Cheesecake – just about the only dessert I can handle making without resulting in a complete disaster/anxiety attack. The crust never involves rolling out dough and you don’t have to worry about the cake becoming too dry. The hardest part (in my opinion) is ensuring it doesn’t crack, which I found is nearly impossible if you bake it in a water bath and let it cool in the oven after baking.
Both a wonderful and convenient thing about cheesecake is how versatile it is. Once you nail your classic cheesecake recipe, the possibilities are really endless. You can add berries, jams, and compotes. Make it vanilla bean, chocolate, hazelnut, or peanut butter. Throw in some liquor and make it bourbon. Create a crust out of graham crackers, cookies, pretzels, or cereal. Finish with a drizzle of caramel, a dusting of confectioners sugar or a squeeze of lemon; The sky is your limit.
For this particular cheesecake, I wanted it to look and taste festive. I immediately thought of peppermint bark and candy canes. I didn’t want it to be too peppermint. Mint can become very overwhelming, very fast and it not something every single person is going to love. So, I went the mild route. I found these peppermint bark Oreos last year and should have bought stock in them I ate so many. Trader Joe’s has a similar cookie, too! Rather than adding any peppermint extract or crushed up chocolate mint candies to the filling, I decided to keep it as a traditional vanilla (this is what kept it mild.) To make it decadent I chose to make a white chocolate ganache to pour over the top. Finally, for good measure I garnished with crushed candy canes. It was the perfect amount of peppermint and it fit our holly jolly theme seamlessly.
What You’ll Need
Printable Recipe: Here
For the Crust:
- 2 packages of Peppermint Bark Oreos (should equal about 3 cups once processed into crumbs)
- 1 stick butter, melted
For the Cheesecake:
- 32 ounces (4 blocks) of cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
- 4 large eggs, room temperate
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla
For the White Chocolate Ganache:
- 1 package (11.5 oz) white chocolate chips
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Begin by preheating your oven to 300° and tightly wrap the bottom of your springform pan in aluminum foil. Combine the Oreo cookie crumbs and melted butter and press into the bottom of your springform pan. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar, sour cream, and vanilla and beat until well combined. On low speed, gently mix in the eggs, one at a time just until combined. Pour the batter over the crust.
- Place the cheesecake in the center of a large roasting pan. Fill the pan with water to make a bath for the cheesecake, about 2 inches deep. Bake for about 1 hour or until the edges are set and the center is only slightly jiggly. Turn off the oven, but leave the cheesecake to sit for 1 hour with the door closed. Do not remove cheesecake from springform pan yet.
- In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of heavy cream to a simmer. Pour hot heavy cream over white chocolate chips a little at a time, stirring until melted and combined. Evenly pour the mixture over cooked cheesecake and then refrigerate until the ganache sets, about 1 hour.
- Using a butter knife, gently separate the sides of the cheesecake from the springform pan. Carefully remove the sides of your springform pan. Garnish with crushed candy canes before serving.