Here in the South, one cake that is a favorite, besides pound cake, is the classic Red Velvet cake. This beautiful cake is especially common at Christmas and Valentine's Day, of course due to its vibrant red color. There are many good recipes for this classic cake and I did an article on it last year at the Christmas holiday season. If you didn't see it, here's the link that'll tell you about this southern cake and includes an outstanding recipe for it:
There may be times where you would like a good Red Velvet cake, but your time is short. Here's a solution to making it and that's into bar cookies. The recipe I'm sharing is for "Red Velvet Bars" and it'll remind you a lot of the classic cake. The recipe begins by using, easily enough, a Red Velvet cake mix. To it, red food coloring, along with an egg and butter, are mixed into the cake mix to form the base of the cookies. This mixture is spread into a 9x13 inch pan. Over the top goes a mixture of cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. That's poured over the base and it goes into the oven. When it's done and has cooled, slice it into bars and they're ready to go!
Red Velvet cake mix has been around for a while and you shouldn't have trouble finding it. However, if you do happen to not be able to find it in the stores, German Chocolate cake mix will work, too. Simply use that instead, along with the other ingredients called for in the recipe and you'll still have a great pan of bar cookies.
And make certain to set this recipe aside for the Christmas and Valentine's seasons. These bars make an attractive appearance on the holiday table and would be a very good gift packed in a pretty tin to give. If you bake Red Velvet cakes a lot during Christmas, you may want to begin picking up some of the red food coloring now and stock up on it, since it tends to become very hard to find during Christmas and Valentine's.
When the occasion calls for Red Velvet cake and you need it fast, this bar cookie will provide a fast and easy solution!
RED VELVET BARS
- 1 pkg. Red Velvet cake mix (see note below)
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 1 (1 oz) bottle red food coloring
- 1 egg
- 2 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
For the base, combine the cake mix, softened butter, red food coloring and one egg. Mix until smooth and uniform in color. Spread into a greased 9x13 inch pan and set aside. For the topping, cream together the cream cheese and sugar. Add the vanilla extract and eggs and beat until smooth. Pour over the base. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting into bars. Yield: about 2 dozen.
Note: if Red Velvet cake mix is unavailable, German Chocolate cake mix may be used in its place.