Candy Cane Cheesecake

The first hint of snow makes me think of peppermint and chocolate, in my coffee but also in my dessert. Growing up in New Jersey means that I know good New York style cheesecake! I mention that because there are plenty of peppermint confections out there that add candy cane bits to the actual cheesecake filling. This makes the cheesecake crunchy and sticky.

My opinion is that you shouldn’t mess up the authentic consistency of rich cheesecake. This Candy Cane Cheesecake has just the right balance of creamy cheesecake filling with the added flavor of peppermint extract, a delicious explosion of peppermint flavored Oreo crust, and a shiny dark chocolate ganache that drips down the sides.

The “top chocolate layer” becomes an ice skating rink of ganache—your wonderland for candy cane decoration. If you love cheesecake, peppermint, and Oreos, you’ll love this dessert! Put on some Christmas music and hum along as you create this masterpiece.

Candy Cane Cheesecake

By: Rae-Ellen Sanders

Ingredients:
Oreo crust:
24 Peppermint Bark-flavored Oreos or Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Joe Joe’s
5 Tbsp of melted butter

Cheesecake Filling:

32 oz (4 bars) full-fat cream cheese bricks
4 eggs
3⁄4 cup sour cream
1 and 1⁄2 cups sugar

1⁄4 tsp of salt
3 Tbsp of flour
2 tsp of vanilla extract
2 tsp of peppermint extract

Dark Chocolate Ganache:

10 oz of Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions:

  1. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and grease/spray the sides of the pan. Wrap a piece of heavy-duty foil securely around the bottom of the springform pan to make sure no water gets in during the baking. Place springform pan on top of a roasting pan and wait to add water just before baking. (This process is called a water bath.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Oreo Crust Directions:

  1. Use the old-fashioned method of rolling a rolling pin over a baggy of cookies, or utilize a chopper to crush cookies into crumbs.
  2. Melt butter and then fold in crumbs.
  3. Press into bottom of springform pan evenly.
  4. Set in the fridge or freezer to firm the crust while making the filling.

Cheesecake Filling:

  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
  2. Add eggs one at a time.
  3. Mix in the sour cream, flour, salt, and extracts. Beat on low speed until just combined. Don’t over mix as this can cause cracking in the surface of the cake.

Directions:

  1. Pour cheesecake filling over the Oreo crust. Smooth the top.
  2. Add HOT water to the roasting pan, up to half the side of the springform pan.
  3. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes. The center should be a tiny bit jiggly. Turn OFF the oven, open the door, and leave the cheesecake in the oven for an additional 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the springform pan from the water bath, dry the bottom, and cool it on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen. DON’T release the springform just yet! Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  5. Remove cheesecake from refrigerator to unhinge the sides and remove springform collar. Transfer the cake to your serving platter.
  6. Make ganache by heating the heavy whipping cream and chocolate chips in the microwave for 30 seconds or until warm. Whisk gently until the chocolate melts and the mixture develops a smooth, shiny texture. Pour the ganache over the cheesecake, allowing it to run in ripples down the sides. Place cake back into the fridge to harden the ganache.
  7. Decorate with peppermint candy of your choice. Try using different sizes and shapes, like crushed peppermint candy, shards of peppermint bark, lollipops, candy canes, round peppermints, and ribbon candy.
  8. Use a sharp knife to cut into the hardened ganache and enjoy this new Christmas favorite!

 

 

Rae-Ellen Sanders
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