Mini Chocolate-Covered Marshmallow Cupcakes

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Serves 72 (1 mini cupcake each.)

All you need:

1 (15.25 oz) pkg chocolate cake mix plus ingredients as listed on package
1 (11 oz) pkg caramel baking bits
1/4 c. whipping cream
1 tsp Hy-Vee kosher salt
1 c. Hy-Vee sugar
1/4 c. water
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3 1/2 oz marshmallow creme
1 tsp Hy-Vee vanilla extract
2 c. Hy-Vee semisweet chocolate chips
3 tbsp Hy-Vee canola oil

All you do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 1-3/4-inch mini muffin cup pan with paper baking cups; set aside.
Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Fill each cup two-thirds full with batter (scant tablespoon per cup), using one-third the prepared batter.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Remove cupcakes to a wire rack. Cool completely.
Make as many batches as necessary to use all remaining batter, which produces 72 cupcakes.
For caramel topping, in a small heavy saucepan heat caramel bits and cream until caramel is melted and smooth, stirring constantly. Stir in kosher salt. Holding each cupcake by its bottom, dip the top in the caramel mixture, letting any excess drip off. Let cool.
For marshmallow creme filling, in a 3-quart top of a double boiler combine sugar, water, egg whites and cream of tartar. Cook, beating constantly with an electric mixer on high for 10 to 13 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees when inserted in the mixture, stopping beaters and quickly scraping bottom and sides of pan every 5 minutes to prevent sticking. Remove pan from heat; add marshmallow cream and vanilla. Beat about 1 minute more or until filling is fluffy and holds soft peaks.
Spoon filling into pastry bag fitted with large plain pastry tip. Pipe a swirl of filling into a cone-shape mound on top of each cupcake. Place cupcakes in refrigerator, uncovered, while you prepare the chocolate coating.
For chocolate coating, in a heavy saucepan combine chocolate chips and canola oil. Cook over low heat until melted, stirring constantly. Holding each cupcake by its bottom, dip the top of the mound of filling in the coating, letting any excess drip off; spoon more coating over the rest of the filling to coat it. Let cupcakes stand at room temperature until all are dipped.
Place cupcakes in refrigerator, uncovered, for 30 minutes to set the coating. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or for up to 3 days. Serve cold.

Nutrition information per serving:
Calories: 100
Carbohydrate: 15g
Cholesterol: 5mg
Dietary Fiber: 0g
Fat: 5g
Protein: 1g
Saturated Fat: 1.5g
Sodium: 90mg
Sugars: 11g
Trans fats: 0g

Daily nutritional values:
0% vitamin A
0% vitamin C
2% calcium
2% iron