24 cream-filled miniature chocolate sandwich cookies (whole or coarsely crushed)
1 cup Dutch process cocoa
2 cups boiling water
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups superfine sugar
4 large eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose soft-wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chocolate extract
Paper baking cups
Vegetable cooking spray
Combine cocoa and 2 cups boiling water in a large heatproof bowl, stirring until blended and smooth; cool completely.
Beat butter with a mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
Combine fl our and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with fl our mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in chocolate extract.
Place paper baking cups in 2 (12-cup) muffin pans, and coat with cooking spray; spoon batter into cups, filling two-thirds full.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely.
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.
Gradually add powdered sugar, alternately with cream, beating at low speed until blended. Add salt and vanilla, beating until blended. Stir in crushed cookies until combined. Beat at high speed 2 minutes or until creamy. Makes 4 cups.
Fill each cupcake with Cookies and Cream Frosting. How-To Fill: To fill cupcakes, insert the end of a wooden spoon or dowel into the center of the cupcake to make a hole. Fill a zip-top plastic freezer bag with filling or frosting. Use scissors or kitchen shears to snip about ¼ inch from one corner of bag; insert bag into the hole in the cupcake. Squeeze gently until filling comes to the top of each cupcake. Note: If you want to fill and frost 1 recipe of cupcakes with the same frosting, you will need about 6 cups of frosting total.
Frost each cupcake with Cookies and Cream Frosting using metal tip no. 12. How-To Frost by Hand: Place a heaping spoonful of frosting in center of cupcake. With an offset spatula, push frosting to edges while turning cupcake. Rotate cupcake, and lift the frosting with the spatula to create peaks.
Top each with 1 sandwich cookie or, if desired, crushed cookie pieces.