Mardi Gras Hi-Hat Cupcakes for the Entire Family

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There is something so appealing about a hi-hat cupcake. It brings me back to childhood summers when we would sit outside the ice cream shop and desperately try to lick up the ice cream as it melted down our arms. Cherry-dip was always my favorite, but I was always outnumbered by the chocolate lovers.

With Mardi Gras around the corner, I thought I'd bake up something the whole family can enjoy. New Orleans is known for many institutional cocktails, but these sweets will allow the little ones to participate in the fun too. You can't go wrong with a delectable yellow cupcake covered in sweet clouds of frosting and gently dipped in chocolate. That first bite is transcendent, the second so satisfying.

I used this easy Yellow Cupcake recipe and my favorite vanilla buttercream. I separated the buttercream into three bowls and tinted one purple, one green and the last yellow (traditional colors). Using a plastic disposable pastry bag with about 2 inches cut off the top, pipe out concentric circles on your cupcake. The outside, bottom layer is the widest and layers should get smaller as you move up.

Place the cupcakes covered in frosting in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Right before you are ready to dip cupcakes, remove from freezer.

Chocolate Coating
11 ounces chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate
3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil

Combine chocolate and oil in a medium heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir until melted and smooth. Transfer to a small container with high sides (like a drinking glass, just make sure it's wide enough to fit the cupcake), and let cool about 15 minutes.

Holding the cupcake by its base, gently dip it into the chocolate and then remove. Let as much excess chocolate drip off as possible, then set it aside and let harden (about 10 minutes).

Amanda is a wife, mom, baker and creative force behind iambaker.net . She homeschools her four children, lives in the land of 10,000 lakes and is self-appointed president of the Committee to Get Ina Garten on Twitter. (Amanda tweets at @iambakertweets)

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