Mulled Wine Muffins

Here’s a story I think we can all benefit from.

I had had a long day at work, and I needed a drink.  An adult beverage.

So I walked over to the liquor store, after practically running through the cemetery between my apartment and the liquor store (because ghosts are real and so are mermaids), and perused the scant aisles until my eyes fell upon a jackpot: 2 for $8!

Two bottles of red wine.  Eight dollars.  Cha-ching.

I happily pranced home (aside from when I had to walk/run through the cemetery again, where which I felt so frightened that I had to call home for moral support) with my bargain wine and placed them proudly on the kitchen counter.

Then I opened one.  It was intolerably bad.  I wished I had cooking wine to supplement the awfulness that came from that bottle.

Two bottles of red wine.  Eight dollars.  What was I expecting?  And what on earth am I supposed to do with the rest of this stuff?

But you know what they say: When life gives you putrid wine, make mulled wine cupcakes!

I also made up for it by making strawberry-basil martinis.

This is a very untraditional mulled wine recipe, because I had minimal oranges and more grapefruit.

I also went the infused-sugar route with the cupcake batter.

Sigh.  Yet another missing household necessity.  Cupcake liners.

Mulled wine icing.  Who knew?  To be honest, I had extra mulled wine and the last thing I wanted to do was drink it.  But even worse than drinking it was dumping it.  So I iced it.  Don’t be frightened.  These are actually really good.

Mulled Wine.

750mL bottle of cheap, horrible red wine
1/2 cup sugar
juice from an entire red ruby grapefruit
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 orange, sliced thin, setting aside about five slices for the cupcakes

Throw everything into a pot and let simmer for 30 minutes.  Let it cool and set aside.

Mulled Wine Muffins.

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon clove
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup plain greek yoghurt
2/3 cup mulled wine, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

To infuse the sugar, place in a bowl with leftover orange slices from the mulled wine and let sit for at least half an hour.  Take out the oranges before mixing.

Whisk together dry ingredients and spices in a medium-sized bowl.

Beat the butter and infused sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the yoghurt and eggs and mix until just blended.

Alternate lightly folding the dry ingredients and mulled wine into the sugar mixture until thoroughly combined.

Fill cupcake liners or well-greased cupcake pan about 3/4 full.

Bake for 25 minutes or until a fork or toothpick comes out clean.  Makes 12 cupcakes.

Mulled Wine Icing.

1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1/4 cup mulled wine
1/4 cup cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat sugar, wine, and vanilla together until smooth.  Add cream cheese and mix until creamy.  Drizzle on cupcakes.

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