White Chocolate and Almond Red Velvet Cookies

White Chocolate and Almond Red Velvet Cookies

White Chocolate and Almond Red Velvet Cookies pretty much says it all, folks! I am giddy beyond belief just making and sharing this soft and decadent cookie recipe! Red velvet anything makes me irrepressibly happy and is just is one of the few chocolate deserts I really go nuts over. Don’t get me wrong Chocoholics, it’s not that I don’t like chocolate or cocoa. Nay nay! Given the choice, however, I’m simply more likely to go after a red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting than the walnut brownie or fudge square (so maybe its a texture or consistency thing).

And here’s what’s funny: after all these years, I had no idea that “red velvet” was little more than red food dye dropped into a chocolate batter (and possibly made with buttermilk) – which makes me think that it is really the cream cheese that I crave or maybe the blending of the two! Either way, this cookie recipe definitely addresses both issues. What’s more, I added white chocolate chips and almonds – you know, to really drive the awesomeness home! *sings* “I found love on a two-way street…”

***A Word About Red Velvet***

According to Wikipedia:

“Red velvet cake is a cake with either a dark red, bright red or red-brown color. It’s traditionally prepared as a layer cake topped with cream cheese or cooked roux icing. The reddish color is achieved by adding beetroot or red food coloring.

Common ingredients include buttermilk, butter, and flour for the cake and cocoa, beetroot or red food coloring for the color. The amount of cocoa used varies in different recipes. Cream cheese frosting and buttercream frosting are most commonly used.”

And…

James Beard [of] American Cookery, describes three red velvet cakes varying in the amounts of shortening and butter, also vegetable oil. All used red food coloring, but the reaction of acidic vinegar and buttermilk tends to better reveal the red anthocyanin in cocoa and keeps the cake moist, light and fluffy. Before more alkaline “Dutch processed” cocoa was widely available, the red color would have been more pronounced. This natural tinting may have been the source for the name “red velvet” as well as “Devil’s food” and similar names for chocolate cakes.”

The Pittsburg Post-Gazette observes:

“One of the first layer cakes was the velvet cake, so named because of its fine crumb, not its color. An early sighting of a velvet cake dates from a recipe book by Dr. Alvin Chase in 1873. He noted that “nice smooth names for things” were in fashion, mentioning velvet cake and velvet cream. Any mention of the color red was a reference to brown sugar, sometimes called “red sugar.” A “red” devil’s food cake was so named because it took on a rusty hue as a result of the chemical interaction of brown sugar, cocoa and buttermilk or vinegar.”

So there you have it, a brief explanation of Red Velvet Cake. While reading the Post-Gazette article, I was especially interested to learn that before 1850 and the production of baking powder, there were no standardized tools or system for measuring ingredients for breads or cakes. A “cup” might have been a tea cup or anything on hand. What a nightmare! And while some still still employ the “dash of this, pinch of that” methodology (I know I do), you have to admit that without measurements, sharing consistant recipes would be virtually impossible. So remember, the next time you’re measuring something, to appreciate the necessity from which all technology is derived.

This recipe is adapted from Momstestkitchen.com. Thank you for sharing those beautiful photos, from which this recipe was definitely inspired.

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A delicious cornucopia of baking ingredients!

HereĀ are the list of ingredients and simple directions:

1 box red velvet cake mix
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
2 eggs
1 cup almond paste
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons buttermilk
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups white chocolate chips
1/4 cup sour cream (optional)
2 tbsp. cocoa powder (optional), 2 cups almonds, sliced or slivered

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Use a non-stick cookie sheet or spray baking sheet spray with non-stick baking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, butter, almond paste, vanilla and almond extract, and buttermilk. Add more cocoa for a richer flavor or add 1/4 cup of sour cream for a smoother less intense chocolate. Then, using a tablespoon, drop softened cream cheese into the batter. and gently swirl in using a butter knife or similar utensil. Remember: you want the swirls, not the complete mix of ingredients so be careful not to over mix. Drop the batter by tablespoons onto the baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle on sliced or slivered almonds and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cookies are set.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheet then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Here are the step-by-step instructions to prepare these magnificent cookies:

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Pour the red velvet cake mix into a mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer is recommended.

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For a richer flavor, if desired, add two tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa. Oh, yeah. I desired.

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Add a teaspoon of almond and vanilla extract each.

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Add two eggs…

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…about two tablespoons of softened butter…

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…and for kicks, a cup of almond paste.

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Pour in two tablespoons of buttermilk.

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And blend until the cookie dough takes on a thick and gooey consistency.

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Use a rubber spatula to push along the sides and beaters if batter clumps.

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The dough is now easier to work in the sour cream. Don’t worry about the change in color…

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…because, as you can see, none of that fantastic color is lost.

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Pour in white chocolate chips, two cups is about perfect.

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Give the dough a stir until your chips are pretty distributed.

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Now clump in your softened cream cheese.

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And with butter knife or similar utensil, slowly mix the cream cheese into the cookie dough using a circular pattern. Be careful not to over mix to keep the “swirl” patterns.

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Onto a non-stick baking sheet, drop the cookie approximately two inches apart.

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Sprinkle in the sliced or slivered almonds, sticking some directly into the cookie.

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And bake for 10-15 minutes to nice soft baked cookie texture. Bake longer for a crispier cookie.

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Once the red velvet cookies are finished baking, allow to cool for a couple of minutes before moving them to a baking rack to continue to cool.

This recipe makes 2 dozen cookies. Enjoy with a big glass of milk!

Please post your comments below!

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1 Comment

  1. Mateo
    Aug 23, 2013

    Smart cookie… Love the almond extract. Gives it a kick!

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