Most of us have our favorite brownie recipe, whether it be a familiar
family recipe, a rich contemporary recipe or Costco’s box preparation.
In any event, the 2008 Zinfandel elevates not dark chocolate, but
sweeter milk chocolate to a fit-for-wine dessert. This vintage is lower
in pepper flavors and seems sweet. After much experimentation, that is,
delving into the bag of mixed dark and milk chocolates, we have found a
lighter weight chocolate works well here. Cranberries add a zing and
showcase the fruit flavors.
½ c dried cranberries
Zinfandel to cover cranberries, about ½ cup
Brownies from scratch or mix
Place the cranberries in a cup, top with Zinfandel to rehydrate
Meanwhile, prepare brownie batter. I think my old recipe from an index
card from my Mom was originally from the Baker’s Chocolate Package, but
I’m not certain. It certainly works.
2 squares (oz) unsweetened chocolate
¼ c butter or 1/3 c Crisco
1 c sugar, (I’ve been known to use ¾ c)
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 c flour
½ tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
½ c walnuts, chopped, optional
Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler (I told you this was an
old recipe) or in a thick saucepan over low heat. Beat sugar and eggs
together until creamy, add vanilla. Add chocolate and butter slowly,
stirring constantly. Add flour mixture and walnuts. Drain cranberries
(what you do with the wine is your business!) pat dry and add to
Bake 350 degree oven in an 8 x 8 inch square pan for about 25 minutes
or until passes toothpick test. These are cakelike, so the toothpick
should come out clean. Cool before cutting or they will crumble.
Serve this poolside with a glass of 2008 Zinfandel. You can swim laps
first to be virtuous, or have the kids swim laps while you watch.