Bonfire Cupcakes ~ this will make 24 but you can adapt to your preference
(Inspired by Betty Crocker Best Desserts 2011)
To save time you can use your favorite chocolate cake mix and canned whipped frosting or these great recipes:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 ¼ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp baking powder
1 cup hot water
2/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
¾ cup shortening
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Heat oven 350 and place baking cups in cupcake pan
In medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder; set aside. In small bowl, mix hot water and cocoa until dissolved, set aside.
In large bowl, beat shortening with electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar, about ¼ cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat 2 minutes longer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. On low speed, alternatively add flour mixture, about a third at a time, and cocoa mixture, about half at a time, beating just until blended.
Divide batter evenly among baking cups, filling 2/3 full
Bake 20-25 min or until done. Cool completely.
MARSHMALLOW BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:
1 7oz jar marshmallow crème
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/8 tsp lemon yellow gel food color or you can use white frosting with yellow sprinkles
Spoon marshmallow crème into large microwavable bowl. Microwave uncovered on high 15-20 seconds to soften. Add butter to marshmallow crème; beat with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar until smooth. Tint frosting if desired.
20 individually wrapped red cinnamon hard candy disks, unwrapped
20 individually wrapped yellow butterscotch hard candy disks, unwrapped
60 pretzel sticks, broken in half
48 mini marshmallows
Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray foil with cooking spray.
Place unwrapped cinnamon and butterscotch candies in freezer
plastic bag and finely crush with hammer or meat mallet, finely crush candies. Pour crushed candies into foil-lined pan; spread in thin layer. Bake at 350 degress for 6-8 min or until completely melted. Cool completely before handling.
Spoon marshmallow creme into large microwavable bowl. Microwave uncovered on High 15-20 seconds to soften. Add butter to marshmallow creme; beat with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar until smooth. Tint frosting with yellow food color and frost cakes.
On each cupcake, arrange pretzel pieces to look like logs of a campfire. Break cold sheets of melted candies into pointed shards. Insert candy pieces in tops of cupcakes around pretzels to look like flames. Place 2 marshmallows on one end of each toothpick; insert other end of toothpick into the cupcake.