Friday, September 21, 2012

How a Novice Cook and Mom Bakes (Non)Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies.

Part of being more domesticated means baking at home. It also saves money (another goal of mine). Here's my attempt at baking Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies.

Step one is to find a delicious looking recipe via Pinterest, and think to yourself, "Challenge accepted." I found the same recipe for the red velvet cheesecake brownies on more than one site, so not sure with whom to give credit. Since I didn't use the food coloring, I guess it's my recipe now :). Step two is to show Husband the recipe and convince him ask if that's what he wants for his birthday (it is his day after all).

Dad was nice enough to let me use his Ghiradelli chocolate, YUM!
Step 3. Gather ingredients. You'll need:

1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/3 cup sugar (one for brownie, 1/3 for cheesecake)
3 large eggs (2 for brownie, 1 for cheesecake)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (1 for brownie, 1/2 for cheesecake)
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp red food coloring
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
Pandora radio, hence my Kindle Fire in the back off the picture
Bouncy seat for baby
An oven preheated to 350F.

The next step: Put Addy in her bouncy seat, turn on Pandora (I chose Maranda Lambert) and get pumped to start baking... and then read the "room temperature" part about the cream cheese. Take the baby out of the bouncy seat, and go do something else while you let the cream cheese sit out for a bit.
I chose to catch up on some Boy Meets World that I record every morning.

Alright, now get back to the kitchen. Put baby back in the bouncy seat so she can watch/ you entertain her, and spray 8x8 metal baking pan (original recipes say to use butter) with non-stick cooking spray. Put down parchment paper and spray (or butter) that as well. The parchment paper is to help take out the brownies after they are out of the oven. I will probably try it without this step next time.
Now, put the butter and chocolate in the microwave. Stir until combined and very smooth. By the way, if you drop your chocolate on the floor, it will break apart, and do some of the work for you (luckily, the wrapper was still on it when I learned this lesson cooking trick).

While waiting for the chocolate/butter mix to cool, take a large bowl and whisk the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and food coloring. Then stir in the chocolate/butter combo and stir until smooth. Do all this dancing to the music, and trying to entertain the baby.
The next step includes realizing that you forgot to feed the dogs, and feed them. Had I done this at the beginning, it may have helped with the constant stepping/tripping over them during this en devour. Back to the brownies! Add the flour and salt, and stir just until there are no streaks of dry ingredients. Pour into pan, and attempt to spread into even layer.

Take another baking time out to go change the baby's diaper. Once back in the kitchen, you're ready to make the cheesecake topping. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla in a bowl until smooth.
Note to self: Learn to "swirl"

The original recipe says to "distribute the cheesecake mixture in 8 dollops over batter in the pan." Oops. Also notice my lack of swirls, but what looks like knife stabs. I'll have to work on this. Now, you are finally ready for baking, and praising the Lord you actually remembered to turn the oven on! Bake 35-40 minutes, or until it's done (stick a toothpick, fork, knife, etc. in it).
This is what mine looks like.
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This is what they look like on the internet.

Again, mine,
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Show off. (Great job!)

While my velvet cheesecake brownies will not be entered into a beauty contest anytime soon, they taste delicious! So good in fact, Dad has already found a bigger pan so I can double the recipe next time. :)

*I would like to give some mad props to all the blogs that share recipes with pictures for every single step. Every.Single.Step. I tried, but as you saw, failed. When I make this again, and I will, I will try to update this post with all the pictures.

Let me know if you try this recipe, and what you think! Do you also use this start/stop method to baking?

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