Have you ever had an idea, so wonderfully simple, you wonder why it never occurred to you before? They may be few and far between but a few days ago, I had an epiphany. Before I elaborate further, allow me set the scene…
Imagine, if you will, Sunday brunch. The after church (or night of binge drinking) ritual that allows us to eat eggs, bacon and sweet breakfast delights well into the afternoon hours without judgement. It’s a time for family & friends, catching up, and prepping for the upcoming week, all the while surrounded by good food and…cocktails. From Bellinis to Bloody Mary’s, brunch can hardly be considered a success in my book without the inclusion of at least one alcoholic beverage. Insert, the Mimosa.
As you most likely know, a mimosa is simply champagne with topped off with a splash of orange juice. It’s light, refreshing, and bares the quality of adequately complimenting most all brunch cuisine. Oh, and it’s delicious.
On a particularly dreary Wednesday morning, I was sitting in my office willing a mimosa to appear from thin air to give me some spunk. As it is typically frowned upon to drink on the job now a days (progressive company policies…who needs ’em?) and being an advocate for incorporating alcohol into my food (see examples here, here, and, um, here too) I immediately began to devise a recipe to get my fix.
I could go the cupcake route, but that seemed almost too sweet. Then, the epiphany struck – a muffin. The quintessential brunch buffet item made into TWO brunch essentials. Oh my god, I could barely handle my own brilliance and damn near fell out of my chair.
It is of a humorous note that one of my biggest fears is opening a champagne bottle. I have terrifying nightmares of a rogue cork exploding out of a bottle with such pressure that it rivals that of a rocket launcher. I then, of course, get clobbered with said cork resulting in a loss of consciousness , black eye, or welt the size of of a cannonball. Good thing, I had this helpful little guy on the ‘cork’ explaining what not to do:
So here she is, in all her glory: Mimosa Muffins. Just in time for Sunday brunch, or those middle of the week workdays when you just need a little sumthin’ – sumthin’.
Yields: 12 muffins
Difficulty: Quite Easy
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup shortening (I used Crisco)
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons orange zest (divided)
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1 cup of champagne (this is not the time to use the expensive stuff, but by all means go ahead if you’d like. I used Andre Brut. Sexy)
- 2 tablespoons sanding sugar (aka the sugar with the bigger crystals – or use regular table sugar. This will give the muffins a champagne-like sparkle, cute, eh?)
- Preheat the oven to 350, and coat a muffin pan with non stick spray.
- Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
- In a larger bowl, cream the shortening, egg, 1 tablespoon orange zest, and orange juice together using a hand mixer.
- Add the flour mixture to the shortening and egg mixture and fold together.
- Add in the champagne and orange juice and stir together until combined.
- Fill muffin tins about 3/4 full.
- In a small bowl, mix the sanding sugar with 1 tablespoons orange zest.
- Sprinkle the sugar/zest mixture atop the muffins.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden and toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove the muffins from the pan and allow to cool on a towel, cover the muffins with an additional in a towel for a bit (if you can wait). This will help keep the muffins as moist as possible.
You could top these guys with a smear of orange butter (this is a good recipe) but truthfully, these are really good as is. So eat up! Feel free to sip a mimosa, while you eat your mimosa, and then bask in the gloriousness of it all.
Enjoy everyone, and have a safe and happy Memorial Day!