Lemme tell ya something. Red velvet cookies make for one helluva fantastic Valentine’s Day treat. First of all, they’re red. ‘Nuff said. Secondly, they’re indulgent and oh so gooey when fresh outta the oven. And, lastly, these red velvet cookies are just a really delicious treat you should share with everyone you love. So there you have it, no excuses. Plenty of reasons to bake some up for V Day!
A Bit About Red Velvet
Apparently, no one really knows from where or when red velvet originated, but lemme tell ya, it doesn’t matter much to me cuz it’s delicious! I describe it as subtley chocolatey with just a slight taste from the buttermilk, which you probably wouldn’t even notice if you didn’t know it was there. And, typically red velvet has cream cheese frosting on it to complement the flavor. Here, I used white chocolate chips which bring a sweetness to this cookie that goes oh so well.
Red in Red Velvet
Of course, we cannot forget to talk about the distinctive red color in red velvet. In most recipes for red velvet, red food coloring is used. Likewise, I use red food coloring here to bring a rich red color to these cookies. A note of caution regarding red food coloring – it tastes bad. Like really bad. Let me give you a for instance.
When my younger daughter Alexandra was turning 4, she wanted an Ariel cake (from the Little Mermaid). If you know anything about Ariel, she has long, luscious red hair that surprisingly stays beautiful whether she’s swimming in the ocean or not (not really relevant, but interesting all the same). Anyway, so I’m sure you can tell where this is going, but I spent a lot of time and a lot of red food coloring to make this Ariel cake. It looked fantastic! However, I watched in horror as Alexandra and her little friends took their first bites and literally spit out the cake! One of them actually said, “this tastes terrible!” Little did I know what I know now, which is red food coloring tastes, well, terrible. My point here is, as the recipe states, do yourself a favor and buy something called no-taste red gel food coloring. And you, my friend, will be saved from the awful experience of having your baked goods spit out in disgust. (hopefully your friends are a bit more polite than those 4 year olds, but I don’t blame them one bit).
Tips for Making this Recipe
- Use gel food coloring (versus liquid) as it does not alter the texture of the cookie dough, you will use far less of it than you would liquid food coloring, and you’ll obtain a more vibrant color
- Be sure the red gel food coloring you buy states on the label that it is no-taste red. See story above for why. Craft stores, such as AC Moore and Michaels, Wilton, and Amazon all sell no-taste red
- I get it, buying a whole container of buttermilk to only use three tablespoons of it in this recipe kinda seems like a waste. Unless you’re gonna make tons of buttermilk pancakes before it expires, I recommend you pour the unused buttermilk into ice cub trays (be sure to shake it well before pouring), freeze, then store the frozen cubes in a ziplock bag in your freezer. You can grab however many cubes you need for your next recipe and thaw or defrost in the microwave
- Always stick a few extra chocolate chips into the top of your cookie dough balls before baking. It makes the cookies look more appealing and adds more chips – who doesn’t want more chips?! If you find, however, that those white chocolate chips brown too much on top while baking, simply stick them in the cookie dough halfway through the baking time rather than before baking
- For this recipe (and frankly, all recipes in which I use cocoa powder) I use Guittard’s Cocoa Rouge Cocoa Powder. It has a rich reddish color to it and, in this recipe, it really enhances the red in the red velvet. If you can’t find Guittard or don’t feel like buying another can of cocoa powder, regular cocoa powder will do just fine and will not alter the taste
Red Velvet Cookies
Red velvet cookies make for one helluva fantastic Valentine’s Day treat! Bake some up today for the ones you love. And, don’t forget to give yourself some love, too.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 14 cookies 1x
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Bake
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 whole large egg + 1 egg yolk, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- ½ – 1 teaspoon no-taste red gel food coloring
- 1 ¼ cups cake flour
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 cups white chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees (if you have convection, turn it on). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats
- Prepare Dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, add cubed butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Turn mixer on low for a few seconds, then gradually increase speed to medium-high, mixing for about 3-4 minutes until well incorporated and fluffy. Turn mixer to low and add egg and egg yolk then buttermilk and vanilla. Turn mixer off and carefully add red food coloring. Mix on medium for about 30 seconds until well incorporated, stopping to scrape down the sides and bottom with a rubber spatula, as needed to ensure red color is evenly mixed and there are no clumps of food coloring in the bowl. With mixer off, add in both flours, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Turn mixer on low and stir until just combined. Do not overmix. Stir in chocolate chips. Turn mixer off and knead the dough a bit with your hands to ensure chocolate chips are evenly incorporated. Using a large cookie scoop, portion dough and roll between your palms to make a smooth ball. Place about 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. I stagger 6 balls on each cookie sheet
- Bake: Bake in preheated oven for 4-5 minutes, if using convection (6-7 minutes in a conventional oven) then rotate trays and bake for another 4-5 minutes (6-7 minutes for conventional oven). Cookies should look set on top with no raw batter spots peeking through. Allow to cool for 10 minutes on trays then transfer to wire racks. These are best eaten warm!
These cookies can be frozen and baked later or just a few at a time (one the best ways to do it!) – after you roll the dough into balls, place on baking sheet in a single layer and place in the freezer for at least an hour. Transfer to freezer-safe ziplock bag for up to 3 months. I prefer to bring the cookie dough up to room temperature before baking.
Keywords: red velvet, Valentine’s Day, treats, cookies, white chocolate, best cookies