Red Wine brownies are an incredibly decadent and delicious adults-only dessert! This rich, fudgy brownie recipe is the best way to have your wine and eat it too!!
Not to sound like a
raging alcoholic overly excited wine enthusiast, but I love me some wine. I mean, I really love wine. I've even looked into opening my own winery, but quickly ruled it out when I realized I'd rather just drink it. And cook with it of course, because wine-flavored food is also good. Especially chocolate. Mmmm... wine and chocolate.
My only problem in cooking with wine is that most people recommend using wine that you enjoy drinking. But it's wine I enjoy drinking! How can I possibly cook with the wine if I am also busy drinking it? Buying two bottles seems a little excessive, but I suppose for the sake of good food... 😉
I was first inspired to make red wine brownies when I encountered brownies made with powdered red wine skins from my Orange Glad dessert subscription box. I thought it would be even better to make brownies with actual wine, because real wine is always better. I decided to re-hydrate my cranberries in the wine to intensify the wine flavor and give you a nice alcoholic berry burst when you bite down. We only had the pomegranate infused cranberries around so I used those and they were soooo good with the wine. Highly recommend.
Normally, I am not really a nuts-in-brownies kind of gal, but with these red wine brownies, I like the contrast of sweet cranberries and walnuts. If you really want to get into it, I recommend finding chocolate covered nuts. The chocolate melts while baking, of course, but just adds to the extreme fudginess of the brownies, making them much more decadent.
To spare you the agony at the thought of using all your wine in this dessert, rest assured, this recipe only calls for ¾ cup of red wine. Phew! The rest you can enjoy while you wait for your brownies to finish baking - I promise I won't tell!
This brownie recipe is perfect for you if you enjoy a really fudgy, chocolate brownie with a crisp, slightly chewy top.
This is basically the perfect brownie for adults. You need to make these brownies.
Tips for baking the BEST red wine brownies:
I used to recommend all full-bodied wines, or any red wine that you love to drink. After a bit more research and experimentation, I realize that it is best to go with sweet reds and dessert wines. They are still amazing with any red wine and I still recommend this recipe to use up any leftover wine you may have around, but for the best experience, go for something sweet.
Many people ask if they can substitute the dried cranberries for other dried fruit. I haven't tried the recipe with anything besides dried cranberries, but I believe some dried fruits like dried cherries would work really well here. If you want to get a little crazy with it, try dried strawberries and report back on how that tastes!
I've also had a few bakers ask if they can omit the fruit and nuts altogether. The answer is yes! I know not everyone enjoys mix-ins in their brownies so feel free to take them out. My only warning is this: if you are taking out the dried fruit, you have to reduce the amount of wine in the brownies because the fruit soaks up and retains some of the wine. Without reducing the amount of wine, the brownie batter will be too liquidy and affect the end texture and baking time. I recommend using just ½ cup of wine in the brownies if you are not using the dried fruit.
I know there are a lot of people who can only eat gluten-free. I am not a gluten-free baker. I tend to look to The Bojon Gourmet and Snixy Kitchen for that. I can say that if you use an all-purpose gluten-free flour, you should be able to follow the recipe exactly the same. I have used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour and have never been able to tell the difference from traditional all-purpose flour.
Red Wine Brownies Recipe with Drunken Cranberries
- ¾ cup 177 mL red wine
- ½ cup 60 g dried cranberries
- 1 ¼ 156 g cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup 115 g salted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 6 oz 180 g dark or semi-sweet chocolate
- 3 large eggs
- 1 ¼ cups 250 g sugar
- ½ cup 41 g unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup 63 g chopped walnuts (optional)
- In a small bowl, mix the red wine and cranberries together and allow to sit for 30 minutes to an hour or until the cranberries look plump. You can gently heat the wine and cranberries on the stove or in the microwave to speed up the process.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and grease and flour an 8 by 8 inch pan.
- Mix flour and sea salt in a bowl and set aside.
- In a bowl over boiling water, heat the butter and chocolate until just melted and mixed together.
- Remove the bowl from heat and beat in the eggs one at a time. (If the bowl seems very hot, you may want to let it cool for about 5 minutes before adding the eggs).
- Add the sugar and cocoa powder and mix, then add the flour and mix well.
- Mix in the red wine and cranberries. Fold in walnuts, if using.
- Pour the mixture in the baking pan and bake for about 50 - 55 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out with only crumbs.
- Allow the brownies to cool in the pan about about 25 - 30 minutes, then remove to cool completely on a wire rack.