"Deep red velvet cookies that are soft and chewy and laced with milk chocolate chips."
Like most of the world, I’m on a bit of a cookie kick this holiday season. I’m also a bit obsessed with classic Christmas red colors this year, making me a bit sad that all my decorations stick to a blue, green, and silver theme. This combination is part of why I made the Cherry Pie Cookies last week, but it wasn’t enough.
I needed more.
So when The Boyfriend told me he’d like some chocolate chip cookies in the house, I thought oh, I’ll make chocolate chip cookies alright – red velvet chocolate chip cookies.
I’m the type that reaches for red velvet anything, and for a long time, I thought there was some secret ingredient that made red velvet so much better than regular old chocolate. Turns out the only real secret ingredient is a lot of red food coloring. There might be a few ingredient adjustments to combat the consistency difference of the food coloring, but that’s it. Otherwise, red velvet is just a chocolate cookie in disguise.
But that’s okay.
I’ll still pick red velvet out of the bunch whenever I get a chance.
So even though I knew about the red food coloring in red velvet, my jaw still dropped when I saw just how much of it was required for these cookies – a whole 1 and 1/2 tablespoons! That’s crazy! If you were to use the food coloring droppers you can buy at the grocery store you would need at least 2 tubes to get all the food coloring you need. When I checked my cupboard I only had 1/2 of my red tube left, which obviously meant a trip to the store was in order, but in this case I decided to zip down to Michaels and check out their baking supply.
I didn’t want to end up with more blue, yellow, and green food coloring than I knew what to do with and was hoping Michaels might carry a mega bottle of red food coloring by itself.
As it turns out, I found exactly what I needed in this Red Velvet Bakery Emulsion. The bottle says it adds red color and a rich taste, which perked my interest. Could it be that there is a secret to red velvet taste outside of the extra food coloring? I had to find out.
I substituted the red food coloring in this recipe for the Red Velvet Bakery Emulsion and I have to say I really do taste a difference. Not to completely quote the bottle, but it adds a delicate richness to the cookies that I usually only taste from a fancy bakery. I can tell it’s there but it only enhances the chocolate flavor without masking it (or ruining it). Using the Red Velvet Bakery Emulsion also made my cookies a tad darker red than they would have been if I’d just used food coloring, but I’d definitely go with the extra flavor over a brighter cookie. Personally, I think it made the cookies look as rich as they taste.
The original recipe also called for semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate chips. Semi-sweet is practically the cookie standard, but on this particular day I was craving milk chocolate (probably because I had finally run out of my Puppy Chow Chex Mix a few days before). Now that I’ve had these cookies with the milk chocolate chips I don’t think I could bring myself to make them again without it.
And is it just me, or is it hard to let cookies “cool completely”?
Usually, I can’t stop myself from doing this:
A few of them lasted until picture time, though.
But I can’t guarantee their safety from here on out.
Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 and 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar or dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg room temperature
- 1 tbsp milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 tsp red food coloring (see brand recommendation in post)
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips plus a few extra for decoration
- Place the egg in a small bowl and fill with warm water. This will bring the egg to room temperature while you prepare the other ingredients.
- In a medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together, then set aside.
- With a table top or a hand mixer + large bowl, beat the butter on medium high speed until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Turn the mixer down to medium speed and beat in the brown and granulated sugars until combined, another 2-3 minutes.
- Beat in the egg, milk, and vanilla extract, blending again for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the food coloring and beat until combined.
- Turn the mixer down to low speed and slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. The dough will be sticky. If you'd like the dough to be redder, add more food coloring.
- Add in the chocolate chips and beat on low for another 1-2 minutes until chips are evenly distributed in dough.
- Cover the dough and chill for at least 1 hour, ideally up to 3-5 hours. Dough will be too sticky to work with without chilling first.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Scoop dough and form into 1-2 inch balls. Place balls on the parchment covered baking sheet 2-3 inches apart (about 9-10 cookies per tray).
- Bake for 10-11 minutes. Cookies will be domed and may not have fully spread during baking - if so, use the bottom of a glass to lightly flatten the cookies.
- Allow the cookies to cook on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. While on the wire rack, press a few chocolate chips into the surface of the cookies, breaking the dough just enough to ensure they will stay put once cooled.
- Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 7 days after baking.