North Pole-inspired characters are cute as a button - and delicious, too. Get the kids involved in the easy decorating.
- Portion size 12 servings
- Credits : Canadian Living Special Issue: Home for the Holidays 2008
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/4 cup sifted cake and pastry flour
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 3/4 cups butter softened
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 1 oz unsweetened chocolate melted and cooled
- 24 pretzels (at least 3 inches/8 cm wide)
- 12 miniature marshmallows snipped in half crosswise
- 24 chocolate chips
- 12 chocolate pieces
- 12 gumdrops
MethodIn small bowl, whisk cocoa with 3/4 cup (175 mL) boiling water; let cool. In separate bowl, whisk together eggs, half of the cooled cocoa mixture and vanilla; set aside.
In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. On low speed, beat in butter and remaining cocoa mixture until combined. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Gradually beat in egg mixture. Divide among 12 large paper-lined muffin cups, smoothing tops.
Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, 20 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pans; let cool completely on racks. (Make-ahead: Wrap individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Or overwrap in heavy-duty foil and freeze for up to 2 weeks.)
Chocolate icing: In bowl, beat butter until fluffy; gradually beat in cream. Beat in vanilla. Beat in sugar, 1/2 cup (125 mL) at a time. Beat in chocolate until fluffy. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours; beat to use.) Spoon 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the icing into piping bag fitted with small plain tip; set aside. Spread rounded 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the remaining icing over each cupcake.
Decorations: For antlers, soften pretzels between damp paper towels for 5 minutes. Using serrated knife, cut pretzel as in photo; press through icing into cupcake to attach. Pipe three 1/2 inch (1 cm) rounds of reserved icing for eyes and snout. Press 2 marshmallow halves, cut sides up, onto icing rounds for eyes. Press 1 chocolate chip into each marshmallow half for pupil. Press brown or red candy onto mound for snout.
Nutritional facts Per serving: about
- Sodium 333 mg
- Protein 4 g
- Calories 429.0
- Total fat 24 g
- Cholesterol 88 mg
- Saturated fat 15 g
- Total carbohydrate 51 g
- Iron 16.0
- Folate 13.0
- Calcium 5.0
- Vitamin A 20.0