Momma Told Me: How To Make Red Velvet Cheesecake Bars For Valentine's Day

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

How To Make Red Velvet Cheesecake Bars For Valentine's Day

Red Velvet Cheesecake Bars for Valentine's Day Dessert
Momma Told Me: Bake from the heart.

Baking is something I have enjoyed since I was a young girl. The satisfaction of beginning with several mundane ingredients and finishing with a work of art that is not only tantalizing but wholly indulgent just speaks to my soul. I take pride in doing things 'by hand' and from scratch, whether it's sifting my flour or giving batter 200 stirs. Even in Momma's kitchen, making boxed brownies (the kind that was favored for a 'just ad water' recipe which enabled gratuitous spoon licking,) I would patiently mix the lumps and bubbles out of our batter until it was perfectly smooth. And, as I shoved an always crumbly, misshapen, square of brownie in my father face, as he arrived home, I would beam with pride, declaring, "I made these!"
But the end result is not the only satisfaction I find in baking. There are numerous techniques and methods that prove much harder to master than they sound. The trials and tribulations of substitutes, measurements, and appliances with finicky temperatures all provide a challenge I happily embrace. Then there's the rhythm of the kitchen how the measuring and prep to end result has a comforting ebb and flow; an exact science that must be done just right. In fact, baking IS a science. And one of my favorite recipes, Red Velvet Cheesecake Bars, clearly resembles this with mad scientist like preparation.
The Red Velvet portion of this particular recipe is more of a brownie in end result- and requires a thick batter that presents a very fun preparation. Because all the wet ingredients for the batter are combined, yet different densities, the level of microscopic separation in 'mixing' makes for an almost surreal and very romantic show. I like to play around, adding each wet ingredient into a different corner of the vegetable oil, watching the playful bubbles absorb the red food coloring with different intensities. Adding the milk last introduces tiny bubbles of white for added depth to your kitchen  creation.
When the wet ingredients are introduced to the dry ingredients of your batter the Red Velvet mixture becomes quite elastic. It will hold shapes and forms for several seconds before sinking back to it's original form, and appears alarmingly thick and dough like, yet free flowing and malleable. I had fun mixing this batter with gloves (to prevent staining from the food coloring) and now any child would be equally transfixed by it's unique properties.
Red Velvet Cheesecake Bars for Valentine's Day Dessert
Next, a portion of the red velvet batter gets gently spread into the bottom of a spring form pan, reserving a 3/4 cup for the final preparation step. Blending the cheesecake mixture is best done in a stand mixer, where it can be left unattended for several minutes to whip and fill with air. Refrain from licking the blade, though, there are eggs in this cheesecake batter! Next, I poured the cheesecake over the Red Velvet base and added the last of my milk to my reserve Red Velvet batter. This helps thin out the dough like mixture to allow easier dolloping. Evenly drop the remaining Red Velvet batter in rows of dots along the top of the Cheesecake layer.
Red Velvet Cheesecake Bars for Valentine's Day Dessert
Next you are allowed more artistic creativity as you drag a butter knife through the red and white batters to create a romantic marble pattern that will sit atop your bars. Bake your pan for about 30 minutes at 350F, or until the outer edges begin to separate and brown. If the center of your cheesecake bars begins to crack or ripple you have cooked it a little too long and should remove the pan from the oven immediately. Allow cheesecake bars to cool entirely before cutting; use a stainless steel cookie cutter to cut shapes if desired.

This dessert not only turns out satisfying to behold, but is equally indulgent in taste with a rich later of cheesecake atop; a small wedge is more than enough!

What Daughter Says: I enjoy baking more than eating that which I bake!

Red Velvet Cheesecake Bars for Valentine's Day Dessert
Red Velvet Cheesecake Bars
***Click here for printable Red Velvet Cheesecake Bars Recipe
Ingredients:

3 C Flour
2 1/4 C Granulated Sugar
3 TBS Cocoa Powder
1 TSP Salt
1/2 TSP Baking Powder
3 Large Eggs
1 C Vegetable Oil
4 TBS Milk, Divided
1 TBS Vanilla Extract
2 TSP White Vinegar
1 TBS (12-15 Drops) Red Food Coloring

Cheesecake Layer:

16 OZ Cream Cheese, Softened
3/4 C Granulated Sugar
2 Large Eggs
2 TSP Vanilla

Directions:
Preheat Oven to 350F

1. Grease a springform pan and dust with flour.

2. I a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, vegetable oil, 2 TBS milk, vanilla extract, red food coloring, and white vinegar.

3. Combine the dry and wet ingredients until completely combined. The batter will be very thick, almost like a malleable dough. Remove 3/4 C of the batter and place it in a medium bowl. Whisk in the remaining 2 TBS milk to the 3/4 batter and set aside.

4. Pour the remaining batter into the prepared springform pan, gently pressing out towards the sides with a spatula.

5. In a stand mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until fluffy (about 2 MINS.) Add eggs and vanilla extract, beating until combined and there are no lumps. Pour the cream cheese mixture on top of the red velvet batter and smooth until it reaches the edges.

6. Drop spoonfuls of the remaining red velvet batter evenly across the cheesecake layer. Drag a butter knife in criss-cross motions across the top to create swirls.

7. Bake for 30 MINS at 350F, rotating halfway through. Bake until the center is set (no longer jiggles) and the sides begin to separate from the pan/brown. Cool entirely before cutting.

6 comments:

  1. Pinned for later. Those not only look yummy, but I'm sure they taste delicious too. Great for Valentine's Day.

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  2. They are absolutely beautiful and your photos are stunning. I just don't understand the red velvet thing. I never have. I recognize it's some kind of national obsession but I guess I'm the odd woman out.

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  3. Your photos are always so gorgeous! I wish you would teach a class on photo editing!

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  4. Those look amazing! If they taste anywhere near as good as they look, they're going to be a hit when I make them. Thanks!

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  5. Now those not only look delicious but they look extremely decadent, perfect for the holiday of love! One of my girlfriends adores red velvet so I bet she'd fall head over heels for this dessert. Your pictures are also SUPER vivid and gorgeous. I want your camera! LOL

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  6. Red Velvet and Cheesecake are two of my favorites. I also love your photos! Can't wait to try these out

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