How do you celebrate Independence Day? It is such a festive summer holiday. People proudly display their patriotism with our nation’s flags and colors. Family and friends gather for food and fun. Cookouts happen everywhere. Grills are fired up and tasty treats are made. One treat I like to bring to a cookout is red velvet brownies with cream cheese frosting. All the deliciousness of a red velvet cake in little squares. Plus, the color works nice for the holiday with an added touch of blue decoration.
I will call my star decoration rustic. It is a nice way of saying I am lacking in decorating skills. I have a great admiration and respect for the people who decorate cakes perfectly. The piping bag is not my friend. I would use sprinkles except that I do not care for eating sprinkles. So rustic piped frosting it is for me. At least it reflects that it is homemade.
The brownies are moist with a bit of a top crust. I have made them a few times and each time the top does crack a little. It is okay because you cover the cracks with the frosting. I like the added texture. I found the recipe on the Smells Like Home blog. The recipe called for white chocolate buttercream but I have a slight allergy to white chocolate. I adapted it with cream cheese frosting. I also adapted the method to use a hand mixer.
Want more recipes for cookouts and the holiday? The Sunday Supper team of bloggers have an incredible list for you. I cannot wait to take a look at every single one. They all sound so good. Be sure to take the time to visit these wonderful blogs and check out all the recipes:
- Tender & Sweet Crockpot Brisket Juanita’s Cocina
- Savory Patriotic Chicken Kabobs Big Bear’s Wife
- Firecracker Salmon Rolls Comfy Cuisine
- Red, White & Blue Grilled Pizza Momma’s Meals
- Baby Back Ribs with Balsamic Peach BBQ Sauce Damn Delicious
- Bubblin’ Brown Sugar Baby Back Ribs In The Kitchen With KP
- Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
- Grilled Hawaiian Teriyaki Beef Mrs. Mama Hen
- Cantaloupe and Prosciutto Salad with Perfectly Grilled Chicken and Potatoes Daddy Knows Less
- Texas Smoked Brisket Doggie At The Dinner Table
- Grilled Chicken in a Blueberry BBQ Sauce Small Wallet Big Appetite
- Chicken Burgers with Curried Cabbage Slaw-Indian Soni’s Food for Thought
- Finger Foods for the Fourth Pescetarian Journal
- Grilled Pork Satays with Peanut Sauce Tora’s Real Food
Salads and Sides:
- Southwestern Corn and Black Bean Salad Supper for a Steal
- Roasted/Grilled Asparagus with Parmesan Katherine Martinelli
- Patriotic Ranch Potato Salad The Meltaways
- Roasted Red Pepper & White Bean Salad Are you hungry
- Texas-Creole Crawfish Potato Salad The Weekend gourmet
- Spicy Italian Peppers in Sauce What Smells so Good?
- Sangria Fruit Salad Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Stuffed Black Olive Cookistry
- Mexican Quinoa Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing Dinners Dishes and Desserts
- Low Fat Pasta Salad Basic and Delicious
- Bean Salad with Pickled Vegetables Diabetic Foodie
- Fourth Sticks In the Kitchen with Audrey
- Tomato and Mozzarella Appetizer Family Foodie
- Red White & Blueberry Ricotta Cupcakes Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
- Red Velvet Brownies Magnolia Days
- S’mores Pastries Daily Dish Recipes
- Red, White and Blue Firecracker Cupcakes Chocolate Moosey
- Caramel-filled Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream The Messy Baker
- Strawberry and Cream Cake Cupcakes and Kale Chips
- White Chocolate Berry Tart Vintage Kitchen Notes
- Red White and Blue Coconut Rum Cake Family Spice
- Individual Red White and Blue Triffles Chelsea’s Culinary Indulgence
- Mini Carrot Cakes Mama’s Blissful Bites
- Plum and Apple Pies Cositas Bonitas
Join in the Sunday Supper 4th of July holiday conversation. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag on twitter. There will be a live chat 5:30 to 6:30pm Eastern Time today (Sunday, July 1st). Tweet your favorite holiday recipes or photos with the hashtag too. Follow the Sunday Supper Pinterest board for even more recipe and cooking inspiration.
What are you doing to celebrate the holiday? My plan is to have a relaxing day with family, friends, good food, and wine. Cheers!
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 ounces red food coloring
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1½ cups sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2½ cups confectioners sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Pinch of salt
- Half-n-half or milk as needed
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 X 8-inch square baking pan. Line the pan with parchment or non-stick aluminum foil. Grease and flour the parchment/foil. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, stir together the cocoa powder, food coloring, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until it is a smooth, thick paste without any lumps of cocoa. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric hand mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of vanilla and beat to combine. Add the cocoa mixture and beat on medium speed until combined and one uniform color. Slowly add the flour/salt mixture and mix on medium-low speed until combined. Do not overmix. Stir the batter with a rubber spatula to ensure the flour is thoroughly incorporated and the mixture is uniform in color.
- Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake 30 to 40 minutes until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the center of the brownies. Remove the brownies from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Cool completely on the rack.
- Remove the brownies from the pan and place on a cutting board. Frost brownies with cream cheese frosting and cut into 16 squares. Refrigerate leftovers.
- In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese with an electric hand mixer on medium-high speed until soft and fluffy. Add the vanilla and salt and beat until combined. With the mixer on medium-low, add the confectioners sugar ½ cup at a time and beat until combined. Add half-n-half or milk 1 teaspoon at a time and beat at medium speed until the frosting has reached desired consistency.
- Note: Reserve a small amount of frosting in a bowl if using for decorating in different colors. Add food coloring and stir to combine. Decorate as desired.