* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 1/2 cup sifted cocoa powder (for chocolate cupcakes)
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 large egg, cracked into a small cup or saucer
* 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
* 1/2 cup buttermilk
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup hot water
* White Chocolate Filling, recipe follows
* 16 maraschino cherries, garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter 1 (12-cup) muffin tin.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the remaining ingredients, adding the hot water last. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Divide the batter evenly among the greased muffin tin wells. Bake until the cupcakes are puffed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
Cool to room temperature in the tins. Run a thin, sharp knife around the sides of the muffin cups to loosen the cupcakes, and carefully lift out. Place the cupcakes on a work surface.
Transfer the white chocolate filling to a pastry bag fitted with a small tip. With a small paring knife, cut a small plug from the top of each cupcake, reserving the plug, and scoop out a hole in the center of each cupcake to hold the filling. Place the tip in the cupcake and pipe in the filling to fill the hole. Replace the plug and place the cupcake upright. Pipe a small amount of filling on top to hide the plug and top with a cherry.
Arrange the cupcakes on a platter and serve.
White Chocolate Filling:
4 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup milk
4 ounces cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In the top of a double boiler, combine the white chocolate and milk. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the chocolate is melted. Let cool to room temperature.
In a bowl, beat the cream cheese, and vanilla. Gradually add the cooled chocolate and beat until smooth. Chill in the refrigerator for...