Sangria Cupcakes

Here begins a G-rated version of summer's most colorful cocktail. Three layers of sweet and fruity come together simply, and beautifully, in a series of savvy shortcuts. They're one tasty way for foodies of all ages to satisfy their craving for spirits. 

Have fun with the roasted grapes. With just the right amount of sweet, they are wonderfully unexpected, particularly when they're warm. Layer them on a peanut butter sandwich in lieu of jelly. Use them as a topping for crunchy bruschetta with a healthy smear of creamy brie. Finish off an oh-so simple crispy vanilla cookie with some cream cheese icing and a perfectly roasted grape. Or, throw a handful of these sweet treats into fresh greens for a clever new salad.

Yield: 2 dozen cupcakes , Prep time: 15 minutes , Cook time: 50-60 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

1. First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. 
2. Clean the grapes, and pick them off the stems. Spread the clean, loose grapes on a cookie sheet and pop them in the oven. Roast them until they wilt, about 20-30 minutes. Set aside and let cool. 
3. Prepare the cupcake batter according to package directions, substituting orange juice for the water called for. Spoon into a cupcake tin with liners inserted, and bake at the temperature, for the time directed.
4. As the cupcakes bake, reduce the wine down to 1/4 cup in a large saute pan over high heat; allow to cool to room temperature.
5. Mix together the cooled wine deduction and icing, and spoon into a resealable plastic bag. Snip a corner of the bag and swirl onto the cupcakes. Top each with roasted grapes.

Tips + Tricks

**Each of the three elements of this recipe may be made in advance. To optimize presentation and taste, however, assemble the cupcakes just before serving. 

THE SPREAD