(hint: I used a margarine/shortening combo to keep them lactose-free – worked great!)
(hint: using a ziploc bag with a tiny piece cut off one corner, squeeze/pipe a border around your cookie, then thin some of your icing and “flood” the rest of the cookie for base coverage – or you could skip the border and just brush on some thinned icing using a silicone pastry brush.)
Vanilla Buttercream Icing Recipe (hint: Scroll to bottom of linked posting for recipe. For this particular cake, I only added about 5 cups of powdered sugar. Remove enough icing to place between the two layers and add ~1/4 tsp peppermint extract – add slowly and taste as you go. Make sure you leave enough of the plain vanilla icing to cover the exterior of the cake. Crush candy canes and press lightly into side of icing. The result is a moist and pleasantly (but not overwhelmingly) mint chocolate cake.
This was a spur of the moment creation – and it’s super easy! You’ll need:
- A couple bars of dark chocolate (I grabbed one of the big blocks of 72% from Trader Joe’s)
- Freeze-dried strawberries (also from Trader Joe’s)
- ‘Sugar in the Raw’ (or some sort of similar coarse granular sugar)
Keep in mind that this recipe doesn’t necessarily require exact ingredient quantities – it’s pretty forgiving.
Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper.
Melt whatever quantity chocolate you have (I melt it in the microwave, and stir occasionally to prevent scorching) – use a spoon or spatula to spread a solid layer of chocolate around (whatever thickness you desire, though make sure that it’s not so thin you can see through it). Make sure to leave about 1/3 of your chocolate to drizzle on top.
Lightly press pieces of freeze-dried strawberries into the chocolate, then using a spoon, drizzle the remainder of your chocolate on top of the strawberries.
Immediately sprinkle coarse sugar on top (this is optional, though the freeze-dried strawberries I had were fairly tart, so this helped even things out a bit).
Place in refrigerator or freezer for a short time (until chocolate is solid). Break into pieces. Store remainder in refrigerator.
(I have posted this recipe before, but it’s worth the repeat! Hints: I use frozen cubed butternut squash, boil until tender, drain, and mash. I always make mine in a bread machine – so easy. Just throw in the dry ingredients first, followed by wet ingredients – adding yeast last. Set on dough cycle and then roll into balls and freeze for later or raise and bake . Keep in mind that the recipe may need to be halved to fit in your bread machine. Easily made in advance, these freeze great – just roll into balls and toss into a muffin tin, day before you’re ready to use, set in fridge overnight and then rise in a warm spot until well-risen.)
Ok, so it’s not food-related, but I had to post a photo of my goofy pup – he loves to lay in a snow pile right outside the window (gazing inside)… enjoying the best of both worlds. Hope you all are enjoying the holiday season!