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I’m a big fan of homemade gifts.  I think they offer a truly personal touch that anything you can buy just can’t compare.  So for Valentine’s day I was looking for something special to make my boyfriend and that’s when I found it.  “Tied-with-a-Bow Cupcakes”  How utterly adorable are these?  And you know what?  They taste great too!  This recipe comes from Better Homes and Gardens.

Tied-with-a-Bow Cupcakes

  • Makes: 24 (2 1/2 inch) Cupcakes
  • Time:  From Start to Finish 1 hour, 30 minutes
tied with a bow cupcakes
The Ingredients

  • 4 ounces vanilla candy coating, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup light-color corn syrup
  • 4 ounces dark cocoa candy melts
  • 1 recipe Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache
  • 12 2 1/2 inches chocolate cupcakes in paper bake cups
  • 1 recipe White Chocolate Ganache Frosting
  • 12 2 1/2 inches white cupcakes in paper bake cups
  • Powdered sugar
Directions

1. For white clay, place vanilla candy coating in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave on 100 percent power (high) for 1 to 2 minutes or until melted, stirring once. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the corn syrup. Spoon onto plastic wrap. Cover and let stand for at least 1 hour or until cooled and firm. For chocolate clay, repeat with dark cocoa candy melts and the remaining 2 tablespoons corn syrup. When firm, unwrap and knead each mixture separately until smooth and pliable. Wrap each in plastic wrap; set aside.

2. Spoon Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache over chocolate cupcakes and White Chocolate Ganache Frosting over white cupcakes. Chill until firm.

3. Between separate sheets of waxed paper dusted with powdered sugar, roll out white clay and chocolate clay to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a pastry wheel, pizza cutter, or knife, cut clay into 1-inch-wide strips about 5 inches long. For each bow, bring ends of a strip together, making a double thickness. Turn upside down, with the seam underneath. Gently pinch in center. Trim scraps of clay into ribbon tails and center knots. Place two tails on top of each cupcake; top with a bow and a knot. Makes 24 (2-1/2 inch) cupcakes.

Creamy White Frosting

Ingredients

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 – 5tablespoons milk
Directions1. In a large mixing bowl beat shortening, vanilla, and almond extract with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Slowly add in about half of the powdered sugar, beating well. Add 2 tablespoons of milk. Gradually beat in the remaining of powdered sugar and 1-3 tablespoons more milk to reach spreading consistency.

Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache

Yield: 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Directions1. In a medium saucepan heat whipping cream over medium heat just until boiling. Remove from heat. Add chocolate (do not stir). Let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Cool about 15 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.

White Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Yield: 3/4 cup

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces white baking chocolate with cocoa butter
  • 3/4 cup Creamy White Frosting (see recipe, page 000) or canned creamy white frosting
  • 1 tablespoon milk (optional)
Directions1. In a small saucepan melt white chocolate over low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in Creamy White Frosting. If necessary, stir in milk to make frosting smooth.
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