams a bit, so you can also go by smell (it will be very fragrant, smelling almost like caramel).
- Pour the butter into the bowl of a stand mixer (no need to cool). Add the sugar and cocoa powder and beat until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing in between each addition until almost creamy.
- Add the salt, buttermilk, red food coloring, and vanilla.
- Add the flour mix well. Batter will be thick.
- Spread batter in the 9×13 pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs on it.
- Let cool, then cut into squares to serve.