Mini Boston Cream Pies

It's funny when I think I have such a brilliant idea, just to find that it's all been done before...and by Martha Stewart, no less. So, if you've already seen or tasted miniature Boston Cream Pies, I apologize for showing up late to the party. For the rest of you, feel free to continue thinking that I am a creative genius. :)

I went to a prestigious private college-preparatory school in my teens. Students sat at round tables and were served family-style meals. Dessert was rarely a part of my Chinese home, much less Boston Cream Pie. But, at school, it made the menu rounds. While it was run-of-the-mill for many of my peers, Boston Cream Pie days were special, and worth every penny of that outrageous tuition I had a scholarship for. I guess what's more amusing than finding out that I'm not as brilliant as I think I am, is that after all these years, it's the Boston Cream Pie I remember most.

Mini Boston Cream Pies

1 package (2-layer size) yellow cake mix 1 cup cold milk 1 pkg. (4 serving size) vanilla flavor instant pudding 3/4 cup whipping cream 9 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 cup heavy cream 1 tablespoon dark rum (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Bake 24 muffins in greased medium muffin pan cups as directed on package. Cool in pans 10 min. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

Beat heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form. Set aside in another bowl. Beat milk and dry pudding mix with wire whisk 2 min. or until well blended. Let stand 5 min. Mix whipped cream into pudding. Meanwhile, use serrated knife to cut cupcakes horizontally in half. Spoon a heaping Tbsp. of the pudding mixture onto bottom half of each cupcake; cover with top of cupcake.

Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. When the cream has come to a boil, pour over the chocolate chips, and whisk until smooth. Stir in the rum if desired. Let cool slightly.

Spoon ganache over each cupcake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Enjoy!