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Red Velvet Cookies

June 14, 2011

I adore red velvet cupcakes.  Almost as much as chocolate peanut butter cupcakes, which means a lot coming from me.  Last week I came across a picture of red velvet cookies and thought: “Wow!  That’s pure delicious genius!”  When I discovered they were from a boxed cake mixture my second thought was “Well, that’s no fun!” and promptly went to work on developing a recipe I could make from scratch.  I understand that not everyone enjoys baking from scratch or has the time, but I find so much joy in creating dessert from start to finish.

The tricky part was that I had come across this picture while doing a recipe search for my customers and was completely distracted by my urge to bake!  The good news is that I was able to complete my meal planning for customers that week and still came up with a delicious recipe I think you will all love.

After trying out several recipes, I decided to tweak my favorite chocolate cookie recipe because I thought it had just enough of a cakey texture to mimic the flavor of a cupcake.  And what’s a red velvet cookie without cream cheese frosting?  Finding the right consistency for frosting a cookie was a bit more difficult, but I was pleased with the result.  I also tried the cookie with white chocolate frosting and white chocolate chips, but nothing compared to the cream cheese frosting.  And now, without further adieu…

Red Velvet Cookies
Yields: 2 1/2 Dozen

4 ounces Semisweet chocolate (broken up)
1/2 cup Unsalted butter (softened)
1 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 3/4 cups All purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2 tablespoons Unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon Red food coloring
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups Powdered sugar
2 ounces Cream cheese (softened)
2 tablespoons Unsalted butter (softened)
1 tablespoon Milk
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees . Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Place chocolate in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute , then stir until smooth. Let cool 5 min.
3. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until blended. Beat in cooled chocolate. Add eggs and beat until smooth.
4. In separate bowl, mix together cocoa, red food coloring and vanilla to make a thick, dark paste. Add to the butter mixture and mix until thoroughly combined and colored, scraping down the sides if necessary.
5. Stir in flour and salt until a soft dough forms.
6. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until dry on top. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
6. While cookies cool, combine powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter, milk and vanilla until smooth. Mixture should spread smoothly, add more milk if too thick; powdered sugar if too runny.
7. Spoon about 1 teaspoon frosting onto each cookie. Let stand to harden for 30 minutes.

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