Super Bowl Cupcakes

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Growing up in Los Angeles, I never really had a pro football team to root for, USC was always my team, which is where the original recipe for these now 49ers cupcakes was born.  The Super Bowl has to be one of my favorite unofficial holidays- when else is it socially acceptable to eat like a pig, drink like a fish, and sit on your butt all afternoon long.  Since I am now a converted 49ers fan, thanks to my boyfriend, and being an avid baker and always wanting to bake for the occasion, there was no better reason than to bake my signature red and gold cupcakes for the crowd.  And let me tell you, the Niners may not have gotten our friends out of their seats too much in the first half, but the tray of these cupcakes were gone well before the game was over.

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ingredients:

24 Oreo halves, with cream filling attached

2¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 2/3 cup sugar

3 large egg whites, at room temperature

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup milk

1 tbsp. Red Food Coloring

20 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped (I quarter them)

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

2 tbsp. heavy cream

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directions:

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line the wells of two cupcake pans with 24 paper liners. Place an Oreo halve in the bottom of each liner, cream side up. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir together with a fork to blend and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Blend in the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla extract and food coloring. With the mixer on low speed, beat in half of the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Add the milk and beat just until combined, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients. Gently fold in the chopped Oreos with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated, being careful not to over-mix.

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Evenly divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Blend in the vanilla extract. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated and smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add the heavy cream to the bowl and beat on medium-low speed just until incorporated, then increase the speed to medium-high and whip for 4 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Frost the cooled cupcakes as desired.

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Adapted from Annie’s Eats.

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