Almost too adorable to eat, these red-nosed reindeers will steal the show. Make them extra special with gold or red paper cases.
• 100g unsalted butter, chopped, softened
• 3⁄4 cup raw caster sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 2 eggs
• 1⁄4 cup sour cream
• 1 cup self-raising flour
• 1 Tbsp cocoa, sifted
• 12 amaretti biscuits
• 24 white M&M’s
• 24 mini pretzels, broken in half
• 12 glacé cherries
• Edible black writing icing, to decorate
• 1⁄2 cup thickened cream
• 200g dark chocolate, chopped
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line holes of a 12-hole, 1⁄3-cup capacity muffin tin with paper cases.
Put butter, sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on high, using paddle attachment, until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Gently fold in sour cream, flour and cocoa until just combined.
Spoon batter into prepared cases. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked when tested with a skewer. Set aside on a wire rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, to make icing, put cream in a small saucepan over a low heat. Cook, stirring, until mixture comes to the boil. Remove from heat, then add chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Transfer mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on high for 3 minutes or until fluffy.
Spread icing evenly onto cooled cupcakes, reserving 1 Tbsp of the mixture.
Push 1 biscuit into icing of each cupcake to make a snout and push 2 M&M’s into icing of each for eyes. Trim each side of pretzel halves to make antlers and insert 2 into icing of each cupcake. For noses, attach cherries to biscuit snouts using a small dollop of reserved icing. Use writing icing to pipe a mouth on each snout and 2 small dots on each eye for pupils.