Move over blondies, Redheads will excite your sweetie with a spicy kick!

Redheads


(makes 9 squares)


(Adapted from The Joy of Cooking: 75th Anniversary Edition)


1 cup all purpose flour


1/4 teaspoon baking powder


1/8 teaspoon baking soda


1/8 teaspoon salt


1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper


1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, unsalted


2/3 cup light brown sugar


1/4 cup sugar


1 egg


1 egg yolk


1 tablespoon light corn syrup


1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla


1 tablespoon (or more) red food coloring (gives them a reddish tint)


1 cup pecans or walnuts, toasted and chopped (optional)


Garnish:


Mixture of sugar, cinnamon and a little cayenne pepper


Red Hots candies


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8 baking pan, or line with parchment or foil and spray with cooking spray. Sift flour and rest of dry ingredients (through spices) together.


2. In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium-low heat and simmer until its just light brown and faintly nutty in aroma, about 7 min. Remove from heat.


3. Stir both sugars into melted butter. Let cool for a few minutes.


4. Stir eggs, yolk, corn syrup, vanilla and food coloring into butter/sugar mixture until completely incorporated.


5. Stir dry ingredients into wet mixture in 3 parts, folding each addition in until almost completely incorporated. Stir in nuts (if using). (The batter is supposed be very gooey so don't add extra flour.)


6. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes, cut, garnish and serve!

Move over brownies and blondies- here comes their more fabulous and feisty cousin, the Redhead! It's my personal take on a blondie/brownie — a little sweet, a bit nutty, with a spicy little kick at the end! If I were a baked good, I'd definitely be this one (and I'm a redhead too, coincidence?).

I complain about not really being much of a baker, but these one-bowl delights are so easy to prepare and definitely worth the (minimal) effort. I suggest serving them topped with ice cream or whipped cream and sprinkled with a mixture of cinnamon, sugar and cayenne, and some Red Hots candies.

Want to bake up something to ignite the flames of passion (or your tongue) this Valentines Day? Then these will be a sure fire hit, because everyone knows: redheads do to it best.

Recipe after the break:

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