Category Archives: Recipes

Serves 8

This light, refreshing salsa is packed with flavor and perfect for summer entertaining.  Serve with sturdy corn tortilla dippers.  This way, you are guaranteed to get a big mouthful of deliciousness in each bite.  The salsa is great with grilled lamb, fish, and chicken, too, so you might want to make a double recipe.

3 cups finely chopped seedless watermelon, (about 3 pounds with the rind)
1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
3 to 4 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantroWatermelon Salsa
1 ½ tablespoons minced fresh mint
2 tablespoons honey
Juice of one lime
Gluten Free Corn Tortilla Dippers

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the all ingredients except the dippers.  Toss gently to coat.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to one day. Serve with lots of chips.

 

Makes  9-12 Large Brownie Squares

Chocolate Salted Caramel Crunch Brownies

Decadent doesn’t begin to describe this luscious treat.  When you think about it, what could be bad about a treat that combines chocolate, salt, caramels and pretzels?  Perfect for a summer picnic or barbecue, you’ll be making these over and over in the next few months.  And no practice is involved, these are easy, quick, fun to make and always turn out well.  Even the kids can help.  Just keep little fingers away from the molten caramels.

I made these for the folks at Glutino/Boulder Brands recently.  I put out a giant platter and turned away for a moment.  Alas, only crumbs were left.  Make a platter for your family and watch them disappear just as quickly!

The instructions are for making a box of Gluten-Free Pantry Brownie Mix.  You could use any gluten free brownie mix that makes an 8 or 9-inch square pan of brownies. Omit the eggs and butter here and follow the instructions on the package.  I used Glutino Salted Caramel Pretzels and Kraft individually wrapped caramels.

1 box Gluten Free Pantry Double Chocolate Brownie Mix*
2 large eggs
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon melted butter
1 1/3 cups coarsely ground gluten free Salted Caramel Pretzels, divided
24 gluten free caramels, unwrapped
2 tablespoons cream or milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 8 x 8-inch pan with aluminum foil.  Lightly oil the surface with vegetable oil or use no-stick aluminum foil.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs for 2 minutes or until light and frothy.  Slowly add the brownie mix.  Beat to moisten.  Add the butter and mix to combine.  Fold in ½ cup of the chopped salted caramel pretzels.

Spread into prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes.  In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine the caramels and the cream.  When the brownies have baked 18 minutes, heat the caramels in the microwave for 1 minute at medium power.  Stir and heat another 30 seconds if the mixture is not melted.  (Don’t worry if you see small lumps of candy.  These will melt as you stir the mixture.)  Let cool 1 minute and spread over the top of the brownies.  Some of the mixture will swirl into the brownie batter.  That’s good!

Gently press remaining chopped pretzels into the caramel mixture with the back of a rubber spatula.  (Don’t touch the melted caramels with your fingers.  They are hot!)

Return the pan to the oven.  Bake an addition 17 to 20 minutes or until the center seems set and does not jiggle when you touch the pan.

Cool.  Lift from the pan using the edges of the foil.  Cut into squares.  Enjoy!

*Use any gluten free brownie mix that makes an 8 or 9-inch square pan of brownies and follow the instructions for preparation on that package.

Makes 6 Burgers
Recipe By Beth Hillson

Turkey Burger Deluxe

Memorial Day signals the unofficial start of summer.   It’s time to start your barbecues!  Here’s one of my go-to recipes that is part of every barbecue at my house.  Vary the add-ins and add-ons to suit your taste.  Try adding chopped shiitake mushrooms when you sauté the onions.  Top the burgers with fresh sauerkraut, tangy pickles or fruit slaw.  Serve these with your favorite condiments, too.  Whatever way you present these, they are sure to be a hit.

The secret is to use ground turkey.  (I prefer the dark meat.) It pairs well with so many flavors.  Sautéing the onions (and other veggies) first lends a nice punch to the burgers as well.  Don’t forget to pick up some of your favorite gluten free buns.

1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 slices gluten free bread
1 ½ pounds ground dark meat turkey
¼ cup flavorful gluten-free barbecue sauce, smoked or tangy is best, more to top burgers
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Gluten-free coleslaw
6 gluten free hamburger rolls  (Udi’s or Canyon Bakehouse are my two faves)

Heat a grill to medium heat or preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Set a large lightly oiled ovenproof skillet on the stovetop or on the grill and heat to medium high.  Sauté onion (other veggies, too) in olive oil until soft and slightly caramelized.  Set aside to cool.   Keep the skillet handy.  You’ll need it for the burgers.

Microwave bread for 30 to 45 seconds or just until soft.  Tear into small pieces.  In a large mixing bowl, combine bread pieces, ground turkey, barbecue sauce, cheese, and salt and pepper.  Add onions (other veggies, too) and mix well.

Form into six burgers.  Put the skillet back on the stovetop or on the grill.  The skillet should still have a coating of oil.  If not, add a tiny bit more (1 to 2 teaspoons).  Add burgers and brown for about 3 minutes.  Flip to brown the other side.

Close the lid on the grill to finish cooking the burgers, about 10 minutes or until they are no longer pink in the center or set skillet with burgers in the oven and bake 10 to 15 minutes or until center is no longer pink.

Here’s another way to grill the burgers:  Start burgers in the cast iron skillet placed on the grill with the temperature set at medium heat.  Cover the grill and cook for 5 minutes. The outside will become firm, preventing the burger from sticking to the grids.  Turn the burgers onto the grid to grill and brown for an additional 10 minutes, flipping midway through.

Toast or warm rolls.  Serve one burger on each roll with coleslaw and extra barbecue sauce.

Multi Grain High Fiber GF BreadMultigrain Bread
Recipe from Beth Hillson
Makes 2, 4 ½ x 8 ½ loaves

I’ve been trying to avoid carbs lately and when I do eat them, I stick to gluten free whole grain flours.  They digest more slowly and don’t cause my blood sugar to spike.  I can’t swear to it, but I think I stay fuller longer, too.  Besides, these flours are high in fiber and nutrients.  They have to be better than breads made with white flours and starches.

I started experimenting with this recipe a couple of years ago.  My goal was to use mostly buckwheat as it is known to lower blood sugar. However, the consistency, without other grains, was dry and crumbly.  So I cut back on the buckwheat and added other whole grains.  The results were delicious and the structure was nearly perfect.  Then I added flax meal and milk powder, boosting the dough with even more protein and moisture.  Perfecto! The structure of this loaf is very light, not something you would expect from a whole grain bread.  And the taste is delicate and nutty owing to the incorporation of these wonderful flours.

If you can’t have dairy, replace the milk powder with the same amount of a dairy free milk. Hemp powder works well but I really like quinoasure, powdered quinoa protein.  Sliced bread freezes nicely.

1 ¼ cup buckwheat flour
1 cup sorghum flour
½ cup + 2 tablespoons millet flour
½ cup + 2 tablespoons oat flour
1 cup potato starch or cornstarch
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons amaranth flour
4 tablespoons ground flax meal
½ cup + 2 tablespoons milk powder
4 teaspoons xanthan gum
3 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 packets active dry yeast (about 4 ½ teaspoons)
4 large eggs
2 cups + 3 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons oil
1 ½ tablespoon cider vinegar

Lightly oil two 4 ½ x 8 ½ inch loaf pans.  Set aside.

Combine first 11 ingredients (up to yeast).  Blend.  Whisk in the yeast.

In a separate bowl, combine eggs, water, oil and vinegar.  Place dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add the liquids and beat on medium using the paddle attachment.  When liquids are blended with dry ingredients, raise the speed to medium high.  Beat for 3 to 5 minutes or until smooth and shiny and strands of dough pull away from the sides of the pan.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Divide dough between two prepared loaf pans.  Cover with oiled plastic and let rise to the top of the pan.

Bake 30 minutes.  Turn onto a wire rack to cool before slicing.

 

 

Recipe From Beth Hillson
Serves 2 to 3

I was in Charleston, South Carolina for a conference recently and could not leave without trying some of the outstanding cuisine for which Charleston is know.  A signature dish, shrimp and grits, was served everywhere.  Some chefs added other seafood, ham or sausage, and some flavored their dish with Cajun spices.  I wish I could have sampled each one. Since most are gluten free, that wasn’t such a far-fetched idea — if I had only had a few extra days.  If you go to Charleston, be forewarned that some chefs add flour to their shrimp and grits.  So check before diving in.

Shrimp and Grits is truly comfort food.  Each bite was pure heaven.  But, what really fascinated me was the grits – chewy and flavorful beyond anything I had eaten before.  One restaurant told me they buy them from Anson Mills in Columbia, SC.  As soon as I got home, I ordered from them.  How great to bring a touch of the South to my Yankee kitchen.

All of Anson Mills’ grits are labeled gluten free.  Unfortunately, their products do not come with instructions for preparation.   You’ll have to refer back to their web site for that or use the ones I call for.  Here’s the recipe I created using Anson Mills’ quick white stone-ground grits.  This can be made with other grits, of course.  Follow the product instructions for the ratio of water to grits.

To Make the GritsShrimp and Grits
3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup quick white stone-ground grits from Anson Mills or another brand
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
Additional salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper

To Make the Shrimp Mixture
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 chicken or pork Andouille sausage (about ¼ pound), cut into thin slices
3 ounces smoked ham, cut into julienne strips
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
12 large shrimp, peeled, and deveined if necessary
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch of Cajun seasoning
1 large tomato, chopped
1/4 cup sliced scallion (about 3 scallions)
1/4 cup white wine or water

Make grits: Bring water, salt, and 1 tablespoon butter to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan. Whisk in grits and cook at a bare simmer, covered, stirring frequently, until grits are tender and have begun to thicken, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat.  Stir in cream and the cheddar and Parmesan cheese.   Add additional salt, if needed, and several grinds of black pepper.

While the grits are cooking, make the shrimp mixture. Set a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat. Add olive oil.  Cook sausage and ham stirring until sausage is cooked through and ham is golden, about 3 minutes.

Transfer sausage and ham to a plate with a slotted spoon. Add 1/2 tablespoon butter to skillet and heat until foam subsides. Cook shrimp, garlic and Cajun spice, turning, just until shrimp are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Stir in sausage and ham.  Add remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter tomato and scallions.  Toss until tomatoes are wilted.  Add wine and cook down about 2 minutes, stirring and scraping up any brown bits in skillet.  Season with salt and pepper.

Serve shrimp mixture over grits.

Recipe By Beth Hillson
Serves 12

You’ll love this winning combination of chocolate and banana.  Not only does it make for a moist cake, but one that can also be Passover-friendly by using potato starch and almond flour in place of the flour blend. (Scroll down for that recipe.)  I’ve served this with a chocolate glaze and sliced strawberries or sliced bananas to dress it up.  But it’s also delicious as it is.

5 large eggs at room temperature, separated  Chocolate Chip Banana Cake
¾ cup sugar
1 cup Gluten Free Pantry all/purpose flour or other g-f all/purpose blend*
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large ripe bananas, pureed to yield 1 cup
4 ounces (2/3 cup) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Beat egg whites to soft peaks and gradually add the sugar and continue beating the egg whites until they are very stiff.

In a mixing bowl, add the flour.  Make a well and add the egg yolks, oil, and the vanilla.  Beat with a portable mixer on high until mixture is very smooth.

Add bananas to the egg mixture and mix gently to incorporate, but do not beat.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the egg whites into the banana mixture by placing the spatula at the far side of the bowl, following the bowl’s far side to the bottom, scraping along the bottom and up the side of the bowl closest to you. Lift the spatula and rotate the bowl slightly, repeating. Don’t be tempted to mix the ingredients at this point or you will deflate the egg whites. Continue until the mixture is pretty homogenous.

Transfer to an ungreased 10″ tube pan, preferably one with tips (feet) on the top and bake for 50 – 60 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean and dry.

Remove from oven and invert pan on a wire rack to cool.

When cool, run a sharp kitchen knife along the edges of the tube pan, including the tube, and remove the cake.

Serve with a chocolate glaze and sliced strawberries or bananas if desired.

*Add 1 teaspoon xanthan gum and ¼ teaspoon salt to flour mix if not included in the blend.

Chocolate Chip Banana Cake
Passover Version

Serves 12
5 large eggs, separated
¾ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
3 large ripe bananas, pureed to yield 1 cup
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup potato starch
1/3 cup almond flour
4 ounces (2/3 cup) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Beat egg whites to soft peaks and gradually add the sugar and continue beating the egg whites until they are very stiff.  Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the yolks, the salt, the banana puree, oil, and the vanilla.  Add the potato starch and almond flour.  Beat on high until mixture is very smooth.

Fold in the chocolate chips.  Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the banana mixture.

Transfer to an ungreased 10″ tube pan, preferably one with tips (feet) on the top and bake for 50 – 60 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean and dry.  Remove from oven and invert pan on a wire rack to cool.

When cool, run a sharp kitchen knife along the edges of the tube pan, including the tube, and remove the cake.

TIP:  Bananas not ripe?  Prick the peels and microwave 1 to 2 minutes or until very warm and fragrant.  Cool and puree.

 

A Recipe From Beth
Serves 10 to 12

Is there anyone alive who doesn’t love Tiramisu?  When I make this, it literally disappears when I turn my back for one second.  Delicious doesn’t begin to describe this decadent Italian dessert. The rich flavors of mascarpone and cream cheese (or dairy-free alternatives) marry well with the light, airy texture of angel food cake. Make this at least a day ahead to guarantee that all the flavors blend together.  Start with the Espresso Chocolate Chip Angel Food Cake as the base for this yummy dessert, as it boasts flavors of coffee and chocolate. However, any angel food or yellow cake recipe can be used.

Tiramisu 1 cup very cold heavy cream*
1 (8-ounce) container coffee-flavored or plain mascarpone (Italian cream cheese) or 8 ounces softened cream cheese*
4 ounces low-fat cream cheese, softened*
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
½ cup strong coffee, divided
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons Cognac or brandy
1 Espresso Chocolate Chip Angel Food Cake  (or other cake)
1/3 cup shaved (curled) semisweet chocolate shavings

Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with waxed paper or parchment paper.

With stand or hand mixer, whip heavy cream until stiff and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat mascarpone, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, 1/4 cup espresso and vanilla. Fold 1 cup whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture, reserving the rest of the whipped cream for topping.

In a small bowl, mix remaining 1/4 cup espresso with Cognac.

With a serrated knife, cut cake horizontally to yield three even layers. Set one layer in the bottom of the prepared springform pan, pressing it to the edges of the pan. Brush the surface with some of the espresso-Cognac mixture. Spread half the mascarpone mixture over the first layer of cake and top with the middle layer of cake. Brush with espresso mixture and top with remaining mascarpone mixture. Top with remaining layer of cake and brush with espresso mixture. Spoon the reserved whipped cream over the top.

Cover with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 6 hours. Unmold and sprinkle with shaved chocolate curls.

* For dairy-free Tiramisu, replace all the cream cheese with a total of 12 ounces dairy-free cream cheese and use So Delicious CocoWhip in place of whipped cream

To Make Chocolate Curls

Melt 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.  Spread in a thin layer over the bottom of a cookie sheet or plate and chill for 30 minutes.  Using a spatula or a knife, scrape away pieces of the chocolate from the surface of the pan or plate in strips.  These should curl slightly as you scrape them from the surface.  Top the Tiramisu just before serving.

This recipe is part of a comprehensive article on how to successfully make angel food cake that will appear in the Spring Baking Guide from Gluten Free & More.  Pick up a copy on newsstands in March 2015.

A Recipe from Beth
Serves 10 to 12 

Your Sweetheart will swoon over this sinfully delicious cake that is just about perfect – light and fluffy with notes of chocolate and coffee.  The only thing better is when you turn this cake into Tiramisu.  You’ll find the recipe on this blog, too. Or, if you prefer, serve slices of Espresso Chocolate Chip Angel Food Cake with whipped cream that’s infused with coffee flavored liqueur. Either way, Cupid says you can’t miss. 

The cake keeps for several days wrapped well in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature. It can also be frozen for up to two months.  Remove wrap before thawing as ice crystals can cause the cake to become soggy. Espresso Chocolate Angel Food Cake

2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder
1 cup Beth’s Cake Flour (below)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1½ cups sugar, divided
12 large egg whites or 1½ cups, at room temperature
½ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons cream of tartar
¾ cup chocolate chips, coarsely chopped in a food processor

Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift espresso coffee powder with cake flour, cornstarch and ¾ cup sugar in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Place egg whites in the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl. Beat egg whites with salt and vanilla at medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar. Beat at high speed until whites form soft peaks. With the mixer running, add remaining ¾ cup sugar in a slow, steady stream. Beat until whites are shiny and form stiff peaks (4 to 5 minutes).

Sprinkle half the flour mixture over the egg whites and fold in by reaching a spatula to the bottom of the whites and drawing it back through the mixture gently to incorporate. Don’t stir or mix the ingredients. Repeat with remaining flour.

When flour mixture is nearly incorporated, fold in chopped chocolate chips. Make sure chips are spread evenly throughout the batter. Pour into a 10-inch ungreased tube or angel food cake pan. Spread evenly.

Place in preheated oven and bake 45 to 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Invert the cake on a rack and let cool completely upside down in the pan. To unmold the cake, run a thin knife around the side of the pan and the tube and gently push the base up if using a two-piece pan, or invert the cake onto a serving plate.

Slice with a serrated knife. Serve with whipped cream that’s infused with coffee flavored liqueur, or use as the base for the Tiramisu recipe, coming next.  tiramisu

Beth’s Cake Flour Blend

1 cup sweet white sorghum flour
1 cup white rice flour
¾ cup cornstarch
1½ teaspoons xanthan gum

Whisk ingredients together in a large bowl until well combined.

This recipe is part of a comprehensive article on how to successfully make angel food cake that will appear in the Spring Baking Guide from Gluten Free & More.  Pick up a copy on newsstands in March 2015.

 

Makes Two 12-inch Pizzas Gourmet White Pizza

This is National Pizza Week.  But, seriously, isn’t homemade pizza worth celebrating any time of the year?  This pizza has endless possibilities. It’s called white because there are no tomatoes or sauce on this pie.  However, add some tomatoes or pizza sauce, if you prefer a more traditional pizza.  Experiment with your favorite cheeses and herbs, too.  And leave the cheese off or use dairy free cheese, if milk is not on your list.  If you have a pizza stone and a peel (wooden paddle) use those as the crust will be chewier.  Otherwise, use a heavy baking sheet or a round pizza pan and set it on the lowest rack in the oven so it browns nicely.   Cut all ingredients in half if you wish to make one pizza.   This freezes nicely (especially without pizza sauce) so you might want to make both and save one for another day.

The Toppings
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 large onion, thinly sliced
Pinch of sugar
½ teaspoon salt
6 ounces fresh ricotta cheese (part skim milk cheese is fine)
2 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled, optional
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto or other Italian meat
½-1 cup baby arugula
Italian seasoning, to taste
Pecorino Romano cheese, to taste

The Dough
Makes 2, 12-inch pizzas

2 ½ cups high protein blend, below
½ cup millet flour
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
5 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
1 1/3 cups warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 425°F. If using a pizza stone, place it on the lowest rack and preheat the oven. Do this 30 to 60 minutes ahead so the stone is very hot. If you’re not using a stone, it’s not necessary to preheat the oven for an extended amount of time.

Make the toppings.  In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté to soften, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and salt and reduce heat to lowest setting. Cook onions until they turn a rich golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.  Lay out all the other toppings you will be using.

Make the dough.  In the bowl of a heavy duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the high protein blend, millet flour, xanthan gum, and salt.   Blend well.  Add the yeast and blend.  Combine water, oil, honey, and vinegar.  Beat at medium high speed for 3 to 5 minutes or until the dough thickens.

Scoop half the dough onto a lightly oiled sheet of parchment paper.  Cover with a sheet of lightly oiled plastic wrap.  Use finger tips and palm to lightly press the dough into a 12-inch circle.  Use finger tips to create a rim of dough around the edge that will become a pretty crust.  Drizzle olive oil of the surface and top with a light coating of pizza sauce.

Scoop half the dough onto a lightly oiled sheet of parchment paper. Cover with a sheet of lightly oiled plastic wrap. Using fingertips, lightly press the dough into a 12-inch circle, creating a rim of dough around the edge to form a crust.

Drizzle 1 tablespoon of remaining olive oil over the surface of 1 crust. Place small dollops of half the ricotta evenly over the olive oil, followed by half the Gorgonzola cheese. Top with half the cooked onions and slices of prosciutto. Scatter half the arugula over the top. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and Pecorino Romano cheese.

Slide pizza (with parchment paper) onto a pizza paddle and then onto the stone, pizza pan, or baking sheet set on the lowest rack of preheated oven. Bake 16 to 20 minutes. When done, the bottom of the pizza will be lightly browned. (While first pizza is baking, repeat with remaining dough and ingredients.)

Remove pizza from oven and let cool briefly. Slice and serve warm.

High Protein Blend (from Gluten-Free Makeovers)

Blend well and scoop out 2 ½ cups for the pizza recipe above.  Reserve the rest for later use.

1¼ cups white or brown rice flour
1¼ cups sweet white sorghum flour
½ cup amaranth flour
¾ cup cornstarch or tapioca starch

Shortcut:  Use a commercial pizza crust mix and follow my instructions for preparing it.  I’ve had good luck with pizza mix from Glutino Gluten Free Pantry, King Arthur brand, and Bob’s Red Mill mix.

A Quick Recipe from Beth 

Merri-Mint Chocolate Brownie Trifle
Serves 6 to 8

People think I am an amazing chef when I serve them gluten free brownies, mind you, straight from the freezer.  When I am in a rush, brownies are my go-to dessert.  Top them with designer ice cream or a layer of chocolate ganache and the crowd goes wild.   But this recipe takes brownies to a whole new level, a simple (but decadent) dessert that I pull out of my bag of gluten-free tricks when company is coming and I’m pressed for time like during the holidays.

Assemble this in one big glass bowl for a buffet or individual glass goblets for a sit down meal.  Either way, this luscious chocolaty mint dessert will make you giggle when you bite into the rich chewy brownies layered with peppermint-laced whipped cream, crushed candy canes, and shaved chocolate.  Could anything be better? This time, I used Glutino Gooey Chocolate Merry Mint Brownie Mix .  They already come with a hint of peppermint and a topping of white chocolate fudge.  But you could add peppermint extract to any brownie mix and top with white chocolate chips. If you are making this for an adult-only gathering, use Crème de Menthe liqueur in place of peppermint extract.  Add nuts, mini marshmallows or hot fudge if you wish.  There are no rules, just the promise of lots of holiday merri-mint.

1 package of gluten free brownie mix   Merri-ment Chocolate Brownie Trifle
¼ teaspoon peppermint extract*
1/3 cup white chocolate chips*
*omit if using Glutino Merry Mint Brownies

Whipped Cream
¾ cup (12 ounces) whipping cream, very cold
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon peppermint extract or 1 tablespoon Crème de Menthe liqueur
1/3 cup crushed candy canes, leave extras whole for decoration
Shaved Semisweet or Bittersweet chocolate for garnish

Prepare the brownie mix according to the directions on the package.  Bake in a foil lined 7×11 inch pan.  I like to under bake these by about 2 minutes so they are very chewy.  Remove and cool completely.

Beat the cream in a chilled bowl until half whipped.  Add sugar and extracts and beat until cream forms stiff peaks.  Refrigerate.

Remove the brownie from the pan using the foil edges and set on a cutting board.  Cut the brownie into ¾ inch squares, trimming the edges if desired.  In individual glass dishes (like large brandy snifters) or one large glass bowl, layer brownie squares  alternating with dollops of whipped cream and crushed candy canes.  Top with more dollops of whipped cream and crushed candy canes and finish with shaved chocolate.  Chill for 2 hours or overnight.  Garnish with whole candy canes.