If you love red velvet cake, imagine it in cookie bar form with a layer of cheesecake in the middle instead of cream cheese frosting. Awesomeness.
In case you live under a rock, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. It seems impossible that someone could possibly forget/not know with the amount of paraphernalia at the stores and commercials about “what she really wants” for Valentine’s Day. Don’t get me wrong, love is great and should be celebrated, I just grow tired of all the cliche stuff.
We don’t usually do anything too crazy for Valentine’s Day. In past years we have gone out to dinner the night before or after because restaurants were still offering their special menus. This year will plan to cook dinner together. Not that we don’t do that already but we are going to try something new – homemade tortillas! You know, cause Valentine’s Day falls on a Taco Tuesday and all ;-).
But today’s post is not about tacos as I’m sure you have figured out. Let’s talk red velvet! While I definitely think it deserves more attention year round, I’m not going to deny it’s existence in my kitchen for Valentine’s Day because I cannot resist baking fun holiday treats. Think red velvet cake but chewier and instead of cream cheese frosting you have a cheesecake swirl. Add some festive sprinkles and let the swooning begin!
In a medium bow, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the, egg, yolk, vanilla, and food coloring until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients in three batches until just blended. Fold in the chips by hand. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9×13-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil allowing a little overhang and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Press 2/3 of the cookie dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
In a medium bowl with an electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Mix in the egg and vanilla on low speed just until incorporated. Pour the cheesecake batter over the dough.
Distribute the remaining cookie dough onto the top of the cheesecake batter in teaspoon-sized clumps (I flattened out each piece to evenly cover the cheesecake layer), covering most of the cheesecake batter. Top with sprinkles, if desired.
Bake for about 40-45 minutes, until the top feels dry and firm and the entire pan looks set if given a gentle shake. Move bars to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
Lift the bars out by the overhang. Slice into desired size and store in the refrigerator. Serve cold or at room temperature.