Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Brownies. Are. Awesome

I consider myself a pretty laid-back kinda gal. I don't get super excited about much (outside of Cardinal Baseball and Illini Basketball), and I'm definitely not picky about much. With one exception:

Brownies. I have brownie issues. Big ones. We should really call them Brownie Volumes.

Lo, not so long ago, I couldn't make a brownie to save my life. Scratch, box mix, microwave...I would burn them, underbake them, over-mix, under-mix...you get the idea. And not only could I not make them for myself, I didn't like anyone else's brownies...too cakey, too fudgy, too dry...I was like Goldilocks on acid when someone would bring me brownies.

I decided one Thursday morning last summer that I was going to tame the beast I knew as Brownie. I researched brownie recipes online and from my grandmother's recipe box. I went through all the cookbooks I could find...I made 7 sheet pans of brownies that day, finally finding a recipe that made brownies the way I like them. Amy Brownies. Dense, chocolatey, chewy...and no edges.

With Amy Brownies, I am constantly trying to come up with variations. Amy Brownies come with cream cheese filling, espresso, dark chocolate mint, chocolate chip, s'mores...you get the idea. While sitting in awe of my Amy Brownies this week, I had a vision. And it was good.

Red Velvet Brownies. Yes, you read that right. Red Velvet Brownies. So I got online to see if anyone else had had a similar vision: Duh, of course they had. Lots of red velvet brownie recipes. Lots of red velvet cheesecake bar recipes. Mostly cake mixes, some from scratch were actually fudge brownies with red food coloring.

I love the authenticity of a Southern Red Velvet Cake, and (I know this is weird, but it's true) I spent many late night hours online researching the history and development of the Red Velvet Cake. Determined to keep this authentic flavor, I decided to start from scratch...I took Amy Brownies and smashed it with my favorite Red Velvet cake recipe (thank you, Paula Deen)...Then I decided that it needed some cream cheese filling. And here it is:

These are headed to work with me tonight for an official tasting. I can already tell they need more cream cheese filling. Everything is better with more cream cheese filling.
And as I sit here, I'm having another brownie vision: Hot Chocolate Brownies.

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