Red Velvet Brownies & Red Velvet Cookies

TWO Desserts – Red Velvet Brownies and Red Velvet Cookies with Eggnog Frosting using the same ingredients for twice the holiday cheer!

Thank you McCormick for sponsoring this post.  All opinions are my own. 

Have you gotten your holiday baking on yet?!  I love the holiday season when the aroma of Snickerdoodle Bars, Caramel Popcorn, Gingerbread Brownies, and Pecan Cheesecake fill the air – and my belly.  And now I am so excited to bring you TWO new holiday baking treats – because what’s better than one classic holiday flavor? Two of course!

These soft and chewy Peppermint Red Velvet Brownies and Peppermint Eggnog Cookies are sure to be the hit of the season and they use the same ingredients for double the flavor and festive fun!

What is Red Velvet?

When it comes to the holidays, red velvet is the perfect choice because it is festively red and the perfect backdrop for holiday garnishes such as crushed candy canes or sprinkles.

If you have ever wondered where “red velvet” comes from, it originated way before food coloring. Before food coloring, red velvet cakes were more scarlet. In fact, the color was created solely by a chemical reaction between the vinegar, cocoa and buttermilk (like the brownies below!).

Once the formulation of cocoa powder changed, this red effect no longer occurred, and food coloring was added to once again create the red hue.

Today, red velvet refers to vanilla and cocoa flavored baked goods that are dyed red. They are soft, chewy, chocolaty deliciousness that you may just want to bake all year round!

The smooth texture of the fine crumb cake is why we describe it as “velvet.” It is one of my favorite treats for this reason!

Peppermint Red Velvet Cookies

These Peppermint Red Velvet Cookies are the quintessential holiday cookie.  They not only are a deep cheerful red and crazy soft, they are infused with McCormick Peppermint and McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract, so they taste like Christmas through and through.

If you’ve never tried McCormick Pure Vanilla and McCormick Peppermint Extract – you can truly taste the difference! I use their vanilla extract in every single baked good and their peppermint extract will make everything merry and bright, including these Peppermint Red Velvet Cookies.

These melt-in-your-mouth Red Velvet Cookies don’t require any chilling of the dough and they bake up thick and chewy, soft, and irresistible (a win for any holiday baker!).

To top it all off, they are smothered in luscious Eggnog Cream Cheese Frosting that is spiked with McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract, McCormick Ground Cinnamon and McCormick Ground Nutmeg for a round subtle holiday flavor through and through.  I love this frosting SO much I’ve already used in my Eggnog Cake and Eggnog Cookies.  And pretty soon, I’m sure I’ll just be eating it by itself.

These Red Velvet Cookies are beautiful in their simplicity of contrasting white and red or you can dress them up with crushed candy canes, sprinkles candy or festive designs.  The possibilities are endless – and so is the deliciousness!

I always get questions about whether or not you can freeze cookie dough or cookies and the answer is yes and yes!  You can freeze the Red Velvet Cookie Dough OR you can freeze the Red Velvet Cookies with the frosting, here’s how:

  • Drop balls per instructions onto parchment/nonstick lined baking sheet without touching – you should be able to fit the whole batch onto one cookie sheet.
  • Place the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze the balls until outsides are hard (about 1-2 hours).
  • Transfer to a freezer size plastic bag and freeze.
  • Cookie dough should freeze well for up to 3 months.
  • To BAKE:  Place frozen cookie dough balls on a lined baking sheet and bake according to instructions, adding a couple extra minutes to cook time

HOW TO FREEZE BAKED RED VELVET COOKIES WITH FROSTING:

  • Fit as many baked Red Velvet Cookies on a parchment/nonstick mat lined baking sheet without touching.
  • Place the baking sheet(s) in the freezer and freeze until solid (about 1 hour).
  • You can now freeze individual cookies by placing them each in sandwich bags, OR to freeze a batch of cookies:
  • Top frozen cookies on baking sheet with a layer of parchment paper and layer with another layer of frozen cookies (that you have frozen on a separate sheet).  Continue to layer and stack as needed.
  • Wrap entire baking sheet securely in layers of plastic wrap.
  • To THAW TRAY:  Take cookie tray out of refrigerator and unwrap so that the condensation doesn’t form and make them soggy.  Let sit at room temperature for several hours.
  • TO THAW INDIVIDUAL COOKIE:  Take cookie out of the sandwich bag and let sit at room temperature, warm in the microwave at 10 second intervals or warm it in the oven for a few minutes.

Peppermint Red Velvet Brownies

When your Red Velvet Cookies are baking in the oven, it’s time to whip up some Peppermint Red Velvet Brownies because you already have ALL the ingredients out and it’s as simple as mixing them together, pouring into ONE pan and baking!

These Red Velvet Brownies are rich, soft, chewy and chocolaty with a peppermint flair that’s complimented by the sweet and tangy Eggnog Cream Cheese Frosting.

The Red Velvet Brownies are as easy as whisking your dry ingredients together and whisking your butter, sugar, cocoa powder, McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract, McCormick Peppermint Extract, red food coloring and eggs together, and then folding them together.

The Red Velvet Brownies also get smothered in the same outrageously delicious Eggnog Frosting, so you can just double the frosting recipe when you’re frosting the Red Velvet Cookies for no extra work! The delectable Eggnog Frosting adds yet another layer of can’t-stop-eating-deliciousness to these already fabulous brownies.

As far as making these Peppermint Red Velvet Brownies even more festive, you can either garnish with crushed candy canes, frost your individual brownie squares like presents, cut into triangles and frost like Christmas trees, or use cookie cutters and cut them into festive shapes.

No matter how you cut them, these Red Velvet Brownies and Red Velvet Cookies will deliver twice the holiday flavor and twice the holiday cheer, and are guaranteed to be a new family, neighbor, and friend favorite!

 

Red Velvet Brownies

These Red Velvet Brownies are rich, soft, chewy and chocolaty with a peppermint flair that’s complimented by the sweet and tangy Eggnog Cream Cheese Frosting. You can festive brownies by garnishing them with crushed candy canes, frost your individual brownie squares like presents, cut into triangles and frost like Christmas trees or use cookie cutters and cut them into festive shapes.
Servings: 36 brownies
Total Time: 55 mins
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins

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Ingredients

Brownies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter melted (2 sticks)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Peppermint Extract
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Eggnog Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 oz. Cream Cheese softened to room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter softened at room temperature
  • 2 cups Powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons eggnog plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon McCormick Ground Nutmeg

Instructions

Red Velvet Brownies

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil so it overhangs slightly (so you can lift brownies out later) and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Mix flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • In a separate large bowl, whisk butter, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, peppermint extract and food coloring together until well combined. Add eggs to the batter one at a time, beating after each addition just until incorporated. Fold in flour mixture just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips just combined. Pour batter evenly into prepared pan.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Let brownies cool completely before frosting.
  • Once cool, you can cut brownies into squares (presents), triangles (Christmas trees) or use cookie cutters to cut desired shapes.

Eggnog Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Beat cream cheese, butter, 2 tablespoons eggnog and vanilla extract together until smooth. Gradually beat in powdered sugar, adding additional eggnog if necessary, to reach desired consistency. Beat in cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Frost brownies once completely cooled. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container on the counter for 2 days, then refrigerated.

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RED VELVET COOKIES

  • Serves: 24 Cookies
  • Prep Time:  25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes/batch

INGREDIENTS

Cookies

  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Peppermint Extract
  • ¼ cup sour cream

Eggnog Cream Cheese Frosting

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or nonslip mats. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Using stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg, food coloring, vanilla extract and peppermint extract and beat until combined about 30 seconds.
  4. Reduce speed to low and add half of the flour mixture, followed by sour cream, then remaining flour mixture and mix until combined.
  5. Drop cookie dough by 2 tablespoon mounds onto prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 ½ inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees F until center are set, 10-12 minutes.  Let cookies cool for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
  6. FROSTING:   Beat cream cheese, butter, 2 tablespoons eggnog and vanilla extract together until smooth. Gradually beat in powdered sugar, adding additional eggnog if necessary, to reach desired consistency. Beat in cinnamon and nutmeg.
  7. Frost cookies once completely cooled. Garnish with candy canes or sprinkles (optional). Brownies can be stored in an airtight container on the counter for 2 days, then refrigerated.

You might also like these holiday Recipes:  

Gingerbread Whoopie Pies

Poke Turtle Brownies

German Chocolate Cheesecake

Nutella Cookies

Turtle Cookies

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4 Comments

  1. Mary Prater says

    I can’t see the bake degree or time on the cookies….

    • Jen says

      Hi Mary! It’s in step 5 – 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees F or just until the centers are set. Enjoy!

  2. Mary Prater says

    I made the Red Velvet cookies at Christmas and hands down the BEST Cookie EVER! This will be my all time favorite. They are amazing served warm. A few seconds in the microwave and they are fabulous. I am making these tonight with blue coloring for a winter themed birthday party.

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment Mary! I’m so pleased you loved the Red Velvet Cookies and I agree, they are magical warmed! What a fun idea to swap the red food coloring for blue – love it!

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