Triple the red velvet which means triple the temptation in these Red Velvet Overload Bars!
When people ask me why I never went to culinary school, I usually give them one of three reasons. A) It’s hella expensive. 2) Pffft…I was BORN a culinary prodigy, Helloooo!!! or D) I’ve never really fit into the mold of a fancy schmancy “classically-trained chef”. Probably because I never understood why people spend hundreds of dollars to eat tiny unborn fish babies and fungi. (And they think I’M the crazy one…)
If I were to describe my personal style, I’d say I’m more of….an experimental chef. Yeah, that’s what I’ll call myself! Experimental! Sounds impressive. I just throw things together and hope to the Gods and Goddesses that it tastes good.
Luckily this “experiment” was a success.
With Valentine’s Day rearing its ugly head, the month of red would not be complete without at least one red velvet decadence to share, which brings me back to my first statement. I may not be a Julia Child (I’m too short), and I may not be a Martha Stewart (I’m too poor), but I do have a lot of creativity and imagination when it comes to desserts!
Of course, creativity and imagination are words most commonly used to describe a 4-year old, sooooo…
You’re probably asking, “What in the heckles was Jillian thinking when she made this very odd-looking treat?” From the looks of it, one might assume that I just couldn’t make up my mind, so I kept adding layer upon layer of whatever sounded good in the moment until there was literally no more room in the pan.
That’s a fair observation.
I mean, look at it. It’s definitely not the prettiest treat…
There’s so many flavors and textures going on, I don’t even know where to begin. However, the first thing you DO need to know is that it’s just as delicious as it is crazy.
From my infamous Ultimate Rice Krispies Treats to my Ultimate Cocoa Krispies Brownies, we all know I’m no newbie when it comes to creating colossal concoctions. So it should come as no surprise that these Red Velvet Overload Bars followed in those exact footsteps.
From bottom to top, we have a fluffy layer of red velvet cake, which I then topped with some of those red velvet Ores we’ve all fallen head over heels for. I followed this up with a sweetened cream cheese filling because nothing goes better with red velvet than the tang of cream cheese. Then I baked it in the oven until it was nice and puffed up!
Once it cooled off, I decided to add a third dose of red velvet LOVEliness to the party by topping it off with a layer of marshmallowy red velvet rice krispies treats. However, before this could happen, I had to come up with some kind of “glue” that would hold the two layers together.
Hmmmmmm….oh, I know!
And this, folks, is how the Red Velvet Overload Bar was born.
Red Velvet Overload Bars
Yields: 16 squares
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 and 1/2 cups red velvet cake mix*
16 Red Velvet Oreos
Cream Cheese Layer:
4 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup Nutella
Rice Krispies Layer:
1/2 cup salted butter
1 cup red velvet cake mix
4 and 1/2 cups mini marshmallows (divided)
3 cups crisp rice cereal
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and line an 8-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Make sure to leave extra overhang on both sides so that you can easily lift the treats from of the pan when they’re done.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the cake mix, butter, and egg until fully incorporated. Spread mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with the Red Velvet Oreos, pushing down slightly.
In the same mixer, combine the cream cheese, egg, and vanilla, and mix on high for about 1-2 minutes. Gradually add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix until smooth and creamy. Pour mixture over the Oreos and smooth into an even layer.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is golden and the center is just about set. It will looked puffed up when you take it out of the oven, but will slowly sink as it cools. Cool completely, then spread Nutella on top.
Red Velvet Rice Krispies Treats: Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, reduce the heat to low and add the cake mix along with 3 and 1/2 cups of the marshmallows. Stir until almost melted. (Mixture should still be lumpy.)
Remove saucepan from the heat, then fold in the cereal and remaining 1 cup of marshmallows until cereal is evenly coated. Dump rice krispies treats into the pan, spreading into an even (very lightly compacted) layer. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares and serving.
*You won’t quite use an entire box of red velvet cake mix.