I don’t know about you but when I think about Valentine’s Day I think of Red Velvet (just like October is Pumpkin Spice month right??). I have long been trying to perfect my Red Velvet recipe and it recently came to me what I was missing – cream cheese frosting. Why didn’t I think of this before! Once I had this epiphany I quickly went to work on an epic Red Velvet bar recipe with my favorite Cream Cheese Frosting and am sharing it just in time for the most romantic day of the year!
Red Velvet Bars:
1/2 Cup Softened Unsalted Butter
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup White Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa
1 1/2 heaping Cups Flour
Red food coloring to desired color
Heart shaped cookie cutter
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 Cup of Softened Margarine
1 – 8 oz package of Cream Cheese
Just over a half a package of Powdered Sugar
1 tablespoon Vanilla, plus a little more to taste
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Combine the butter and sugars until creamy then add red food coloring until you reach a deep red color. Once well combined add the other wet ingredients until fully combined. Then add salt and baking soda just until you can’t see them anymore. Now it’s time to add the delicious Cocoa powder. This is the part where all your hard work on that beautiful red velvet color will seem to be for nothing, but it’s not, I promise! Add just under 1/4 cup of the cocoa and it’s important that its unsweetened. I tried to fill in with a hot chocolate packet I had in the cupboard once and it was not pretty. Once you have folded in your cocoa you’ll add the flour until well combined. Now, you can go back and add additional food coloring to make your cookies that deep dark red color. Once you have your perfect color dough, spread it about 1/4-1/2 inch thick onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Bake at 350 for about 10-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Once fully baked, take them out and let them sit until they are cool to the touch.
While your bars are baking you can start working on your cream cheese frosting. This is one of my favorite recipes for frosting because it’s quick, easy and tastes amazing. Mix the margarine and cream cheese until well combined. Then you will start to mix in the powdered sugar. Start with a 1/4 cup and continue to mix in by 1/4 cup until you have a nice thick consistency – similar to lava – then you’ll add your vanilla. After the vanilla is added you may need to add a bit more powdered sugar. Now that your cookies are cooled you can cut your hearts out. Once you have them all lined up you can start frosting. For this frosting I like to use the back of a small spoon to spread it onto the cookies. You can spread as much frosting on each heart as you can handle. I like to use just enough frosting to cover the red. Once you have frosted each heart, add your favorite Valentine’s sprinkles. Let sit for about one – two hours for frosting to set and enjoy.
You might also like to learn how to make a gold sequin heart shirt for Valentine’s Day! You can wear it while baking up a batch of these treats!