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      RECIPE TITLE "Cocoa Cobweb Cupcakes"
    Source: Halloween Treats,
    Courtesy of Cooking.com

    yields12 time--difficultydifficult

    Follow this fun technique for creating cobwebs with two different colors of frosting. You can do this on cookies and cakes, too. Kids can line the muffin tins, mix the ingredients, spoon the batter into the muffin cups and of course, supervise the icing.

      RECIPE INGREDIENTS

    2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
    3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa,
    preferably Dutch-process
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1 egg
    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    1 cup buttermilk

    For the icing:
    2 egg whites
    2 1/2 to 3 cups confectioners' sugar
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
    Black or dark brown food coloring

    KitchenAid Ultra Power Plus 7-speed Hand Mixer, Red
    KitchenAid Ultra Power Plus 7-speed Hand Mixer, Red KitchenAid is the expert when it comes to mixing, and this hand mixer upholds the family reputation. Strong, but lightweight, it is also quiet during operation. The smooth touch controls are on the handle and the digital display is large and easy to read. An electronic sensor automatically adjusts power for a steady, consistent speed in any mixture -- it had no problem mixing stiff chocolate chip cookie dough -- and the "Soft Start" feature eliminated spattering. The ergonomically designed handle is comfortable and the heel rest is wide and stable. The beaters release with a touch of the oversized ejection button.
      RECIPE METHOD

    Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 12 muffin-tin wells or line them with paper muffin cups.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; reserve.

    In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well. Beat in the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternately with the buttermilk.

    Spoon into the prepared muffin tins, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 16 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack and let cool to room temperature.

    To make the icing, place the egg whites in a bowl. Using an electric mixer set on high speed, beat until soft peaks form. Add the confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and orange juice and continue to beat until thick and shiny. The icing should spread easily. If too thick, add more orange juice. If too thin, add more confectioners' sugar.

    Transfer one-third of the icing to a small bowl and color with black or dark brown food coloring. Spoon this dark icing into a pastry bag fitted with a tip, or pour it into a plastic squeeze bottle.

    Now, ice the cupcakes and make the cobwebs: Spoon the white icing into the center of the cupcake and spread with a small spatula or butter knife. Starting at the center of a cupcake, pipe a spiral of the dark icing from the center to the outer edge. Then, drag a sharp knife point from the center of the spiral to the edge of the cupcake. Wipe the knife clean, move about a 1/2 inch to the left or right and drag the knife in the opposite direction from the outer edge to the middle of the cupcake. Continue in this way until you have worked your way around the cupcake and formed the cobweb. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes.

    Recipe reprinted by permission of Chronicle. All rights reserved.

      Nutrition Facts
    Makes 12 cupcakes
    Facts per Serving
    Calories: 312 Fat: 5g Carbohydrates: 64g
    Cholesterol: 29mg Sodium: 158mg Protein: 4g
    Fiber: 1g % Cal. from Fat: 14% % Cal. from Carbs: 82%

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