Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

Chocolate- Cherry Cupcakes
Source: Better Homes and Gardens, February 2010

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream

8 ounces sour cream
1 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. maraschino cherry juice

TOPPING (optional):
16 whole maraschino cherries, with stems
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces
1 tsp shortening

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line sixteen 2 1/2-inch muffin cups with paper baking cups.
2. In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter on medium to high for 30 seconds. Add sugar; beat until smooth and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth. Beat in sour cream and flour mixture. Fill each cup with two slightly rounded Tablespoons of cake batter.
4. Bake 18 minutes or until top springs back. Cool completely on wire rack.
5. Prepare cherries (if using): Drain cherries, keeping stems attached; pat dry with paper towels. In small microwave-safe bowl combine chocolate and shortening. Cook on 50% power 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted, stirring once. Dip cherries in chocolate; place on waxed paper until set. Store, covered, up to 24 hours.
6. Prepare frosting: In a large mixing bowl combine alll frosting ingredients. Beat on medium-high until fluffy.
7. Ice cupcakes- spread onto cupcakes. Top with a chocolate covered cherry. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Servings: 16

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