Cynthia Vacca Davis

The Way the Brownie Crumbled

Here’s to you, my friends!

I got to celebrate a graduation with this hard-core, no-frills pan of goodness last week. Did it come with a card? No. What about some festive ribbon around the bottle neck? Also no. Was it at least wrapped in a bit of protective cellophane? Again no. Was it the envy of all the other teams at brewery trivia night—100% no doubt! Wait–you’ve seen the whole “booze-in-a-brownie” trend, right?

No? Of course you haven’t because it’s a gifting option born in the throes of a personal kitchen mishap. Last year, I was making a surprise pie for a friend’s birthday when what we’ll call a severe complication developed—and resulted in a crater just right of center pie. Almost reflexively, I grabbed a knife, cut around the damage and plunked a bottle of wine into that opening (yes I wiped the bottom- I’m not an animal). Voilà! Wine-in-a-Pie! In that moment I accepted that no one would be conjuring mental images of this dessert the next time the phrase “pretty as pie” was bandied about. I also accepted that the unconventional presentation was totally on brand for me. And as for the recipient? It’s a 20+-year friendship…she knows what she’s getting with me. There was a time that pie would have been a goner. I would have been too embarrassed to show up somewhere with something I feared was less than. If I couldn’t hit all the Martha Stuart notes up in the higher register I was just going to hide in shame. Back then, my playbook would have consisted of the following options: 1) come up with a lame substitute gift 2) text a happy-birthday-IOU 3) kill myself trying to remake the whole thing. It would have been a loss, though, had the pie been tossed, because my friend loved it. Also, because I never would have posted the story on social media and found the comment from another friend hoping that she would someday receive an impaled dessert. And I would have missed making her a beer-in-a-cookie-brownie several months later. And we both would have been the less had we not shared the tradition (three is my threshold for a tradition, so, there, we have it) last week with her daughter upon her graduation. I no longer want to be the person who misses out on half an Easter dinner because the bunny cake summersaulted to the ground on the way out the door (actual event). I want to own my mistakes and make the best of them—whether that’s cobbling together the wreckage of a once-socially-acceptable dessert, running out for a veggie tray, or literally anything other than missing out on smiles and laughter trying to achieve perfection (which is really a myth anyway).

Plus, at this point, the people in my life who I am making pies for are in my life because they know who I am and still somehow love me. So now that the alcohol-in-a-baked-good format has achieved tradition status, feel free to adopt this no-fuss crowd-pleaser. Just don’t forget to tag me in the pictures. Those, I must see. Launch Team

Intersexion is coming out in August and pre-orders will begin in just a couple of weeks! The book is going through a final round of proofreading and we’re getting some great feedback from our endorsers. We’re also assembling a Launch Team of enthusiastic pre-release readers who will receive a digital advance copy NOW. Launch Team members will be posting reviews and social media buzz as we reach release day and they are key component of a successful release. I have three more spots available on the Launch Team! If this is an opportunity that interests you, please shoot me an email and let me know!

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“It’s something you need to do a million times: make mistakes, learn from them, and then go out and make

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