This peppermint cheesecake is part of my baked cheesecake recipe collection. It's not necessarily one of those traditional Italian dessert recipes, but it is cheesecake! Right? And there's nothing like a nice homemade cheesecake full of REAL dairy products. And I love love love real dairy products!
Alot of people make this at Valentine's Day and Christmas. Which yes, you can use candy canes. I use those cheap peppermint candies. I crush 'em up about the size of pencil erasers and add it to the batter. All to say, whether you use candy canes or the cheap peppermint candies - same thing.
Along the line of "cheap", I was telling my husband that a cheesecake like this sells for around $40.00 at Whole Foods or Cheesecake Factory. I don't know that he really cared. But he got more interested when I mentioned that this cost less than $10.00 to make.
One thing to note. I would NOT skip the peppermint extract. Although tiny in amount - you need it to permeate the batter and the crushed candy alone won't do it. (Remember the key thing here is you are making a PEPPERMINT cheesecake.)
The other thing to note - the melted vanilla or white chocolate chips. You really don't want to skip those either. And don't worry about the leftovers. You can use the peppermint extract in my really awesome Mint Brownie Recipe which has chocolate in it too! And you can use the extra white chocolate morsels in my Neapolitan Cookies. All to say, don't skip these two ingredients because you think you won't have anything else to use them for!
Happy baking! Thank you for stopping by -
* 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
* 1/3 cup of melted butter
* 2 tablespoons sugar (sometimes I leave this out)
* 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature (set them out ahead of time)
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 3 tablespoons of flour
* 4 eggs
* 1 cup of sour cream (no light or fat free - PLEASE!)
* 1/4 cup of melted vanilla or white chocolate chips (Don't skip this! See why below )
* 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract (Don't skip this either! See why below)
* 1/4 cup of crushed peppermint candy. (Peppermint mints the cheap ones, or candy canes are fine too)
* Preheat your oven to 325 degrees
* Crush your peppermint candy. When I crush - I just make sure the pieces are smaller than a pencil eraser. I put them in a sandwich bag and smack 'em with a meat mallet. NO BIG chunks!
* Make the crust first - combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar
* Press them into your spring form pan
* Put that pan in the fridge while you attend to the rest of the pie.
* Take out a rather large bowl and beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth;
* Next add flour - I know this seems like an odd thing to add - but with four eggs this helps bind
* Add the first three eggs, one at a time, and beat them just until they are blended.
* When you add the fourth egg - include the peppermint extract and melted chips and blend well.
* Put away the beater - add the sour cream and mix in with a spoon
* Fold in the crushed peppermint candy. Try not to stir too much or the "red" will bleed.
* Bake for 50-60 minutes - you are looking for the center to be almost set. A teeny bit of a jiggle is ok.
* Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Take a knife around edge of pan. Your cake will still be somewhat warm. That's OK.
* Let it cool 1 hour more before you put it in the refrigerator.
* After the 1 hour of cooling - refrigerate overnight - or a good while to get the cake throughly chilled.
* Just before serving, remove sides of pan.
* Press more crushed candy onto the sides. Only do this right before serving. The candies will weep if they sit on the cheesecake too long. You can see I opted to just scatter on the top. So, on the top. Or on the sides. Tomato To-mah-toe. You choose.
* Because of the cooling time - I'd plan on at least MINIMUM before your peppermint cheesecake will be precious people presentable. (I was trying to come up iwth a kitchy saying - but somehow didn't quite get it there.)
NOTE: The peppermint candy does NOT stay crunchy when you bake. It bakes into the cheesecake - and you will have little pink flecks. But you won't have the crunch. Just mentioning so you won't think something went wrong.
Without it he mint is standing out as a sore thumb. The vanilla or white chocolate gives it more of a that chocolate mint-y type dessert flavor without getting too heavy on the chocolate or vanilla. It's there to help blend the mint extract.
The candy doesn't have enough flavor to permeate the cheesecake, you really do need that half teaspoon - otherwise the only minty flavor you will get is from you crushed candy.
Back to the peppermint cheesecake recipe.