Fratelli Perata Winery

Brownies with Cranberries

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.

1/2 c dried cranberries
Zinfandel to cover cranberries, about 1/2 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
1/4 c butter or 1/3 c Crisco
1 c sugar, (I’ve been known to use 3/4 c)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 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 brownie mixture.

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.