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2. Remove wrapper from desired number of peanut butter cups. (Each player topped cupcake will require 1 snack size peanut butter cup and 1 miniature peanut butter cup.) Cut across top and bottom of each snack size peanut butter cup about 1/4 inch from edge to make straight edges. Cut across edge of each miniature peanut butter cup to make straight edge.
3. Place milk chocolate chips in heavy-duty food storage bag. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 30 seconds; knead bag and chips. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 10 seconds at a time, kneading bag and chips after each heating, until chips are melted and smooth. Push melted chocolate to one corner of bag; cut off bag corner about 1/4 inch from tip. Use to "glue" player parts together.
4. Attach straight edge of miniature peanut butter cup to one straight edge of larger peanut butter cup with melted chocolate to form basketball player body. Allow chocolate to set.
5. Prepare ROYAL ICING; tint as desired. Decorate players with shirts and shirt numbers. Add facial features, if desired. Allow icing to harden. (If you don't like the design or parts of the design, wait until the icing has hardened and then you can remove without damaging surface of peanut butter cups.)
6. Frost cupcakes. Add basketball player to top of each cupcake. Support player with wooden picks if necessary. (Remember to remove before eating.)
2 cup sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups.
2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter.
3. Bake 22 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted into centers comes out clean. Cool completely. About 30 cupcakes.
ROYAL ICING: Stir together 2-1/4 cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons warm water and 1 tablespoon pasteurized dried egg whites (meringue powder). Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until spreadable. Add additional water, 1 teaspoon at a time, if too thick. Divide icing into small bowls for each color desired and tint with food colorings. Transfer icing to pastry bags with desired tip. Cover icings and tips of pastry bags with damp paper towels to keep icing from drying out. (Some garnishes may need a firmer icing to hold their shape. Stir in small amounts of additional powdered sugar to get desired consistency.) 1 cup icing.
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