Cookies and Cream Peppermint Bark Cheese Cake

It’s the Most Wonderful Dessert of the Year… if you like cheese cake, peppermint candy and Oreo cookies that is. Well The Mr. seemed to think his boys would love it as their Christmas meal finale, so I was more than willing to give it a go. I noticed the advertisement from Kraft Foods while thumbing through one of our foodie magazines.

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However, when I started looking at the ingredients and instructions, I realized I could save myself a step or two (actually Steps 7-9) by using already-made white and dark chocolate peppermint bark. And seeing as how we were going to be cooking for 4 days straight, that was a no-brainer. (The recipe below is the original.)

There’s a big “BUT” coming, baking the cheesecake actually took an additional 25 minutes! At the 55 minute mark, as indicated below, the center was still almost soup consistency. I added another 10 minutes, still not ready; another 10 minutes, still too wet; 5 minutes more, finally done.

IMG_0391Son Dan and girlfriend Tina savor the efforts with a glass of eggnog.

It will serve up to 16 guests, depending on how thin you slice it. And if doesn’t all go in the first round, a fresh cheesecake will last a week in the refrigerator if covered properly. Keep in mind,  bacteria grow rapidly at temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F; so it should be discarded if left out for more than 2 hours at room temperature.

Can you freeze cheesecake? Yes, to freeze: wrap cheesecake tightly with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap, or place in heavy-duty freezer bag. Properly stored, it will maintain best quality for about 2 to 3 months, but will remain safe beyond that time.

Cookies and Cream Peppermint Bark Cheesecake

  • Servings: 8-16 slices
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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Ingredients

  • 30 Oreo cookies, divided
  • Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
  • 35 starlight mints, divided
  • pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
  • cup sugar
  • eggs
  • pkg. (4 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • oz. white chocolate

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 325°F.
  2. Use pulsing action of food processor to process 18 cookies until finely ground. Add butter; mix well. Press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Bake 10 min.
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  3. Crush 30 mints, then chop 10 of the remaining cookies.
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  4. Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with mixer until blended.
  5. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Stir in crushed mints and chopped cookies. Pour over crust.
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  6. Bake 55 min. or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate cheesecake 4 hours.
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  7. Meanwhile, crush remaining mints, then chop remaining cookies. Cover baking sheet with parchment.
  8. Melt chocolates separately as directed on packages. Spread semi-sweet chocolate into thin layer on prepared baking sheet; top with tablespoonfuls of the white chocolate. Swirl gently with spoon.
  9. Top with crushed mints and chopped cookies. Refrigerate until firm.
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  10. Break chocolate bark into small pieces; sprinkle over cheesecake before serving.

Variation

Substitute 3/4 cup crushed candy canes for the starlight mints. Reserve 1 Tbsp. crushed candy for sprinkling over the swirled chocolate bark; stir remaining crushed candy into the cheesecake batter before baking as directed.

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