Easter Bunny CupCakes

20011_Spring_Bunny_Pistachio_Cupcakes_1

Cupcakes

2 cups
all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons
baking powder
1/4 teaspoon
salt
1 1/2 cups
sugar
1 cup
shelled pistachios, toasted
1 cup
Country crock Butter, softened
4
Land O Lakes® Eggs
1 teaspoon
vanilla
1 teaspoon
almond extract
1 cup
milk

Cherry Compote

2 tablespoons
water
1 tablespoon
cornstarch
2 cups
frozen cherries, thawed, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup
sugar
2 tablespoons
lemon juice

Frosting

1 1/3 cups
sugar
6
Land O Lakes® Eggs (whites only)
2 cups (1 pound)
Country Crock butter, softened, cut into chunks
4 (1-ounce) squares
white chocolate, melted, cooled slightly
1 teaspoon
vanilla

Decorations

3 (1-ounce) squares
white chocolate, melted
Red food color
1/3 cup
coarsely chopped shelled pistachios

DIRECTIONS

Heat oven to 350°F. Place paper baking cups into 24 muffin pan cups; set aside.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in bowl; set aside.

Place 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup pistachios into small food processor bowl fitted with metal blade; process until finely ground.

Combine pistachio mixture, remaining 1 cup sugar and 1 cup butter in another bowl; beat at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until creamy. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and almond extract; mix well. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beating at low speed after each addition, just until mixed.

Divide batter evenly among paper baking cups. Bake 17-19 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes in pans, remove to cooling racks. Cool completely.

Combine water and cornstarch in bowl, set aside.

Combine cherries, 1/3 cup sugar, and lemon juice in 1-quart saucepan. Bring to boil over low heat. Add cornstarch mixture, stirring until mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Cool completely.

​Heat water in saucepan over medium heat until it comes to gentle boil.

​Place 1 1/3 cups sugar and egg whites into bowl; place bowl over saucepan with gently boiling water. Cook, stirring often, until mixture reaches 165°F. Remove from heat. Beat 5-8 minutes with heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment until stiff peaks form.

Add 2 cups butter, a few pieces at a time, beating well after each addition (mixture may look curdled); continue beating until fluffy. Add melted white chocolate and 1 teaspoon vanilla; beat until mixture is smooth.

Create bunny ears by dividing 3 ounces melted white chocolate in half. Place one half in resealable plastic food bag, cut off corner. Tint other half pink with red food color. Place into resealable plastic food bag; cut off corner. Pipe pink center in shape of 2 bunny ears on waxed or parchment paper. Pipe white chocolate around pink center. Repeat to create 24 pairs of ears. For noses, use remaining pink chocolate and pipe 24 small dots for noses. Place into freezer to set.

Remove 1-inch piece of cake from center of each cupcake using sharp knife; discard cake piece. Spoon about 2 teaspoons cherry filling into each hole.

Spoon frosting into large pastry bag, fitted with large round tip. Pipe frosting around top of cupcake. Sprinkle edges with chopped pistachios. Pipe frosting in round mounds to create bunny shape. Add pink nose onto top mound.  Place bunny ears into frosting just before
* I received country crock butter for free in exchange for an honest review.

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