Brownies are always a winner for kids and adults alike and a creamy pink buttercream frosting atop a deep, rich chocolate cake brownie is a perfect mix for Valentine’s Day. Adding rosewater to the buttercream frosting elevates it to a more “wow” treat.
How to get the “Pink” in baked goods
You might want pink or red colors to play with a holiday theme and red berries are usually the go-to flavors for mixing with chocolate. I used red jams, like strawberry and raspberry. Currant and cranberry would also be good.
Although the specialty jams added wonderful depth of flavor to the brownies, the color melded into the dark chocolate and did not stand out enough.
I decided to bring out the pink color in the icing, where it could really shine. If you really want a pink or red color to your icing however, you’ll need to add a bit of food coloring. The good thing is, they have made food color gels so much better and safer these days.
Adding some rosewater to the icing added a subtle flavor that seemed to enhance the “idea” of pink blossoms. I sometimes use rosewater in my jams, and love the delicate taste of it if you don’t go overboard.
Strawberry Brownies with Rosewater Icing
Ingredients for Brownies
- ¾ cup unsalted butter softened at room temp
- 1 ¼ cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¾ tsp instant coffee powder espresso preferably
- 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- ½ cup strawberry or raspberry preserves
Ingredients for Frosting
- 2 cups powdered sugar sifted
- ½ c. 8 Tbsp butter, unsalted and at room temp.
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 2-3 Tbsp heavy cream 35% fat whipping cream
- ¼ tsp rosewater
- 3-4 drops red food coloring
To make the brownies:
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 9 x 9-inch baking pan with butter and lightly dust with flour. Run a sink-full of warm soapy water to toss dirty utensils in as you go (optional, but helpful)
- Cream together room temperature (softened) butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, at medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). If butter is not at room temp, heat slightly in microwave (about 30 seconds), and stir/whisk until smooth. Do not add hot butter to sugar, let it cool slightly.
- Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla and coffee powder and beat until combined.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients to mixer, a cup at a time to avoid the flour flying out of the bowl, and mix on low speed until just combined. Do not over-mix. Fold in chocolate chips with a mixing spoon.
- Spread the dough evenly into the prepared baking pan, making sure it gets into the corners of the pan. Spoon the jam over the top of the brownie batter, as evenly as possible. Swirl the dough into the batter with a butter knife, making sure that it gets deep inside of the batter.
- Smooth out the top of the batter and bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until a knife inserted into the brownies comes out clean. Test for doneness in several areas, as you may get a false positive if you insert knife into the strawberry jam. Cool completely before frosting.
For the Frosting:
- Place sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and add butter in 2 Tbsp increments (to avoid mess), mixing for about 2 minutes on low speed.
- Add vanilla and mix another 2 minutes on low speed.
- Add salt and heavy cream and mix on med-high until soft and fluffy, about 2 more minutes.
- Add rosewater and food coloring ( a drop at a time until you get the pink you desire), and mix until just blended.
These pretty and flavorful brownies were a delight to share with my family. These “limoncello blondies” are the brownies I put in Spring care packages.
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