Melt the 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate and 1/2 cup butter together in a small saucepan or in the microwave, stirring until smooth. Set aside.
On a paper plate, whisk together flour and salt; set aside.
In a mixing bowl with electric beater, beat the eggs until fluffy, about 1 minute. Gradually beat in brown sugar. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Stir in flour mixture until blended. Blend in walnuts and 1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips.
Spread the batter in a buttered 13x9-inch baking pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 20–22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.
Cream remaining 1/2 cup butter and all the cream cheese together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla and powdered sugar; mix in dried cranberries.
Spread mixture over cooled brownies. Refrigerate until set.
Melt 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips and cream over low heat or in the microwave. Cool slightly. Dip a fork into the mixture and drizzle over the cranberry layer.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut baguette into slices on baking sheet(s).
Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Bake 6–8 minutes or until crisp. Remove from oven. Cool slightly and rub with halved garlic. Set aside.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in skillet over medium to high heat. Add sliced Brussels sprouts and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until Brussels sprouts are cooked through and partially crisped and browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
Spread each toasted baguette slice with fig jam. Top with Brussels sprouts and crumbled blue cheese.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom of 8x8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Lightly butter foil.
Combine chunked butter and chocolate in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in short intervals, about 30 seconds each, stirring in between until fully melted and smooth.
Whisk in sugar, eggs, vanilla, and espresso powder. Fold in flour and salt until no dry streaks remain.
Spread batter in even layer in prepared baking pan. Bake 30 minutes, until just set. Remove from oven and cool completely. Cut cooled brownies into small chunks.
Pour heavy cream into an electric mixer bowl. Whisk on medium to high speed until stiff peaks form. Transfer to separate bowl; set aside.
Return mixer bowl to base. In mixer bowl, combine mascarpone and powdered sugar. Beat on medium to high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Blend in peppermint extract. Fold 1/3 of whipped cream into mascarpone mixture with spatula to lighten.
Gently fold in remaining whipped cream until evenly incorporated. In 8 individual trifle dishes or small mason jars, layer brownie pieces, whipped mascarpone, and sprinkle of crushed peppermint candy. Repeat layers. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Beat the meringue powder, confectioners’ sugar, and water with an electric mixer until the icing forms stiff peaks, 10-12 minutes at high speed. Mix food coloring of choice into icing. Apply icing to cooled cookies with small paintbrush or squeeze bottle.
In large bowl, beat shortening and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. On low speed, beat in eggs, milk, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flour until well blended. Gradually stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Shape dough into a disk and wrap in plastic.
Chill dough for 1 hour before rolling out and cutting with cookie cutters. Bake 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees.