This weekend we celebrated Christmas. It is actually nice to celebrate the holiday on a different day than the rest of most people. After all, for us at least, the day is really about getting together as a family, exchanging gifts and spending some time together. In some ways, it extends the season. Everyone has different plans on the exact day of Christmas. This way, we can celebrate our own special holiday.
This group is basically a bunch of traditionalists, although we are not traditional about the date. There is a rule to opening up the gifts, youngest to oldest. We also have a holiday meal which I just try and tweak a little bit each year. I don’t want to upset the apple cart. Brussel sprouts seem to be something everyone looks forward to. They like mine. Also, the dessert is key. Peppermint and chocolate are important. I have made a peppermint chocolate ice cream cake the past 2 years and opted for something different this year. My niece was a tad disappointed but all and all, I think everyone was happy with the results.
I made a rich double layer chocolate cake and created a butter cream frosting with crushed peppermints to ice the cake. Pretty easy.
1/2 c. unsalted butter
2 c. granulated white sugar
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 c. water
1 t. baking soda
1 c. sour cream
1 t. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 t. b. powder
1/4 t. salt
Melt the chocolate with water. When this is cooled, add in the baking soda until smooth. Cream butter and sugar. Add one egg at a time into butter/sugar mixture until incorporated. Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, b.powder, salt). Add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture alternating with the sour cream. Mixing in thoroughly each time. Add in the chocolate and vanilla, beat until completely mixed.
Bake at 350 in 2 cake pans until done. About 40 minutes. You can also bake this in a 9 x 12 baking pan.
2 stick unsalted butter
8 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 – 1 cup cream or milk
1 cup of crushed peppermints
Beat the sticks of butter until creamed. Add one cup or so of the confectioners sugar until completely incorporated. Then add 1 -3 T. cream. Keep this going until all the cream and sugar are gone. I used more cream than I thought. The frosting was just too thick. Then at the end I put in the peppermints that I had crushed in a Cuisinart. I put the frosting in the refrigerator to put the cake together the next morning. The next day, the frosting had really gotten thick so I took out a beater, added some milk and softened it up.
I also used more crushed peppermints for decoration. One big peppermint patty. My mother-in-law actually had a piece for breakfast the next morning. Can’t beat that.