Santa Claus Christmas Cupcakes

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Kids will be so thrilled to help make these cute Christmas cupcakes!

Prep Time: 40 Min

Total Time: 1 Hr 30 Min

Makes: 24 cupcakes

1 package of cake mix (you can use any flavor)
Water, Oil & Eggs as instructed on the cake mix packaging
1 tub (160z) Vanilla frosting (or any flavor that is white: cream cheese, buttercream etc)
2 tablespoons red decorating sugar
48 chocolate chips
24 red hot candies (or any red cinnamon candies)
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows (about 144)
  • Heat oven to 350°F. Use a cupcake baking tray and place 24 paper baking cups. Prepare and bake cake mix as directed on package for cupcakes, using water, oil and eggs. Cool 45 minutes or until completely cooled.
  • Spread frosting over cupcakes generously to create a beard for Santa.
  • Sprinkle top 1/3 of each cupcake with about 1/8 teaspoon decorating sugar to form Santa’s hat.
  • To make Santa’s face, place chocolate chips for eyes and cinnamon candy for nose.
  • Cut 2 marshmallows in half lengthwise; arrange to form rim of hat.
  • Cut 4 marshmallows in half crosswise; cover lower part of cupcake to form beard.

Marshmallow Easter Bunnies

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Ingredients
*Vegetable shortening (Crisco recommended) for preparing the pan
1 cup cold water
3 tablespoons (3 envelopes) unflavored gelatin
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Confectioners sugar (for coating the marshmallows)

Instructions
1. Prepare a 9 x 13 x 2 inch pan as follows. Invert the pan. Cut a piece of aluminum foil long enough to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Place the foil over the inverted pan and fold down the sides and corners just to shape. Remove the foil and turn the pan right side up. Place the foil in the pan and press it gently into place. With a pastry brush or crumpled wax paper coat the foil thoroughly but lightly with vegetable shortening. Set aside.

2. Place 1/2 cup cold water in the large bowl of an electric mixer, Sprinkle the gelatin over the surface of the water and set aside.

3. Place the sugar, corn syrup, salt and the other 1/2 cup water in a heavy 1-1/2 quart or 2 quart saucepan over moderately low heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil. Cover for 3 minutes to allow any sugar crystals on the sides of the saucepan to dissolve. Uncover, raise the heat to high, insert a candy thermometer, and let the syrup boil without stirring until the temperature reaches 240 degrees. Do not overcook. Remove from the heat.

4. Beating constantly at medium speed, pour the syrup slowly into the gelatin mixture. After all the syrup has been added, increase the speed to high and beat for 15 minutes until the mixture is lukewarm, snowy white, and the consistency of whipped marshmallow, adding the vanilla a few minutes before the end of the beating. (During the beating, occasionally scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula. The marshmallow will thicken and become sticky — if the mixture crawls up on the beaters as it thickens, carefully wipe it down with a rubber spatula.)

5. Pour the slightly warm and thick marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan and, with your forefinger, scrape all the mixture off the beaters. Smooth the top of the marshmallow.

6. Let stand uncovered at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours or longer if it is more convenient.

7. Then sift or strain confectioners sugar generously onto a large cutting board to cover a surface larger then your pan. Invert the marshmallow over the sugared surface. Remove the pan and peel off the foil. Strain confectioners sugar generously over the top of the marshmallow.

8. To cut into even 1 inch strips use a ruler and toothpicks to mark it every 1 inch.

9. Prepare a long, heavy, sharp knife by brushing the blade lightly with vegetable shortening. Cutting down firmly with the full length of the blade, cut the marshmallow into 1 inch strips. (After cutting the first slice, just keep the blade sugared to keep it from sticking.)

10. Dip the cut sides of each strip into confectioners sugar to coat them thoroughly — you should have enough excess sugar on the board to do this.

11. Now cut each strip into 1 inch squares. (You may place three strips together and cut through them all at once.) Roll the marshmallows in the sugar to coat the remaining sides. Shake off excess sugar.

12. Store in a plastic box or any airtight container — or plastic bag.

Yield: makes 1 pound, 10 ounces of marshmallows

Halloween Spider Web Cupcakes

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Preparation Time:  30 minutes
Cooking Time:  45 minutes

Servings: 24

Ingredients
1 box(es) Super Moist German Chocolate cake mix

1/3 cup(s) grade-A dark maple syrup
1/2 cup(s) pumpkin pie filling
1 tub(s) Dark-Chocolate Fudge frosting (Betty Crocker, Duncan Hines etc.)
2 cup(s) white-chocolate chips

Directions

1. To Make the Cupcakes: Place paper liners in a muffin pan, then fill each liner two-thirds full with prepared cake mix. Bake at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes, then set aside until cool. Repeat process until you’ve baked 24 cupcakes.
2. Transfer frosting into a bowl, microwave for 10 seconds, and stir; repeat until thin enough to pour. Dip cupcake upside down into frosting, submerging the top but not touching liner to frosting. Let excess drip off before turning upright. Continue until all cupcakes are glazed.
3. To Make the Cake Topper: Microwave white-chocolate chips in a bowl for 30 seconds and stir. Continue to microwave in 20-second intervals until almost melted. Stir again until chocolate is completely melted. Pour inside a freezer bag with one tip snipped off to create a piping sleeve.
4. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Slide spiderweb template underneath paper. To make each web, use piping sleeve to trace white chocolate along design, making sure to connect all lines. Repeat process until you’ve created 24 toppers. Chill them in refrigerator for 10 minutes. Then, using a spatula, remove webs carefully from parchment and position one on each cupcake.

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Preparation Time:  25 minutes
Cooking Time:  20 minutes

Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup hot milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter or line with paper liners a 12-cup muffin tin.
  2. Cream 5 tablespoons of the butter with the white sugar. Add the molasses and the egg and egg yolk.
  3. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt. Dissolve the baking soda in the hot milk. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in the hot milk mixture. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared tin.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 minutes or until slightly springy to the touch. Allow to cool a few minutes in the pan and remove to a rack to cool.
  5. To Make Frosting: Cream the 2 tablespoons butter and the cream cheese together. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar until fluffy. Add the lemon extract and beat. When the cupcakes are cool, frost the tops with the frosting and serve.