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Bugged Out Brownie Cupcakes

Bugged Out Brownie CupcakesThese buggy cupcakes are as tasty as they are cute and fun to make.

Recipe Ingredients:

Brownie Cupcakes:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine
1/2 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour

2 (12 to 16-ounce) cans ready-to-spread vanilla frosting or about 3 1/2 cups of your favorite vanilla frosting
Food colors
24 REESE'S Peanut Butter Cups Miniatures

For Garnishes: TWIZZLERS Twists Candy, TWIZZLERS PULL 'n' PEEL Candy, JOLLY RANCHER Lollipops, JOLLY RANCHER Fruit Chews and other HERSHEY'S or REESE'S Candies

Cooking Directions:

  1. For Brownie Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Line muffin cups (2 1/2 inches in diameter) with paper or foil baking cups.
  2. Place butter in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH (100%) 1 1/2 minutes or until melted. Add cocoa; stir until smooth. Add brown sugar and granulated sugar; stir with spoon until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well with spoon. Add flour, stirring until well blended. Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full with batter.
  3. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until tops are cracked and feel firm (will be moist inside). Cool in cups on wire rack about 15 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely.
  4. Set aside about 1/3 cup frosting; tint remaining frosting desired color or colors with food color. Frost cooled cupcakes.
  5. Remove wrappers from peanut butter cups. Frost tops of peanut butter cups with vanilla frosting; position on top of frosted cupcake to form "bugged out" eyes. Frost sides and back of eyes with frosting used for cupcakes.
  6. Decorate with candies* as desired to add eyes, nose, tongue or antennae.
  7. To make antennae place unwrapped lollipop stems into 3-inch candy twist and push into cupcake. Be sure to have a very sturdy cupcake or lollipop will be too heavy to remain in position.
  8. Fruit chews can be molded or cut to form shapes. Knead candy until it is soft and pliable. If necessary, heat candy in microwave at MEDIUM (50%) for about 5 seconds to soften.

Makes about 12 cupcakes.

*To sour milk: Use 4 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar plus milk to equal 1 1/2 cups.

Recipe and photograph courtesy of the Hershey Kitchens, and reprinted with permission of The Hershey Company. © The Hershey Company.