July 4th Cupcakes

1/2 cup butter, softened
1-2/3 cups sugar
3 large egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup 2% milk
1 cup Oreo cookie crumbs

3/4 cup butter, softened
6 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon clear or regular vanilla extract
3 to 4 tablespoons 2% milk
Blue and red paste food coloring
Star sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350°. Line 24 muffin cups with paper or foil liners. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until crumbly. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Fold in cookie crumbs.

Fill prepared cups two-thirds full. Bake 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

In a large bowl, combine butter, confectioners sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth. Add enough milk to make a stiff frosting. Remove 1 cup frosting to a small bowl; tint with blue food coloring. Divide remaining frosting in half; tint one portion red and leave remaining portion plain.

Cut a small hole in the tip of a pastry bag or in a corner of a food-safe plastic bag; insert a #1M star pastry tip. Fill bag with plain frosting; pipe over nine cupcakes. With red frosting, pipe nine more cupcakes. Pipe remaining cupcakes blue; top with sprinkles. Arrange cupcakes on a large platter, forming a flag. Makes 2 dozen.