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1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line twenty-four 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups; set aside. Prepare cake batter according to package directions.
2. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Use the back of a spoon to smooth out batter in cups. Place a scant tablespoon room temperature ice cream topping on the top center of each cupcake.
3. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool cupcakes in muffin cups on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin cups. Cool completely on wire racks.
4. Spread some of the frosting over each cupcake. Place the remaining frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip.
5. In a small saucepan melt the chocolate pieces and shortening over low heat; cool slightly. Spoon melted chocolate into a small heavy resealable plastic bag. Seal bag; snip off a small piece from one corner. Drizzle chocolate on top of frosted cupcakes.
6. Sprinkle cupcakes with nuts. Pipe the remaining frosting on top of cupcakes. Place a cherry on top of each cupcake. Makes 24 (2-1/2-inch) cupcakes.