Who can resist these incredibly cute springtime bunny treats? And better yet, they utilize convenience items such as refrigerated cookie dough and a spice cake mix that is doctored up with shredded carrots and cinnamon. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
- 1 tube (16-1/2 ounces) refrigerated sugar cookie dough
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3-3/4 to 4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 3 tablespoons meringue powder
- 5 to 6 tablespoons warm water
- Red, yellow and green paste food coloring
- Green colored sugar
- 1 package spice cake mix (regular size)
- 1-1/2 cups shredded carrots
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 12 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
- 18 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 4-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Brown and pink candy-coated sunflower kernels
- 1 tablespoon chocolate frosting
- Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, beat cookie dough and flour until combined. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut out bunny ears with floured 3-in. cookie cutters. Reroll remaining dough; cut out 1-1/2-in. carrots. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
- Bake 6-8 minutes or until firm. Let stand 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool.
- In a large bowl, combine confectioners' sugar, meringue powder and warm water. Beat on high speed with a portable mixer 10-12 minutes or on low speed with a stand mixer for 7-10 minutes until peaks form. Tint 1 cup icing pink, 1/4 cup orange and 1/4 cup green. Cover frosting with damp paper towels or plastic wrap between uses.
- Pipe white outlines on bunny ears; thin remaining white icing slightly with water. Fill ears with thinned icing; let stand 30 minutes. Pipe orange outlines on carrots; fill in centers. Let stand 30 minutes.
- Pipe greens carrot tops, sprinkle with colored sugar. Pipe 3 orange lines on each carrot. Using pink icing, pipe inside of bunny ears. Let dry at room temperature for several hours or until firm.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare cake batter according to package directions. Fold in carrots and cinnamon.
- Fill paper-lined muffin cups half full. Bake 18-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- In a microwave, melt baking chocolate; stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in cooled baking chocolate and lemon juice until smooth.
- Generously frost each cupcake with about 1/4 cup cream cheese icing. Just before serving, add bunny ears, candy-coated sunflower kernels for eyes and nose. Pipe a smile with chocolate frosting. Yield: 2 dozen cupcakes.
Originally published as Bunny Carrot Cakes & Cookies in Taste of Home Media 2012
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