Valentine's Day is quickly approaching, and it's time to make plans. If you have no significant other, it's time to figure out what you will make to eat alone, in your sweats, while watching the latest Nicholas Sparks movie.
I was there for 18 Valentine's Days in a row, eating chocolate my dad gave me. There's no judgment here.
My idea of romance is to not have to cook. I can't remember the last time Valentine's Day cooperated and showed up on a weekend. It's always a Tuesday, or worse, a Wednesday. Nobody likes Wednesday. And nobody likes to cook on a Wednesday. I realize this is counterproductive to trying to get you to cook, but I don't blame you if you just wanna hit up Outback or Applebee's.
Like I said, no judgment. My standards have lowered with the years.
I do like to take care of mine and Tim's co-workers on holidays like this. Have you ever watched How I Met Your Mother (kids under 18, do not watch that show)? There's one episode where Barney convinces Marshall that he has to have some sort of title and/or presence in the office to keep his job. I adopted that policy long ago and unanimously have always been known as the food girl. I bake. I deep fry. I saute. And I share with my co-workers. They all voted that I make these brownies for Valentine's Day.
And in case you haven't heard it, or need to hear it again...
I LOVE YOU!
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp red food coloring
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (8 tbsp) butter
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Throw your butter into a stand mixer.
Add the sugar and beat together until creamy.
One-by-one, add the eggs, stirring until combined.
Add the cocoa powder.
Throw in the vanilla.
Add the red food coloring and combine. You may need more or less to tint it the shade of red you'd like, but 1 tbsp. is enough for me.
Gradually add flour, continuing to combine.
Throw in the salt. Ignore my weird-looking hand. I think I'm retaining water.
This will be thicker than a normal brownie mix.
Butter pan and spread evenly. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until cooked thoroughly. Because this is a thicker mixture, be careful not to overcook or it will be crispy. We're looking for chewy. I'd even settle for slightly underdone.
I cooked mine a little too long. Still good, though. Let cool for about 20 minutes.
Cut into even pieces.
Remove from the pan and set aside.
I didn't take pictures of the steps for the frosting, but it's easy: just mix the ingredients together well, making sure the butter and cream cheese are smooth. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes.
Spread frosting evenly on the brownies.
I used the crumbs from the cutting board (when the brownies were resting) to sprinkle on top of the brownies. I thought it was cute.
Love and brownies,