Vampire Cupcakes

You’ll have no problem enlisting volunteers to devour these red velvet cupcakes quickly before the vampire-faced treats come to life at nightfall!

CUPCAKES

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

FROSTING

8 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut up
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cups powdered sugar

GARNISH

Chocolate sprinkles
Red Hot candies
Slivered almonds
Red cake decorating gel

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners. Whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.

2. Beat sugar and 1/2 cup butter in large bowl at medium speed 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 minute or until combined. Beat in food coloring until combined. At low speed, beat in flour mixture in three parts alternately with buttermilk just until combined, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Spoon into muffin cups, filling about two-thirds full.

3. Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely.

4. Meanwhile, melt chocolate chips and 1/4 cup butter in large bowl set over saucepan of simmering water (bowl should not touch water). Remove from heat. Beat in sour cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla at low speed until smooth. Beat in 2 1/2 cups of the powdered sugar, adding additional powdered sugar if necessary for spreadable consistency.

5. Frost each cupcake with generous 1 tablespoon of the frosting, smoothing tops with edge of knife, adding additional frosting to form hair. Sprinkle hair with chocolate sprinkles. Press into frosting 2 Red Hot candies for eyes and a pair of almonds to resemble fangs. Use red decorating gel to make a few drops of blood dribbling from each fang.

18 cupcakes

PER CUPCAKE: 315 calories, 13.5 g total fat (8 g saturated fat), 3.5 g protein, 48 g carbohydrate, 50 mg cholesterol, 270 mg sodium, 1.5 g fiber