In a mixer, combine Crisco OR margarine, sugar, egg and beat until smooth. Add vanilla, salt, cocoa, baking soda, milk and beat. Add flour slowly and beat until smooth. Add boiling water (MUST be boiling, not just hot). Beat until smooth.
Put cupcake liners into cupcake pans and fill each liner 3/4 full with batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Touch the top of a cupcake with your finger -- if the top springs back into place they are done.
Icing (vanilla or chocolate)
See recipe for Icing/Frosting for Cakes and Cookies.