There are many recipes for buttercream frosting and this is Kelly Delaney’s favorite because it is easy to make and tastes great. l pound unsalted butter at room temperature
2 1⁄2 cups sugar
6 large egg whites


1. Whip butter in a 5-quart bowl of an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
2. Combine the sugar and egg whites in another 5-quart bowl.
3. Set the sugar and egg whites bowl over a pot of barely simmering water (ban marie) and whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and egg whites are warm (testing like a baby’s bottle, warm to touch on your wrist).
4. Remove from stove and whip on electric mixer on high speed until mixture forms stiff peaks.
5. Switch the whip attachment to a paddle attachment. Add whipped butter, a little at a time, mixing until well incorporated. (The longer you mix it, the lighter and better the buttercream is to work with.)

Note: The frosting can be made 72 hours in advance. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Recipe courtesy of Kelly Delaney, Cakes for Occasions, 2009.

Seasonal and tasty Snowflake Cupcakes are fun and easy to make - and they are suitable for both adults and kids. You will learn how to turn white chocolate into a snowflake using a piece of parchment paper as a piping tool.

OK, so we're going to make some great snowflake cupcakes. These are so super easy. Once you see how you can do these, you're going to know that you can master just about anything.

So to start, we're going to need to make our snowflakes out of white chocolate. We're going to take a piece of parchment and we cut it into a triangle. And now we're going to make a cone out of this triangle.

So we're going to take it and we're going to put the pointy part to your belly. Take the left side, fold it down to meet the pointy part near your belly and hold it together with your thumb and your fingers. Take the right side, bring it over, and then back down to the backside where your fingers are. Then you're going to want to adjust the hole size by looking into the bag and moving the pieces so you close the hole.

The reason you want it to be closed is when you fill it with the white chocolate, you don't want it to come dripping out the other side too fast. So you want to be able to control that. So we have it closed to start, and then we'll make our hole. So we're going to take it and we're going to fold it over, just like that, so we can have some control over the cone.

So we have our bag and we're going to fill it with white chocolate. So we melted white chocolate over a bain-marie. Just enough to make it liquid, not too hot. You have to be super careful with white chocolate, because it can burn so easily. I'm going to fold it just like that into the bag. Using a pair of scissors, you're going to cut a hole about the size of a pencil tip, just like that.

Now, the great thing about snowflakes, they come in all different shapes and sizes. So not every single snowflake needs to be the same. So you can remember that there's no right or wrong way to do these. It's just what you think a snowflake looks like.

So what I'm going to do is I'm going to start by piping a line down. And then I'll pipe another line at an angle going up, almost like a sideways X. Then I'm going to start in the middle and I'm going to come down and then make an angle. And then go up and make an angle.

So again, any way you want to do a snowflake is good. Do a little X, come down to the middle, do a little line down, up. Do a line up.

You can get really creative and you could do little dots which are really fun. So I just did an X and then a line. And then I go back to the ends of all my snowflakes and I'm just going to make a little dab of chocolate so it looks like it has an end to it.

I'm going to do that one again because I like that one. Line right down the middle, and then an X right over the line. Then I'm going to go back to it and I'm just going to pipe a little bit more of white chocolate on the ends.

Now when you're doing these, one snowflake per cupcake, it's always best to make plenty more than you need. You can eat them, and you can also use them in case you break them when they go on your hands. And trust me, I've broken a few. Just like that.

Now, when you're making these, you're going to also want to decorate them before you pop them in the refrigerator. You can do these a day in advance, half an hour in advance. Whatever you have the time, you can do them.

These are silver dragees. These are available at any supermarket. They come in silver and in gold. You can also get them in colors, too, now. But the silver's perfect for what we're going to be using.

We'll take one dragee, and we're going to pop it right into the end of the snowflake, each little round piece that we made, just like that. Adds a real nice decoration to the snowflake. You can do every other one. too. So you don't have to do every single end of the snowflake.

You can make a pattern on them, too. So I've got a pattern there. You can put one just in the middle. You're going to want to put these on before your white chocolate sets. And as the white chocolate starts to harden a little bit, just make sure that you push it right into the snowflake so it sets, just like that.

So you've got your snowflakes. And now we're going to pop these in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes so they're going to set. And then we're going to work on our cupcakes in the meantime.

I've got a blue bag of frosting. And we're going to pipe the blue frosting onto the cupcake just like this. What you're going to want to do is pipe it so it's like a mushroom coming over the cupcake.

So we're going to take our off-set and we're going to smooth out the frosting right over the cupcake. So the frosting goes over the cupcake like a mushroom, just like that. Then we're going to use our off-set straight up, and we're going to cut across the frosting so it comes off the cupcake. And I'll do it again. Right over the cupcake, and then we're going to cut just like that.

We have our cupcakes. Now we're going to sprinkle glitter on it. This is just an edible glitter that you can buy at Michael's, A.C. Moore, any craft store. It's an edible glitter that you put on cakes and cookies.

We chose to go with the clear for snow. They come in different colors. So if you wanted to do a different color, you could do that as well. We're going to take the glitter and we're just going to sprinkle it right over the cupcakes, just like that, so it gives it a shimmer effect.

Our snowflakes came out of the refrigerator. They're ready to be used. And we're going to pop them right off. And we're going to put them right in the middle of each cupcake.

And there you go. These are great cupcakes to be used to serve for adults and for kids. But these are definitely something that everyone's going to ask you, how'd you do that? And it's so simple and so easy. Now you know.

Snowflake Cupcakes
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