January 13, 2015

Peppermint Cheesecake

This holiday season, I baked more than I had any other Christmas. Before I had started tackling the baking list, the thought of it was overwhelming. However, I found breaking the baking up over a few days was the key to not stressing out. Don't let the daunting thought of making a cheesecake deter you. It is actually very easy and can be made a little at a time.
     Phase 1- Mix the filling while baking the crust. (My KitchenAid did all of the hard work.)
     Phase 2- Bake the filling for an hour; let cheesecake sit an additional hour. (Relax! The time consuming part is over.)
     Phase 3- Refrigerate overnight. (The easiest phase!)
     Phase 4- The next day, finish with the topping.

See, I told you it wasn't too bad. Personally, I don't think there could be a more festive dessert for Christmas!
Recipe adapted from Baked by Rachel.

Crust Ingredients:
  • 22 regular Oreos - not double stuf (yes, one "f"!)
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
Filling Ingredients:
  • 3 (8 oz.) blocks of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 4 oz. white chocolate, melted
  • 1½ tbsp flour
  • 1½ tbsp heavy cream
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 3 eggs
  • Candy canes, crushed
Mousse Ingredients:
  • ½ c. cool whip, softened
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 oz. white chocolate, melted
  • 1½ tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • Crushed candy cane pieces and whipped cream for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9" spring-form pan with two sheets of tin foil. In a food processor, blend cookies until only fine crumbs remain. Add melted butter. Give a quick blend. Transfer crumb mixture to spring-form pan. Shake to disperse crumbs. Using a flat bottom cup, press down to create an even crust. Bake crust for 10 minutes; set aside.
  2. Reduce temperature to 325°F.
  3. Crush some candy canes; set aside.
  4. Begin melting 4 oz. white chocolate. Using a double boiler, melt over simmering water. Stir until fully melted.
  5. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar; mix well. Scrape bowl well prior to each new addition and as needed. Add melted chocolate, flour, whipping cream, salt and peppermint extract; mix well. On medium/low speed, add one egg at a time. Mix until smooth and blended well.
  6. Add crushed candy cane pieces, stir by hand.
  7. Transfer spring-form pan and cooked crust to a larger pan, such as a large roasting pan. Pour filling into crust. Add enough hot water to reach half way up the sides of your spring-form pan. Carefully place in center of oven. Bake at 325°F for 1 hour. Turn off the oven. Keeping the door shut, leave the cheesecake in the oven for an additional 45 minutes. Remove and allow to sit for at least 1 hour before chilling.
  8. Chill 4 hours or overnight before adding the mousse.
  9. In a medium bowl, beat softened cream cheese, melted white chocolate, cool whip, sugar and vanilla until smooth and slightly thickened.
  10. Carefully remove side of spring-form pan. Spread mousse mixture evenly over cheesecake. Chill for 4 hours or overnight before serving. 
  11. Serve slices with crushed candy canes and whipped cream. Enjoy! :)
Note: I used Ghirardelli white chocolate and Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate.

Red and White Striped Dishtowel - Crate and Barrel
Silver Beaded Cake Stand - Threshold at Target