I’m not someone who’s ashamed of my nerdiness. I actually wear it on my sleeve, right below my sarcasm. When it comes to Valentine’s Day, it’s a time for both to shine. The boy and I often pretend to be a sugary-sweet, over-the-top corny couple. It’s an inside joke that may induce vomiting if overheard by others, but for us it’s a fun reminder of our in-sync humor. Valentine’s Day provides the ideal environment for this side of us to flourish. For instance, last year I made heart-shaped, bright pink cookies. Since I knew he couldn’t eat the entire batch, I also brought some to work, but cut them jaggedly in half in honor of a particularly difficult client. A client you might say was “breaking our hearts,” ha ha ha…nerd, remember?
I’ve always been fascinated/obsessed with attractive baked goods, but for the same reason costume parties were always my favorite in college, I just can’t say no to a theme. Halloween, Christmas, Fourth of July, you name it, and I’ll make a dessert for it. Valentine’s Day is special, though, because the opportunity for hearts, sugar, chocolate, and pinkness comes wrapped in a bow, just asking to be assembled into something delicious and obnoxious.
This year, I knew I wouldn’t have time to make individual heart-shaped baked goods, but I wanted a brightly decorated dessert to bring to our Valentine’s Weekend (he’s out of town this coming week, so I got a whole weekend). I decided to go with brownies because they come together rather quickly, but are kind of like a blank canvas. A delicious blank canvas, just asking to be stuffed with chunks and chunks of chocolate, then topped with thick cream cheese frosting ready to be decorated with abandon. Or you know, something like that.
Triple Chocolate Love Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting
Triple Chocolate Love Brownies
Adapted from Allrecipes.com’s “Brooke’s Best Bombshell Brownies”
- 1 cup butter, melted
- 1 cups white sugar
- 1 cups light brown sugar, packed
- 1 cups dark brown sugar, packed
- 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips, divided
- 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Allrecipes.com’s top-rated Cream Cheese Frosting recipe.
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar, not sifted
- Pink sprinkles
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Start your love brownie process by mixing the sugars into the melted butter, cup-by-cup. Once the butter and sugar are mixed into one, add the eggs one at a time.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, and salt. Use a fork to combine them all together, then mix into the wet ingredients ever so gradually.
Dig to the bottom of the bowl to ensure that there’s no dry flour lurking. If you’re in the clear, continue with adding the chocolate chips. Use a spatula to fold in the chips until evenly dispersed.
Line a 9×13 inch cake pan with parchment paper. Don’t worry if it doesn’t fit perfectly, or if you have to fold the corners in to make it work. Scoop the batter into the pan, using a spatula or the back of a spoon to spread it evenly.
Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees. Insert a knife or toothpick into the center of the pan when the time’s up, and if it comes out batter free, you’re good to go. Set the pan aside and allow the brownies to cool.
Once your love brownies are cooled, get the frosting together. I strongly recommend waiting until the brownies are fully cooled before doing this. If you don’t, you simply won’t be able to resist spooning the frosting onto the brownies, without thinking about temperature. Frosting prematurely will result in the frosting melting into the brownies, which sounds awesome, but is not nearly as awesome as the crown of thick frosting you’ll get in return for your patience. So hold your horses, mmmk?
Cream together the butter and cream cheese until…well, creamy. Add the vanilla, and then gradually add the powdered sugar. Taste it to make sure it’s good. I promise it is, but you should still probably check it out.
Spread the frosting onto the cooled brownies. And yes, you should use all the frosting. I know, it seems a bit excessive, but what are you, scared? These brownies are all about love, and if the combination of cream cheese and sugar is not the best way to show your love then I don’t know anything about this crazy world we live in.
If you’re making these brownies for your schnookums/sweetie pie/honey bunches (note: names strictly for sarcastic endearment), arm yourself with your decorative tools. I grabbed my pink sprinkles, and sprinkle I did. I poured and I poured, and my brownies shimmered…shimmered like snow, but pink and sugary. Then, to break up the shine and to bring some texture variety, I added about half a cup of white chocolate chips on top of the shimmering pink.
These brownies were everything I’d hoped they would be: rich, deep chocolate in a beautiful, overly decorated getup. The first BOOM of flavor you’re hit with is the tangy, thick, creamy frosting, with the crunch of the sprinkles on top. Then you bite into the thick, fudgy base, where no two bites are the same. Some are mixed with white chocolate, some with the milder milk variety, while others are purely dark.
The boy knew treats of some sort were coming his way. One night last week I mysteriously didn’t talk to him for a few hours, and then when I finally picked up the phone I admitted to sweating from my high sugar intake (don’t judge me, you try making that frosting and not having the same problem). Turns out my sugar fever was worth the effort, cause these were a big hit. The boy dove right in, muttering “phenomenal” all the while.
I know that these brownies are girly, and some might scoff at naming them “love brownies.” To those people I say this: smile and eat some chocolate, because this day is about love in all ways, shapes, and sizes. Well, love and pink things, that is.