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1. Place 1/4 cup frosting in a decorating bag fitted with a small star tip; set aside. Place 1-1/2 cups frosting in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on 100 percent power (high) about 30 seconds or until just melted. Frost the cupcakes with the melted white frosting. Divide remaining frosting into three portions; using paste food coloring, tint each portion a different color. Place frostings in separate pastry bags fitted with small round tips, or place in resealable plastic bags and snip off a small piece from one corner of each bag. Pipe colored square outlines on tops of cupcakes. Pipe white stars in corners; pipe dots in centers of stars.
2. On a surface lightly dusted with powdered sugar, divide fondant into three portions. Tint each portion a different color with food coloring. Knead each portion until evenly colored.*** (Work with one portion of fondant at a time and keep fondant covered when not using.) Roll out fondant to 1/8-inch thickness.
3. Use 1-1/2- to 2-1/2-inch alphabet or number cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Place the letters on frosted cupcakes. If desired, use frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip to pipe outlines on the letters with frosting. Makes 12 large or 24 small cupcakes.
1. In a large mixing bowl beat shortening, vanilla, and almond extract with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add 2 cups of the powdered sugar, beating well. Add 2 tablespoons of the milk. Gradually beat in remaining powdered sugar. Gradually add milk until frosting reaches a spreading consistency. Makes about 3 cups.