Sunday, December 18, 2016

Peppermint bark cheesecake

Smooth and creamy peppermint bark cheesecake has extra peppermint goodness in every bite. From the peppermint crust to chunky peppermint bark in the filling, this cheesecake is bursting with peppermint flavor from top to bottom. It's the holiday's most pepperminty dessert!
Oh my gosh, you guys. We just found a new favorite cheesecake! I normally bake this white chocolate cheesecake during the holidays but decided to change things up a bit this year and try a peppermint version.

And man am I glad I did! While there were quite a few steps to this cheesecake, every component was easy. If you are strapped for time, you can certain buy pre-made peppermint bark, use peppermint baking chips or exclude them completely. You could even exclude the white chocolate ganache on top if you need to take a shortcut.


My in-laws and I went crazy for this cheesecake. I exercised self-control and only had a few bites of this rich and creamy dessert. Each forkful was bursting with pepperminty goodness and the chunks of peppermint bark provided extra creaminess and peppermint flavor.

We ate half the cheesecake in 24 hours. Had we stayed longer at my in-laws' house, I am fairly certain that we would have finished the rest of it while we were there. I was tempted to eat a slice for breakfast, but I refrained and made an English muffin instead.

I hope you'll enjoy this peppermint bark cheesecake. It's sure to become a favorite at your house too.

Peppermint bark cheesecake 
Peppermint bark
  • 4 ounces white chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable, coconut, or canola oil, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract, divided
  • ⅓ cup candy cane, crushed
Crust
  • 24 chocolate or peppermint sandwich cookies (like Oreos or Joe-Joes), finely crushed
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Cheesecake filling
  • 4 - 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 and ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 3 eggs
  • Peppermint bark, chopped into small pieces
Chocolate ganache
  • 5.5 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
  • ½ cup heavy cream
Garnish
  • ¾ cup whipped cream
  • Crushed candy cane or hard peppermint candies
  • dark chocolate pieces
Directions
Make the peppermint bark: Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Melt the white chocolate with ½ teaspoon vegetable oil in a microwave-safe bowl for about 45 seconds and mix well. Add in ⅛ teaspoon of peppermint extract and mix until smooth. Spread the melted chocolate onto the parchment paper and place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes to set.

Repeat with the semi-sweet chocolate - melt the chocolate with the remaining oil in a microwave-safe bowl for 45-60 seconds and mix well. Add the remaining peppermint extract and mix until smooth. Spread the semi-sweet chocolate on top of the white chocolate layer and sprinkle with crushed candy cane bits. Place it back in the freezer until set (can do this overnight).

Once the bark has cooled completely, chop it into small chunks and return them to the freezer until you're ready to assemble the cheesecake.

Make the crust: Line the bottom of 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and grease the sides of the pan. Wrap the exterior of the pan with two layers of thick aluminum foil.

Mix together the crushed cookie crumbs with the melted butter. Then transfer it to your springform pan. Gently press down with a spatula or the bottom of a cup to keep the crumbs together. Set in the refrigerator briefly.
Make the filling: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Beat in the sour cream/Greek yogurt, flour, salt and extracts. Add eggs individually and mix until just combined.

Turn the mixer off and gently fold in the peppermint bark chunks. Pour the batter into your springform pan onto the cookie crust. Smooth out the top.

Reduce your oven temperature to 325 degrees F and bake the cake for 70-90 minutes or until center is no longer jiggly.Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in the oven (with the door shut) for an additional 30 minutes.

Allow the cheesecake to come to room temperature before placing in the refrigerator to cool completely (at least 4 hours or up to overnight).

Make the white chocolate ganache: Place the chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a measuring cup until it boils and pour it over the chopped chocolate. Stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Pour it over the cheesecake and place the cheesecake back in the refrigerator to cool.

If desired, you can decorate the top of the cheesecake with any combination of whipped cream, crushed candy cane and chopped chocolate. Store the cheesecake, covered, in the refrigerator. It will keep for several days if it lasts that long.

Yield: One 9" cheesecake; about 8-12 servings

Source: Lil' Luna

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