Saturday, November 24, 2012

FROSTED: It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas...In Everything You Bake

Now that the big Turkey dinner is over and our fridges are full of leftover stuffing, gravy, and pies-we begin to prepare for the next big holiday. Stores are filled with shoppers picking up those Black Friday deals, houses in our communities are slowly being wrapped in those elaborate twinkling lights, and every television station is airing 'It's A Wonderful Life' and 'A Christmas Story'.  So why not join in the pre-Christmas spirit and fill your kitchen with that beautiful holiday red color that reminds us of the red holly berry, Santa's infamous suit, and the glowing nose of that famous flying reindeer?

Satisfy your sweet tooth with some of these amazing red velvet dessert recipes that will not only compliment any upcoming holiday gathering, but will also put you and your family in the mood to put up the Christmas tree, wrap all of those gifts, and donate to all of those families in need. So turn on your favorite Christmas Carols and warm up your kitchen with a few of these ruby red confections . . .

Red Velvet Cheese Ball
(Recipe Via Taste and Tell)

(Makes approximately 16 servings)
  •  8 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups of red velvet cake mix, dry
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips
  • Assorted cookies and/or graham crackers


1.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add in the red velvet cake mix, the brown sugar, and the powdered sugar. Beat until smooth and combined.

2.  Turn the mixture out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap up into a ball and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

3.  Put the chocolate chips on a plate or in a shallow dish. Remove the cheese ball from the refrigerator and unwrap. Roll in the chocolate chips.  Place on a serving plate and serve with cookies or graham crackers.

Red Velvet Marshmallow
(Courtesy of  Tracey's Culinary Adventures)

Coating Ingredients:
  •  1 1/2 cups pf confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup of cornstarch
Marshmallow Ingredients:
(Yields 2 Dozen Marshmallows)
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons of unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 1/2 cup of cold water
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of light corn syrup, divided
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of red velvet cake mix
  • 2 tablespoons of rainbow sprinkles (optional)
Coating Directions:

1.  To make the coating, sift the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch into a large bowl. This recipe makes more than you'll need for 1 batch of marshmallows - you can either scale back (you only need about 1/2 cup total for this recipe) or make a full batch and store the leftovers in an airtight container for the next time you make marshmallows.

 Marshmallow Directions:

1.  Spray an 8x8-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray, and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the gelatin and cold water. Set aside to soften for at least 5 minutes.

2.  In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, 1/4 cup of the corn syrup, the water and salt. Set the pan over high heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches 240 F on an instant-read thermometer. Meanwhile, add the remaining 1/4 cup corn syrup to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Microwave the softened gelatin for about 30 seconds, or until it is completely melted, then add to the mixer bowl with the corn syrup. Turn the mixer on low and let it run until the sugar syrup comes to temperature.

3.  When the syrup reaches 240 F, slowly pour it down the side of the mixer bowl (the mixer should still be on low). Increase the mixer to medium speed and continue beating for 5 minutes, then increase again - this time to medium-high - and beat for about 5 more minutes. Add the vanilla and beat on high for 1 more minute. You'll know the marshmallow is ready when it's opaque and fluffy. Do not overbeat the marshmallow or it will be nearly impossible to fold in the cake mix.

4.  You want to work quickly on these next few steps, or the marshmallow will start to set before you can incorporate the cake mix and get it in the pan. Sift half of the cake mix over the marshmallow and gently fold to incorporate with a rubber spatula. Repeat with the second half of the cake mix. Fold in the sprinkles. Pour the marshmallow into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer the best you can.

5.  Sift the coating evenly over the top and set the marshmallows aside in a cool, dry place for at least 6 hours so they can set.

6.  Turn the marshmallows out onto a work surface that's been dusted with some of the coating mixture. Cut the marshmallows into pieces using a knife or cookie cutter. Dip the sticky edges in the coating mixture.  


Red Velvet Trifle
(Recipe from Fat Girl Trapped In A Skinny Body)

Red Velvet Cake Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 2 oz. red food coloring
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
Chocolate Ganache Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup of half and half
  • 1 cups of dark chocolate, chopped
Mascarpone Whipped Frosting Ingredients:
(Can Substitute 12 ounces of Cream Cheese if you do not like Mascarpone)
  • 8 ounces of Mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 2 cups of heavy whipping cream

 Red Velvet Cake Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans or three 8-inch round cake pans.

2.  Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. In a small bowl, mix food coloring and cocoa powder to form a thin paste without lumps; set aside.

3.  In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla and the red cocoa paste, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as you go. Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beat well, then beat in half of the buttermilk. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then second half of buttermilk. End with the last third of the flour mixture, beat until well combined, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula.

4.  In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda. Yes, it will fizz! Add it to the cake batter and stir well to combine. Divide batter evenly between the cake pans and place them in a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

5.  Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Finish cooling on a wire rack. All the cakes to cool completely before assembling the trifle.

Ganache Directions:

1.  Warm the half and half in a saucepan over medium heat. Allow it to almost boil, but don’t let it boil. As soon as is it really hot, remove it form the heat and stir in the chocolate. Stir until melted and allow it to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Once it has cooled (at room temperature), it is ready to be used in the trifle. 

Mascarpone Whipped Frosting Directions: 

1.  In a large bowl with a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat cream cheese, Mascarpone and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium and slowly pour in whipping cream. Continue whipping until mixture resembles soft whipped cream. This took about 10 minutes.

Trifle Assemble Directions:

1.  Arrange a single layer of red velvet cake chunks on the bottom of the trifle dish. Spoon about 1/3 of the ganache on top of the cake cubes, then spoon about 1/3 of the Mascarpone frosting onto the ganache. Sprinkle the frosting with mini chocolate chips. Repeat layers until you run out of room in your dish (which took around 3 layers). I garnished with some crumbled red velvet cake and a little sprinkling of mini chocolate chips

Red Velvet Pull Apart Bread
(Via Willow Bird Baking)

Bread Starter Ingredients:
  • 1/4 teaspoon of active dry yeast
  • 1 cup of lukewarm water (100-110 degrees F)
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour, plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
Red Velvet Yeast Bread Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 cups of bread flour
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons (1 ounce) of red food coloring plus 1 Tablespoon of water
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
  • 1 cup minus 3 Tablespoons of lukewarm water (100-110 degrees F)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons of table salt
  • 2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Vegetable oil for lightly oiling bowl
 Filling Ingredients:
  • 3/8 – 1/2 cup of granulated sugar (depending on how sweet you like things)
  • 2 Tablespoons of semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Tablespoons of bittersweet chocolate chip
  • 2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
 Cream Cheese Glaze Ingredients:
  • 2 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 Tablespoons of mil
  • Mini chocolate chips for sprinkling

Bread Starter Directions:

1.  Dissolve the yeast in the 100-110 degree water for about 10 minutes. Completely mix in the flour. Cover the bowl loosely and leave it at room temperature to proof for around 6 hours.

Red Velvet Yeast Bread Directions:

1.  Mix the cocoa powder, red food coloring, and 1 tablespoon water into a paste in a small bowl. In a medium bowl, mix together the paste, flour, 1/3 cup sugar, yeast, water, and 1/4 cup of your bread starter (save the rest to use for other recipes). Let this mixture rest for 15 minutes. 

2.  Knead in the salt and butter and then knead for about 10 minutes by hand or about 4 minutes on a mixer fitted with a dough hook, or until smooth and elastic. Scoop dough out into a lightly oiled bowl and cover it with a dish cloth. Let it rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours. Leave the dough in the bowl at this point but fold it in thirds like you’d fold a letter. Recover it and let it rest for 30 more minutes. 

3.  Prepare two 7″x 3″ x 2″ loaf pans by greasing them with butter and flour. Flour a large work surface. Use a dough scraper or sharp knife to help you cut your dough into halves. Turn out half of the dough onto your floured surface, keeping the other half covered.

4.  Roll your dough out to a 15 inch long and 12 inch wide rectangle, lifting corners periodically to make sure it’s not sticking. If it seems to be snapping back, cover it with your damp towel and let it rest for 5 minutes before continuing.

5.  Spread the melted butter over the surface of the dough with a pastry brush and then sprinkle the sugar and chocolate chips over the top, patting them down to ensure they mostly stick. Some will inevitably fall out as you do the following steps — just stuff ‘em back in and don’t worry too much about perfection.

6.  With the long edge of the rectangle toward you, cut it into 6 strips (do this by cutting the rectangle in half, then cutting each half into equal thirds. I used a pizza cutter). Stack these strips on top of one another and cut the resulting stack into 6 even portions (again, cut it in half, and then cut the halves into equal thirds). Place these portions one at a time into your greased loaf pan, pressing them up against each other to fit them all in. Cover the pan with your damp cloth and place it in a warm place for 45 minutes to an hour to double in size. Repeat the rolling and cutting process with the second half of dough.

7.  While the dough rises, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (or 325 if you have a glass loaf dish instead of a metal pan). When it’s risen, place the loaf in the center of the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until dark on top (if you take it out at light brown, it’s liable to be raw in the middle, so let it get good and dark). Cool until just warm on a cooling rack in the loaf pan while you make the glaze. 

Cream Cheese Glaze:

1. Beat the cream cheese until fluffy, and then add sugar and vanilla. Add the milk to thin it to drizzling consistency. Drizzle some of the glaze over the slightly warm bread (save the rest for drizzling over individual slices) and sprinkle it with mini chocolate chips. Serve immediately. 


 Red Velvet Oreos
(Courtesy of Krissy's Creations)

Cookie Ingredients:
(Makes about 15 cookies)
  • 1 cup of All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Tablespoon of Cocoa Powder
  •  3/4 cup of Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Salt
  •  1/2 cup of Unsalted Butter, at Room Temperature
  • 3 Tablespoons of Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon of Red Food Coloring
  •  1 Tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of Baking Soda
  •  2-inch Round Cookie Cutter
Cream Filling Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup of Shortening
  • 1/2 cup of Butter
  •  2 cups of Confectioners Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of Pure Vanilla Extract

1.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and milk and beat until incorporated. Mix in the red food coloring. Combine the vinegar and baking soda in a small bowl, and then mix into the batter.

2.  Transfer the batter to the prepared sheet pan. Using an offset spatula spread the batter until it reaches the edges of the pan and has evened out. Bake the large cookie until it has set, about 7-10 minutes. Allow the cookie to cool completely in the pan.

3.  While the cookie is cooling, make the cream filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the shortening and butter. Add the confectioners sugar and beat until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla. Transfer the filling to a piping bag filled with a large round tip.

4.  Carefully transfer the large cookie to a clean surface. Using the 2-inch round cookie cutter cut out the cookies leaving as little scraps as possible. Place the cookies in pairs, side-by-side. Pipe small rounds of cream filling on one cookie of each pair, top with the other cookie. These cookies last up to 5 days in a sealed container.

Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls
(Recipe by No. 2 Pencil)

Cinnamon Roll Ingredients:
(Makes 24 Cinnamon Rolls)
  • 1 box of  Red Velvet Cake Mix 
  • 2 envelopes of Active Dry Yeast  
  • 2 1/2 cups of warm water   
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt  
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract  
  • 5 cups of all-purpose flour 
Filling Ingredients:
  • 1 stick of softened butter - you can add another stick of butter if you want them really gooey 
  • 1 cup of packed dark brown sugar  
  • 1 cup of granulated white sugar  
  • Cinnamon  
Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 2 sticks of softened butter 
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract 
  • Pinch of kosher salt 
  • 2 packages of softened cream cheese (8 ounces


1.  Combine two packages of active dry yeast with warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir until dissolved. Add cake mix, flour, vanilla and salt. Use dough hook attachment to knead dough together, just for a minute or two. Move to larger bowl, cover, and let rise for about an hour. Punch dough down after an hour, and let rise again for another hour. 

2.  Use plenty of flour on a clean surface and turn dough out.  Shape into a ball, then roll into a rectangle shape, mine measured about 28x17. 
Spread softened butter over dough. Sprinkle with brown sugar, white granulated sugar and cinnamon. Start from farthest edge and roll dough tightly into a long skinny log shape. Slice into 24 rolls. 

3.  Place rolls in two 9x13 pans that have been greased with butter, or sprayed with non stick cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. 

4.  While the rolls are baking, prepare cream cheese frosting. With paddle attachment on the stand mixer, combine room temperature butter with powdered sugar. Beat until well combined, then add vanilla and pinch of salt. Mix again, then while mixer is going, drop cubes of softened cream cheese in the bowl one at a time until frosting is well mixed.
Spread on warm rolls and enjoy!   

Nothing could be better than these red, festive sweets to jump start the winter holiday!! Think of how fantastic these desserts would look on the buffet table of your next holiday gift exchange, as a compliment to a classic red winter-themed engagement party, or as a great seasonal present to give to your neighbors and acquaintances.

So fill your plates with these red velvet goodies and get into the Christmas spirit. Enjoy the crimson inspiration of the holidays with every savory bite. Have a wonderful weekend!


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