Merlot Cupcakes

cupcakeAnyone who knows me knows I have a thing for cupcakes.  I like to bake them, eat them, just seeing a cupcake puts a smile on my face!  I try to make at least one batch a month, and I prefer “different” flavors beyond basic chocolate or vanilla.  I like the idea of drunken – or adult – cupcakes, maybe because they combine two of my biggest vices, alcohol and cupcakes!  I’ve made some great margarita ones in the past (bring on the tequila!) that I will most likely make again around Cinco de Mayo.  About a month ago, I was trolling Pinterest (again) and came across this recipe and decided that they would be perfect for Valentine’s Day.

I used this organic cake mix and followed the directions on the box for the milk, oil, and eggs, then added in chocolate chips.  You’ll notice I didn’t add wine to the cakes themselves.  I made a batch for a party in January and followed the linked recipe exactly, adding wine in place of the other liquids.  When I tasted the cake, I didn’t taste wine at all.  My partner, who doesn’t really like wine (I know, right?!?!) said he tasted it and didn’t want anything to do with them after that.  So because to me I felt like not tasting the wine sort of “wasted” it (I used good wine in the recipe), and because my partner was disappointed that he tasted it TOO much, I did not add it in the batter this time.  But I do follow the merlot icing recipe because you DO taste the wine, even for someone with quite an immunity such as myself ;), and it is delicious.  I leave the icing off of a few for my partner and he gobbles them up.  Since I made these as a valentine for friends, I topped each one with a conversation heart, which I had plenty left over from my conversation heart vodka. P.S.- Although I am a cupcake addict, I’m not a great decorator, for me flavor trumps presentation, so I will probably never post a beautifully decorated cupcake that I’ve made, please bear with me on the photos.  🙂

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