1. Bake cake layers and prepare PUMPKIN PATCH PUMPKINS.
2. Tint frosting to the desired shade of orange; frost cake. Parade decorated peanut butter pumpkins along bottom edge of cake. Decorate cake sides with REESE'S PIECES. Add icing eyes to peppermint pattie bats; place on top of cake. Makes 12 servings.
CHOCOLATE CAKE LAYERS:
2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1-3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups buttermilk or sour milk*
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
2. Beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in large bowl until fluffy. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add alternately with buttermilk to butter mixture, beating just until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pans.
3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
* To sour milk: Use 4-1/2 teaspoons white vinegar plus milk to equal 1-1/2 cups.
PUMPKIN PATCH PUMPKINS: Prepare ROYAL ICING. Decorate small REESE'S Peanut Butter Pumpkins (.6 oz. ea.) with desired facial features. 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 the surface of the pumpkin.)
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 or heavy duty food storage bags with desired tip. Cover icings and tips of pastry bags with damp paper towels to keep icing from drying out. (Some icing garnishes may need a firmer icing to hold their shape. Stir in small amounts of additional powdered sugar to get the desired consistency.) 1 cup icing.