Mocha Buttercream Icing
Enough to cover two 8" or 9" round layers or one 13" x 9" cake
3 cups confectioners sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 to 6 tablespoons half-and-half or milk, divided
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1 tablespoon hot water
Dissolve instant coffee in hot water. In a medium mixing bowl, add shortening and vanilla. Using an electric mixer on low speed, mix ingredients until blended. Blend in 2 tablespoons half-and-half and dissolved instant coffee. Gradually blend in confectioners sugar and cocoa. Blend in remaining half-and-half until icing is smooth and of desired consistency.
Chocolate icing: Substitute instant coffee and hot water with 1 tablespoon half-and-half or milk.
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