Make Your Own Gifts – Black Forest Merlot Brownies

Really, can you think of anything better? Brownies. Wine. Tart cherries. Cream cheese. Chocolate chips. Put them all together and you have the perfect home made gift. One that looks like you cooked for hours (even though they are done in no time!), and is decadent enough for the chocolate connoisseur on your list.

Black Forest Merlot Brownies

First I started with our Chocolate Merlot Brownie Mix.

Chocolate Merlot Brownie Mix

This brownie mix is perfect for the dark chocolate lover. It is made with high quality Dutch cocoa (not the cocoa found on the grocery store shelf) and dark, semi-sweet chocolate chips. Make the mix, following the directions (2 eggs, 1/2 cup low-fat, plain yogurt, 1/4 cup Merlot wine) and stir in 1 cup of chopped, drained pie cherries (not cherry pie filling). Bake and let cool completely.

Meanwhile, let 3 ounces of low-fat cream cheese and 1 Tbsp of butter come to room temperature. Beat together with 1 tsp vanilla extract until fluffy. Stir in 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar. Spread over the cooled brownies and chill.

When the frosted brownies are well chilled, melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips in the microwave for 30 seconds or so. Stir to combine and drizzle over the brownies. Chill until set. Cut brownies and enjoy or pack in a tin for the perfect gift!

Note: I made these brownies almost two weeks ago and they are still moist and delicious.  Carry the Black Forest theme even further by topping each brownie with a Maraschino cherry before the final chill.  When making the frosting use Merlot instead of vanilla for a slightly pink, adult frosting!

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About the Author

Renee Pottle, an author and heart-healthy educator, loves to explore and write about the Mediterranean Diet. She blogs at and

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