I have a recipe written in a spidery handwriting on a faded piece of torn notebook paper. It has intrigued me forever because it sounded so special – Waldorf Red Cake. This recipe was my grandmother’s and I am guessing it is from the late 1920s or early 1930s. Yep, you guessed it – it’s a fancy name for good old red velvet cake.
Food historians believe that red velvet cake got its color from a reaction between the acids in buttermilk and the alkalinity in the old type of cocoa. Someone noticed the red tint and began intensifying it with beets, red food coloring, etc. No one was really crazy about it until Steel Magnolias and the Groom’s cake which was red velvet and made to look like an armadillo. At that point there was no stopping it.
The flavor is nice but I am guessing it is the color that really attracts people. Especially this time of year.
I wanted to create yet another red velvet dessert. After all, I have done cheesecake, cupcakes, cake… it was time for brownies. These red velvet brownies are perfect for those cookie trays and office Christmas parties. They have all of the rich chewiness of brownies but with the lighter red velvet taste – and the white chocolate chips are a good stand in for cream cheese frosting. They’d be great with red and green sprinkles as decoration or warmed up and placed underneath a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a holiday treat.
Nothing special about these except the amazing flavor. The recipe is easy. I think they would work well for Valentine’s Day, too.
Red Velvet Brownies
- Butter a 9 inch square pan.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Cream the sugar, vanilla, and melted butter until smooth.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each.
- Combine the dry ingredients and stir into the butter mixture.
- Spread in the pan and bake 25 – 30 minutes.
- Take the brownies out of the oven when they are slightly underdone.
- Cool completely before cutting.