Okay, so Valentine’s Day.
Let’s just all agree that it’s totally a girly holiday, amiiiirrrriiite?
Because last time I checked, guys aren’t super into Valentine’s Day. That’s why they wait until THEEEE last possible second to buy their roses and cards and that’s why the grocery store lines are always so congested with frantic testosterone the night before.
And while I like Valentine’s Day, I can respect why guys don’t like it so much. It’s so girly. And mushy. And omg, shopping for cards is a NIGHTMARE. Valentine’s cards have a way of either sounding super disgusting possessed with the recipient (“you are my night, my day, my breath, my everything, and you make up the very fibers of my soul”) or are terribly generic (“hey you. Happy, ya know, day of Valentines or whatever.”) Isn’t there a normal card that says “You’re awesome. I like you. Happy Valentine’s” without the awkward vagueness or the attached restraining order?
But when I think about it, Valentine’s Day comes strategically after Superbowl Sunday, which is a total guy holiday. I mean, I like the Superbowl if only for the fact that there’s a plethora of delicious food and I am woefully powerless against a myriad of dips and chips. And I’m sure now I’ll watch it since my family’s precious 49ers are playing. But otherwise … count me out.
So us women trudge through Superbowl Sunday, dealing with the STUUUUPID commercials and our angry boyfriends/dads/husbands/brothers bite their nails down to the quick and shout expletives. We make their chicken wings and spinach dip, we replace their old beers with frosty ones, and we deal with having the TV jeopardized by a bunch of buff men tackling each other for 6 hours because deep down, we know that in two weeks, we’ll have our day. And we get a DAY, as opposed to guys, who only get a couple hours of actual game time before it’s over and they’re back on dish duty.
In two weeks, we will be bombarded with roses, chocolates and jewelry, which, I daresay, is far cooler than a myriad of dips (which I’m pretty sure my idea of heaven consists of). And we can play sappy music and watch rom-coms and demand fancy restaurant reservations and smother our lovers with pink and red.
And while guys everywhere will cringe at all of the chocolate and wine and candles and hearts, why not make this day special for them by baking them something manly and lovey, but still special for the occasion. Enter: Red Velvet Cookies n Cream Magic Bars. They’re totally dreamy red velvet bars topped with crushed Oreos, melty cookies n cream chocolate, and sprinkles. You and your man will flip for these, and these tasty treats may even sway him into watching Valentine’s Day with you for the fortieth time.
- 1 box red velvet cake mix
- ½ cup oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 splash vanilla extract
- About 15 Oreos, coarsely crushed
- About 20-25 cookies n cream Hershey's Kisses, unwrapped
- 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
- Wilton Cookies n Cream Sprinkles (available at Walmart and Michael's), optional
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9 inch baking pan with foil and mist lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, oil, eggs and vanilla with a rubber spatula until blended. Press the dough evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for approx. 10 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and immediately top with the crushed Oreos, unwrapped Kisses, and sprinkles in an even layer. Drizzle evenly with the scmilk. Return the pan to the oven and continue to bake, until golden and bubbly, approx. 10-15 minutes.
- Allow the bars to come to room temperature before cutting into squares. Store leftovers airtight, at room temperature, for several days.
Now normally, I’m not a huge red velvet fan. There’s something about it that’s so “meh” to me. But these bars definitely won me over. They’re rich and satisfying–almost like a fudgy chocolate brownie–topped with all those lovely cookies and cream layers. The crushed Oreos add a nice texture to the red velvet “brownie” base, especially when blended with those creamy Kisses nestled alongside. You’ll love these and so will your kiddos and hubbies!
Have a fantastical day!