When it comes to Valentine’s Day, there are two things that generally come to mind for traditional gift giving, date night or Galentine’s celebration: wine and chocolate. Now, I’m a wine over chocolate gal, but when you can infuse one into the other, you’re onto something. Last year, I made bacon roses and turned them into a bacon bouquet, which turned out to be a hit beyond Valentine’s Day. I served them at many brunches where they’ve made a nice, edible centerpiece. Something about this time of year, probably the cold weather, brings out my creativity in cooking.
Last week while still in Lima, we had our final ladies night of the year. Each person was asked to bring wine and something to share. Now, seeing as though there would be 15-20 ladies at this event, it was the perfect audience to test run a new recipe. I had bought a nice red Cabernet-Carmenere blend (though a Merlot would’ve been my go-to if I didn’t already have a bottle on hand) earlier in the week and my suitcase was already packed to the max with my favorite take-home bottles. It needed to be used or drank at some point. Then, I thought to myself, “Huh. I wonder if you could make brownies with red wine.” Why not try, right?!
Right. And, this isn’t one of those recipes where you put in two tablespoons of wine and call it a wine recipe. Nope, not here.
So, I went to the store and picked up a fudge brownie mix and a few of the other necessities to put this ship in motion. So, the question on the table is did it work? Two things: 1) It not only worked but exceeded my expectations and 2) these gals loved them to the point where they made an appoint to compliment me on them and ask for the recipe. They were a big hit and a crowd pleaser! So, let’s get those boozy red wine brownies started!
- 1 box of fudge brownie mix (needs to be fudge brownie mix as it’s thicker)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup of red wine; Merlot recommended (An $8-10 bottle should suffice for cooking.)
- Baking pan of choice (all I had available was a 9″ round glass casserole dish)
Note: The brownie package ingredients and directions have been modified to incorporate wine.
- Heat oven as directed on the box for the pan size you are using.
- Mix together only the fudge brownie mix, oil, eggs until smooth.
- Add wine in increments, starting with a half cup, then another quarter. Before you add the final quarter cup of wine, ensure that your mix will withstand the additional wine without becoming overly liquidy or too runny. If you have your doubts, just stick with 3/4c of wine or only add a few additional tablespoons.
- Bake according to box directions, checking every 10 minutes. Keep an eye on your masterpiece the entire time it is baking. This isn’t a “set and forget recipe.” Note: if you are using a 9×9 or an 8×8 baking dish, bake at the recommended temp for half of the listed box time and the remaining time at 325 degrees until you are able to insert a toothpick and pull it out clean, appx. 20-25 min. You can expect the rim of the pan to get a bit crispy and the inside moist and fudgy.
- Let cool. Cut into bite-size pieces and serve with remaining wine – because we don’t want it to go to waste now, do we?
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