Cheesecake of the Month – January 2016!

We may have just finished the holiday season, but here is a cheesecake that you will want to keep handy for next year (or maybe not).  Quick, simple, and delicious!

Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake

CRUST
2 cups of chocolate wafer crumbs (35 wafers)
5 T butter, melted
3 T sugar
Cooking spray

FILLING
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
¼ cup heavy cream
4 packages (8-ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1 t peppermint extract
4 large eggs

ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS
Whipped peppermint cream
Garnish: crushed peppermint candies

  1. Prepare crust. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Stir together the first three ingredients in a medium bowl.  Press mixture onto bottom and up the sides of a lightly-greased 9” springform pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Let stand at room temperature until ready for use.
  2. Prepare filling. Reduce heat to 325 degrees.  Microwave chocolate morsels and cream in a small glass bowl on medium power for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring every 30 seconds.  Cool 10 minutes.
  3. Beat cream cheese and 1 cup of sugar with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer just until smooth.  Add chocolate mixture and extracts, and beat at low speed just until blended.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating at low speed just until yellow disappears after each addition; pour into your prepared crust.
  4. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour or until the center of the cheesecake jiggles and is almost set. Remove cheesecake from the oven and gently run knife around outer edge to loosen from the sides of the pan (do not remove the sides).  Cool cheesecake completely on a wire rack (about 2 hours).  Cover and chill 8 hours to 2 days.
  5. Remove sides of pan and spread whipped peppermint cream over cheesecake.

Whipped Peppermint Cream

Beat 2 cups of heavy cream and ¾ teaspoon of peppermint extract at medium-high speed until foamy; gradually add ¾ cup of powdered sugar, beating until soft peaks form.

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