November 6, 2011

Recipe of the Day: Smiling Scarecrow Cupcakes


I absolutely love watching the leaves change into beautiful red,orange,and yellow Fall colors! When I think of Fall I think of pumpkins, apple pie, hot chocolate, and scarecrows....smiling scarecrows ;-)

Smiling Scarecrow Cupcakes Recipe (courtesy of Land O'Lakes):

Ingredients

Cupcakes

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
1 Land O Lakes® All-Natural Egg
1 1/2 cups applesauce

Frosting

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup Land O Lakes® Half & Half or whipping cream
1/4 cup Land O Lakes® Butter
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Decorations
Pretzel squares*
Cinnamon graham cracker sticks
Chow mein noodles or pretzel sticks
Mini candy-coated chocolate pieces, chocolate chips, decorator candies or decorator gels, as desired
Candy corn
Chocolate sprinkles or licorice candies

Directions

Heat oven to 350°F. Place paper baking cups into 18 muffin pan cups; set aside.

Combine flour, baking soda and cinnamon in medium bowl; set aside.

Combine sugar and 1/2 cup butter in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until creamy. Add egg; continue beating until well mixed. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture and applesauce. Continue beating until well mixed.

Fill each muffin pan cup 2/3 full. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely.

Meanwhile, combine brown sugar, half & half and 1/4 cup butter in 2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a full boil (5 to 6 minutes). Cool 20 minutes; add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat at medium speed until smooth and creamy. Cool completely.

To create scarecrow face, spread 1 heaping tablespoon frosting over 1 cupcake; place pretzel square onto cupcake to make top of hat. Place small amount of frosting on back-side of graham cracker stick; place below pretzel to make hat band. Insert chow mein noodles into frosting around hat to resemble straw. Make face using assorted candies, chips or decorator gels. Repeat with remaining cupcakes and decorations.

Store in loosely covered container.

*Substitute colored marshmallows such as toasted coconut, strawberry or chocolate. Cut off 1 end of marshmallow and press sticky end to graham cracker stick and onto frosting to adhere.

Recipe Tip
- If frosting becomes too firm while decorating cupcakes, stir in additional half & half until desired consistency.

- If you are short on time, use your favorite cake mix for the cupcakes; top with frosting recipe above and decorate as directed.

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