Summerlicious Coconut Almond Red Velvet Brownies
For the past couple of days Red Velvet has been on my mommy brain. Ya’ll know what mommy brains are right? It’s basically functioning on empty (no sleep and little food) and having multiple random thoughts come across your brain faster than a speeding bullet. This tends to happen during my moments of heaviest conversation, “Gracie, you know you have homework due tomorrow, it is chapter 11-SQUIRREL!” And there you have it, a random, sometimes pointless, thought jumps into my weary brain. Perhaps this wandering squirrel thought of something interesting at that moment…Red Velvet Brownies! Yes, I’ve seen the “dump the cake mix” boxed version. But, I’m talking about converting MY Infamous Red Velvet cupcake recipe into a dense, moist brownie bite. BAM! Can you deal with that?
I wasn’t just satisfied with that concept. Considering it’s been 95 degrees and hotter every day, I wanted to give these Red Velvet Brownies a light and summerlicious feel. Ya know what I’m talking about right? When I sip or eat anything with coconut, I am instantly brought to the beach or poolside. Regardless of how many whippersnappers are pulling on my skirt, wiping their boogers on my legs, or fighting their sister to-the-death, coconut puts me in a summer trance. One of my favorite flavor combinations is coconut with almond. So of course, I paired these two in my cream cheese frosting.
I wasn’t introduced to Red Velvet Cake until my move to Orlando. Quite honestly, I wasn’t a big fan. Didn’t see what all the hoop-de-doo was about. Then when I began dessert catering I got the request for a wedding to make Red Velvet cupcakes. Ugh, it was such a love hate relationship. Seriously, 1/4 cup of red food coloring?! OMG, not to mention there was very little cocoa powder in the original recipes. Many days and many baking tears later (you can ask my husband; my baking struggles cause me to cry ALL the time) I developed the PERFECT Red Velvet Recipe! It quickly became one of my favorites, little ladies’ favorite, and by golly when I added some mini chocolate chips I couldn’t keep them on the serving trays!
Overlooking my battles with the dreaded Red Velvet recipe, I have learned to appreciate it. It is a very old cake and I find it funny that it was never really “RED”. But like everything else, it evolves and becomes better with time. One of my favorite memories of Gracie (our oldest, now 7) would be last year. She was trying to come up with an awesome Halloween costume and thought of dressing like a girl vampire. Gracie’s one odd, but very creative, makeup request was that I make a batch of Red Velvet Cake batter so she could smear it all over her mouth and shirt. Umm, ok; But they do sell something called facepaint in the Halloween section. And then she dressed as a Masquerade princess!
I hope you can appreciate these pretty, bite size, summery versions of a Red Velvet Brownie. They are yummy, moist, and elegant. The pickiest of eaters and snobbiest dessert critics will swoon over a fresh batch of these babies. Trust me, ours didn’t last a day!
Coconut Almond Red Velvet Brownies
Yields: 16-1 inch circles
For The Brownies
10 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup red food coloring
1/4 heaping tsp salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
For The Coconut Almond Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened (4 oz)
1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tbsp coconut extract
1/2 tbsp pure almond extract
Shredded coconut flakes
For The Brownies:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 8×8 nonstick pan with aluminum foil. Spray well with a nonstick spray.
2. Using a medium size pot, place 2-3 inches of water in it and heat on medium to medium-high heat with large pyrex bowl sitting on top. Again, we will be using a double boiler method. Just the same as my The Perfect Brownie recipe.
3. Place the butter in the pyrex bowl and thoroughly melt, be sure to stir a few times to remove lumps.
4. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, and cocoa powder. Mix thoroughly until wet looking and well combined. This will be thick in appearance.
5. Remove bowl from double boiler. Add vanilla and red food coloring. Mix well. This will have a very thin consistency now.
6. After this thin batter has cooled to just a warm temperature, add the eggs. Then add all purpose flour. The batter will become thick again.
7. Pour into lined and prepared pan. Bake 325 for 25 minutes. Toothpick will come out mostly clean and edges will be slightly higher than center.
8. After brownies have cooled, cut 16-1 inch circles. Save scraps for a yummy ice cream topping!
For The Coconut Almond Cream Cheese Frosting:
1. Beat butter, cream cheese, and vegetable shortening in a mixer on high until smooth. No lumps PLEASE!
2. Add coconut and almond extracts. Mix well.
3. On lowest setting, mix in powdered sugar.
4. Place in piping bag. Snip off end about size of your pinkie finger.
5. Squeeze and rotate frosting with 2 turns on each brownie circle, ending in the center.
6. Garnish with shredded coconut and almond slice.
TAA-DAHH! There is your pretty lady!
I’m super duper psyched about this recipe. It really is a “different” Red Velvet and gives a nice twist to brownies! I’m entering this bad lady in the Dixie Crystals Brownie Dessert Contest. The little ladies’ and my fingers are crossed (hopefully out of their noses) for a chance to win recognition at The Food And Wine Conference in Orlando, Florida this year.
I am new to blogging and have finally decided to SHARE my secret recipes. And my hope is to be recognized for all of my years of experimentation (including the tears and laughter) in the kitchen. Whether it is your backyard, birthday party, or just an evening at home, I love to know everyone’s happily sharing and induldging with my cleverly concocted confections!