Fudgy Peppermint Stick Torte

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Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Serves: 16 servings

Preparation time:
Cooking time:

Ingredients

•1-1/2 cups butter, softened
•3-1/4 cups packed brown sugar
•4 eggs
•2 teaspoons vanilla extract
•4 cups all-purpose flour
•1-1/4 cups baking cocoa
•2 teaspoons baking powder
•1 teaspoon salt
•1 teaspoon baking soda
•2-1/2 cups cold water

FILLING:
•1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
•1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, divided
•1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
•1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
•1 cup crushed peppermint candies, divided

Method

•In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda; add to the creamed mixture alternately with water, beating well after each addition.
• Transfer to four greased and floured 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
• In a small bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar and extract; beat until soft peaks form. In another bowl, beat cream cheese and remaining confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Fold in whipped cream, then 3/4 cup crushed candies.
• Place bottom cake layer on a serving plate; top with one-fourth of filling. Repeat layers three times. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
• Just before serving, sprinkle remaining candies over the top. Yield: 16 servings.

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