Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line rectangular pan, 13 x 9 x 2 inches, with 17
x 12-inch piece of foil. Grease bottom only of foil with shortening.
Make brownie mix as directed on package using water, oil and eggs. Spread batter
in pan. Bake as directed.
Cool completely in pan on wire rack, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat 1/2 cup whipping cream with electric mixer on
high speed until soft peaks form; set aside.
In medium bowl, beat remaining Peppermint
Cream ingredients on low speed until blended; beat on medium speed until smooth.
Gently stir whipped cream into cream cheese mixture.
In 1-quart saucepan, heat 1/4 cup whipping cream over low heat until hot but
not boiling; remove from heat. Stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips until melted. Let
stand at room temperature about 1 hour or until slightly thickened.
Remove brownies from pan, using foil to lift. Cut brownies crosswise to make
3 equal rectangles. Trim sides if desired.
To assemble torte, place 1 brownie rectangle on serving platter; spread with
2/3 cup Peppermint Cream. Top with second brownie rectangle; spread with Dark Chocolate
Ganache. Top with third brownie rectangle; spread with remaining cream. Refrigerate
uncovered until serving.
Meanwhile, place a piece of cooking parchment or waxed paper on cookie sheet.
Draw 1 1/2- to 2-inch tree outlines or trace around 2-inch tree-shaped cookie cutter,
leaving 1/2 inch space between each tree. Center toothpick at bottom of and 1/2
inch into each tree outline. In 1-quart saucepan, heat 1 cup chocolate chips and
the shortening over low heat, stirring constantly, until chips are melted. Pour
chocolate into decorating bag fitted with plain tip or resealable plastic bag; snip
one corner. Starting at top of each tree outline, pipe chocolate over tree and end
of toothpick within tree; fill center with random, squiggly lines. Refrigerate until
chocolate hardens. Gently remove trees from paper; refrigerate until serving.
Just before serving, sprinkle torte with candies and arrange Chocolate Trees
Store covered in refrigerator.
Yield: 9 servings
Special Touch: For a sparkling finish, sprinkle white decorator sugar crystals
over the torte.
Nutrition Information: 1 Serving: Calories 540 (Calories from Fat 235); Total
Fat 26g (Saturated Fat 11g, Trans Fat ncg); Cholesterol 85mg; Sodium 300mg; Total
Carbohydrate 70g (Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars ncg); Protein 6g
Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 10%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 6%; Iron 6%
Exchanges: nc Other Carbohydrate; nc Vegetable Carbohydrate Choices: nc
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.