Whenever I meet someone who says they don’t enjoy peppermint and chocolate together, I do a sort of double take. I evaluate my friendship with them. Occasionally, their proclamation is a deal-breaker, and that’s the end of that. I kid, of course, but I am serious about peppermint bark. I hope y’all are into some peppermint bark recipes (like this dark chocolate-peppermint shortbread), because that’s what you’re going to get this year. You’re welcome.
I got the idea for this show-stopping peppermint bark recipe from The Cheescake Factory, believe it or not. As a child, it was either that one or the White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle for me. The Cheesecake Factory’s Peppermint Bark option is light on the chocolate, which I needed to fix. Peppermint and chocolate must be even, with the flavors leaning neither way but nicely balanced in the middle. One achieves this by going light on the peppermint, as it’s such a strong flavor and can easily overpower.
I started with a classic chocolate sandwich cookie crust. As I found out when creating my pecan pie cheesecake, a food processor is the way to go. You must use it for the crust anyway, so might as well use to for both and make your life infinitely easier. For the crust, you just blitz up some sugar, chocolate sandwich cookies of your choice, and drizzle in some melted butter to create a sandy mixture that will hold together.
This cheesecake is pretty simple. I blitzed sour cream and an ungodly amount of cream cheese in the food processor until smooth. Then I tossed in white sugar and eggs and egg yolks. I flavored the cheesecake with the slightest amount of peppermint extract and tossed in some chopped Williams Sonoma peppermint bark for good measure.
The ganache topping went unadulterated– just-good quality dark chocolate chips and warm heavy cream.
Peppermint Bark Cheesecake
This peppermint bark cheescake is creamy and decadent perfection for any holiday gathering.
- 1 box chocolate sandwich cookies
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 8 tablespoons salted butter melted
- 3 8-ounce bricks cream cheese softened
- 3/4 cup sour cream don’t use low-fat
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 3 eggs at room temperature
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup peppermint bark chopped finely
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1.5 cups dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup peppermint bark
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
Wrap the bottom and sides of a 9″ or 10’’ springform pan with several layers of aluminum foil. This is so that no water seeps into your cheesecake while it’s baking in the water bath.
Lightly butter or spray pan with nonstick spray.
In the bowl of your food processor, pulse chocolate cookies and sugar together.
Drizzle in the melted butter, pulsing until mixure looks like wet sand.
Pour crust into prepared pan. Firmly pat the mixture into the pan, working it from the center and up the sides. Build up the sides to extend over the filling, if you like that look.
Bake crust for 10 minutes. Cool crust while you prepare the filling.
Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees (F).
In the bowl of a food processor, blitz the softened cream cheese and sour cream until completely smooth.
Add in sugar and peppermint extract and beat until just smooth, scraping down the sides and bottom of bowl as needed.
Add in the eggs and yolks and beat until smooth.
Pour filling on top of the partially baked crust. Using a rubber spatula, smooth the top.
Place the cheesecake pan into a large, deep roasting pan. Fill the pan with 2 inches of hot water.
Carefully place the pan in the oven and bake for 60 minutes. The cheesecake should be still slightly wiggly. Turn oven off and let the cheesecake sit, inside the closed oven, for 30 minutes.
Remove cake from oven and gently run a knife very carefully around the edge of the cake. Place the cheesecake on a cooling rack and cool completely, then loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and chill for at least 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
To make the ganache, heat the cream in a small saucepan until just simmering.
Pour the chocolate chips into a heatproof bowl (I use a large glass measuring cup). Add the hot cream and let sit for 5 minutes.
With a spatula, stir the chocolate chips until completely melted and smooth. Let cool for 10 minutes in the fridge and then pour on cheesecake, starting from the middle and smoothing outward with the back of a spoon to cover the entire top. Top with large pieces of peppermint bark in a pile in the middle.
If you want to make it ahead, the cheesecake will keep, tightly covered in the fridge, for five days. Cheesecake may be frozen, the entire pan wrapped in plastic wrap and then heavy-duty aluminum foil, for two months. Thaw overnight before slicing.
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