As a blogger, I spend a lot of time on the internet. Right now, Valentines Day desserts seem to be a hot topic with just about everyone. As I scroll through images of tasty dessert creations, they almost all have one thing in common. They are pink. Or they have pink sprinkles or pink frosting or some other sort of pink decoration on top of them. I have nothing against the color pink….unless it comes from a tube of red dye #40. Then, I am not so thrilled with it. My kids get enough artificial food coloring at school and at their friend’s houses. I decided I needed to find Valentines Day desserts that were naturally pink to serve to my family and came across a lovely brownie recipe from Let’s Dish Recipes. Hers uses a butter cream filling but I decided to try a cream cheese filling instead. They came out quite tasty! You will have leftover filling after finishing the brownies and I find that serving it as a fruit dip with some sliced apples is a good way to use it up!
Let me just say that using raspberries to naturally color and flavor the cream cheese gives it a beautiful color and a deliciously fresh fruit flavor. I am going to try a few more ideas like this…maybe blackberries for purple filling? I wonder if blueberries will make blue filling? If you are creating any Valentines Day desserts over the next couple of weeks, consider skipping the artificial food color in a tube and using fresh raspberries instead!
*NOTE: If you don’t feel like making brownies from scratch you could probably use a box and just divide the batter into 2 pans and shorten the cooking time. They really are very easy to make, though, so give it a try!
Raspberry Creamcheese Brownies
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate
- 1½ cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup flour
- FOR THE FROSTING
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 12 ounces fresh raspberries
- 3 cups powdered sugar, plus additional for dusting
- 2 c. powdered sugar
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
- To make the brownies:
- Melt butter and chocolate over medium low heat in a large sauce pan. Remove from heat.
- Add sugar and stir until well mixed
- Whisk in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Stir in the salt and the vanilla
- Stir the flour in until mixed
- Pour into TWO 8 x 8 inch baking pans lined with parchment paper sprayed with non stick spray (leave an overhang to help remove brownies from pan)
- Bake 18 to 10 minutes at 325 degrees or until set.
- Let cool in pan
- TO MAKE THE FROSTING
- In a small pan, heat 8 ounces raspberries over medium low heat (save the rest for serving). Use a wooden spoon to crush the berries and heat until they release their juices and start to simmer.
- Strain through a fine mesh sieve and retain juice. You should have about ⅛ cup. Use a wooden spoon to press the solids and get the most juice
- Let the raspberry juice cool
- In a large bowl, beat softened cream cheese. Add the raspberry juice and continue beating until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar until mixture is thick.
- TO ASSEMBLE BROWNIES
- Lay one of the brownie squares face down on a cookie sheet.
- Spread the filling on the brownie
- Lay the second brownie on top.
- Chill for 1 hour before cutting
- Dust the top of the brownie with powdered sugar
- Put a small dollop of filling on top of the brownie
- Top with a fresh raspberry
What are your personal favorite Valentines Day desserts?