Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

Yes, it’s New Year’s Eve and yes, I’m going to write a dessert blog.  Why?  Because I’m laying in a hotel bed with my sleeping kiddies next to me and I really have nothing better to do.  Also, I’m majorly craving ice cream (not a pregnancy craving – this is just the typical me at night) and that means I can’t stop thinking about food.  Also, my hubby is at his grandparents’ house playing fun board games and I’m not, so I have to find ways to distract myself. haha  For the record, I volunteered to watch the girls and when they wake him up half dead tomorrow, I probably will be a lot happier about that choice!

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This recipe came from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen.  I wasn’t overly impressed with these brownies warm, but I later realized the key to them being AMAZING is eating one cold out of the fridge!  Wow!  Suddenly, they made their way onto my “please make this again” list!

Red Velvet Cheesecake BrowniesRed Velvet Cheesecake Brownie

*Brownie Layer

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 oz dark chocolate, broken in pieces
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red food coloring
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

* Cream Cheese Layer

  • 8 oz package of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease well an 8″ x 8″ baking dish.  In a small saucepan, melt butter and chocolate together until smooth (stir pretty consistently so it doesn’t burn).  Set aside to cool.  In a separate bowl, mix together sugar, eggs, vanilla, and food coloring until well combined.  Stir in melted chocolate and butter.  Add in the flour and salt, stirring until well combined.  Pour into greased dish.

Beat cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla until smooth.  Scoop in spoonfuls on top of the brownie layer.  If you’re extremely talented, swirl the cheesecake layer in with a knife and make pretty red streaks.  I found this recipe really tricky to swirl as the textures were a little off for that sort of thing.  I tried, but it was kind of a fail.  Bake 35-40 minutes or until set.  Let cool completely before cutting.  And remember to eat these straight out of the fridge for the best possible experience. 🙂

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

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Cookie Dough Truffles

These are a recurring holiday favorite for us.  I found this amazing recipe via Taste of Home.  What makes this crazy delicious is that it tastes JUST like cookie dough, but there are no raw eggs in it!  That’s right.  Time to get pumped!  I used these on our Christmas cookie trays for our neighbors.

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Cookie Dough TrufflesCookie Dough Truffle

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1  can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • dark chocolate candy coating and optional white to drizzle over top

Cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Alternately add flour and milk, beating well after each addition. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. Shape into 1” balls, place on wax paper and refrigerate 1 – 2 hours or firm. Melt chocolate candy coating and dip balls in. Place back on wax paper and refrigerate a few minutes or firm. Drizzle melted white coating over the top. Let harden and enjoy!

 

The BEST Sugar Cookies

My title had to be cliche, because these really are pretty stellar.  Mostly, they’re great because they are about as different from those store bought, play-doh sugar cookies as you can get!  Caleb told me he kind of likes that kind, but he has to be one of the few, right?  I mean, those are terrible!  For the sake of my side, I’ll admit that as a child I thought play-doh was pretty tasty (at least the salty, homemade version).  As an adult, I no longer think it’s tasty, but I can testify that the typical store bought sugar cookie tastes almost identical.  I’m not even kidding you.  Go ahead and do a taste comparison.  Yuck.

Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies

These are the sugar cookies my mom always made and they’re kind of a holiday tradition or an anytime you need to whip up some cookies and decorate them for a function kind of thing.  If you can get past the whole, you’re virtually eating cooked butter and sugar, then you’re good to go!  They really are delicious!  I used these for our Christmas trays I gave to the neighbors.

The BEST Sugar CookiesStar Sugar Cookies

  • 1 cup butter melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix together butter and sugar.  Stir in egg.  Stir in baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, and vanilla.  Gradually add in flour until the dough forms a ball.  Don’t add too much or your cookies will be really crumbly.  You want a nice, soft, slightly sticky dough.  Dump your ball of dough onto a lightly floured surface (adding more flour as needed).  Roll it out to desired thickness and cut your cookies out.  Space out on baking sheets and pop into the oven for about 8 minutes or just lightly golden on the edges.  Remove from the oven and let sit for about 5 minutes or until cookies are firmed up.

A couple of things to note….  I got about 2-3 dozen cookies from this recipe.  You can easily double this recipe (double exactly) for twice as many if you need to feed a crowd. 🙂