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Chocolate Peanut Butter Owl Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes
Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. Into a medium bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each, then beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with sour cream and beginning and ending with flour.
  3. Pour batter into cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Cool in pan 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then spread with Easy White Icing using a table knife or small offset spatula. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired.
Peanut Butter Buttercream
Ingredients:
  • 2/3 cup natural, creamy peanut butter
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 48 Oreo Cookies (you need 24 cream-filled sides)
  • Reese's Pieces  (24 brown for eyes and 12 orange for beak)
Directions:
  1. Cream peanut butter and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed. On low speed, mix in sugar until combined, then beat mixture on high speed until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add salt to taste, if desired. Use immediately.
  2. Once cupcakes have cooled completely, frost liberally.  Separate Oreo cookies so you have 24 cream-filled cookies.  Place 2 on each cupcake on top of frosting.  Lightly frost one side of each Reese's Pieces and place on cupcakes.  Makes 12 cupcakes.
Source:  Martha Stewart

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