Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

 One of the most magical parts of December, is experiencing the valley after a fresh snow fall. Its amazing at how beautiful everything is.  I decided to do a tree in my bedroom this year, that was black and white, but inspired by my favorite thing in the world. SNOW!!!
 Anyone see any Reindeer last night? Well we sure did at Thanksgiving Point.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Peppermint Brownie Torte (Gluten Free)

I saw this recipe in a magazine years ago, and I make it about every other Christmas.  This year, we decided to try it Gluten Free for my sister-in-law, and no one could even tell.  Last year, we found the most amazing Gluten Free Brownie Mix from William Sonoma.  So I made that up as directed and baked it on a sheet pan for half the time.  then I let it cool so I could cut it up to three sheets and placed them on a tray.
 In between each layer I put a layer of Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting:

Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting
2 pkg. of Cream Cheese (@room temp.)
1 cube of butter softened
1 tsp. Peppermint extract
2 C. of Powder Sugar
2 T. Cream

In a mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter together until soft.  Add the peppermint extract and mix throughly.  Next add the powder sugar and heavy cream.  Mix well on medium speed until its blended well together.  Last mix on high for 3 minutes until nice and fluffy.  Spread evenly inbetween each layer including the top.
On the very top, make a dark chocolate ganache to place on top.

Dark Chocolate Ganache
1 bag of Dark Chocolate chips
1 T. Butter
1/4 C. Heavy Cream

In a microwave melt the chocolate chips and butter in a microwave safe bowl for 30 second intervals stirring in-between each turn.  When the chocolate is melted, add the heavy cream and stir until it becomes a smooth ganache.  If its too thick add more cream until it because thin enough to spread on the top.
To top off, drizzle white chocolate trees, on top of tooth picks, sprinkle green sprinkles on top and let dry.  Once it has set up, gently remove from the wax paper and place in brownie torte with crushed peppermint candies on top.

Peppermints and Gumdrop Tree

This is my gumdrops and peppermint tree that I decorated this year.  I couldn't have loved how it turned out more!  Here are pictures of my darling town home, with my personal Christmas decor.  Hope you enjoy taking a look into my home. Merry Christmas!
This is a cute cookie plate, cup and key that my Mom got me years ago.  The cookies are real, they are just  a year old.  But Santa never seems to hear what I really want for Christmas... so I him extra hard cookies this year.
This is my Mark Roberts gingerbread house that I got this year, and my waffle trees.  My Peppermint candy dish for when guest come to visit.
Peppermint and Gumdrops vase, with my presents on my coffee table and gumdrops chain.
Here is it without the lights on, love the frosted branches with all the candy!

This is my Kitchen, with my Kitchen Angels, and my Baking Santa, inspiration to bake Christmas goodies.  Though I must admit, it didnt inspire me too much this year.

Here is my darling table cloth that my friend Andrea, from It's The Life's Mother sewed for me.  My Mom designed it and got the fabrics and surprised me when I came home from work one day with this darling tablescape.  I have the cutest Mom in the world!
This is my Mom new tree this year. Its our RED,GREEN, AND WHITE.  I love the 3-D snowflakes and all the fun sprays!

Stay tuned for tomorrow where I will post my bedroom tree, and some other fun Utah Christmas Surprises!