Let me just get this out of the way real quick.
I’m single. And so naturally, I kicked off this Valentines Day the same way any single person would: filing my taxes.
Because there’s nothing like W-2s, Student Loan Interest statements and the IRS to get you in the mood.
But that refund I’ll be getting in give or take a few weeks? That’s enough to make me smile.
I think there’s this assumption that single people get bitter, lonely or depressed at Valentines Day, but I’ve never found that to be the case for me. I think it’s great that people want to go out of their way to express love or appreciation for each other today- just as long as it’s a habit that they practice for the other 364 days of the year as well. I think that it’s important for single folks to practice expressing love and appreciation for themselves, and other people in their lives that aren’t spouses or partners.
I also think it would be great if Charlie Hunnam wanted to surprise me with a bouquet of red roses, then take me out for a romantic dinner, decadent dessert, and a walk on the beach. But I have an uncanny premonition that this isn’t going to happen, so I’m deciding to content myself with other slightly more realistic things instead.
Right now my house smells like a bundle of exotic spices and herbs, and it’s all coming from a Dutch oven of Moroccan chicken tagine that I’m preparing for me and my family’s dinner tonight. There won’t be any romance over the meal, but my stomach’s already starting to growl in anticipation. And just in case you haven’t noticed, I have the decadent dessert on lock too.
I’m talking about rich, fudgy Red Velvet Brownie Cookies guys.
Also one of the best cookies I’ve ever made- and I’ve made more than a few cookies in my life, let me tell you.
I knew I wanted to do a Valentine’s Day themed recipe for the blog, but was having trouble finding some inspiration. Then I went to Walmart and while I was down the candy aisle, I saw these bags of Red Velvet M and M’s.
Which you know, I just had to have.
But aside from the candy, I started thinking about ways I could incorporate them into a dessert. Cake didn’t seem like a good choice, and brownies ALMOST made it. But I thought that for candies, cookies made more sense. When I had trouble deciding between the two, I figured that there had to be a way to compromise. And wouldn’t you know it, I was right.
I first got the inspiration for this recipe from a Taste of Home magazine clipping I’d saved for a while. However, the author of that recipe needs to give it some major tweaking; the batter is far too wet and loose for cookies- even fudgy brownie ones. I added an extra cup of flour and chilled the dough overnight to firm it up. Also, I added red food coloring to give it a subtle, but rich red hue. Finally, the Red Velvet M and Ms were pressed into the cookies the second after I took them out of the oven.
Happy Valentine’s Day AND a very Happy Fiesta Friday #55 to all of us gathering at Angie’s The Novice Gardener. Shout out to Suzanne @apuginthekitchen and Sue @birgerbird for co-hosting this week; you guys are the real MVPs lol.
Who needs a Valentine when you have these cookies?
…Meh, actually I’d still really love Charlie Hunnam to be my Valentine and take me out tonight. But I’ll settle for these instead, I guess.
Red Velvet Brownie Cookies
- 2-2/3 cups (16 ounces) 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate baking chips
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
- 4 eggs
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tsp. instant espresso powder
- 1- 2/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 package (11.5 oz. ) semi-sweet chocolate chunks
- About 1 cup Red Velvet M and M chocolate candies
- Red food coloring
1. In a large saucepan, melt chocolate chips and butter over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat; cool until mixture is warm.
2. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, vanilla and, if desired, espresso powder until blended. Whisk into chocolate mixture.
3. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt; add to chocolate mixture, mixing well.
Squeeze in desired amount of red food coloring. Fold in chocolate chunks; let stand 10 minutes, then refrigerate overnight or at least for one hour.
4. Preheat oven to 350°. Drop by 1/4 cupfuls 3 in. apart onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake 12-14 minutes or until set.
5. Press M and M chocolate candies into tops of cookies, about 4-5 candies per cookie. Cool on pans 1-2 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.