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Chocolate-Peppermint Cheesecake

Photo: Linda Pugliese, Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas, Buffy Hargett Miller

Hands-on time 30 mins
Total time 11 hrs, 50 mins
Yield

Makes 10 to 12 servings

Don't worry if your cheesecake cracks; the light and fluffy layer of whipped cream will cover it.

Ingredients

  • CRUST
  • 2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs (about 35 wafers)
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • FILLING
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS
  • Whipped Peppermint Cream
  • Garnish: crushed peppermint candies

How to Make It

  1. Prepare Crust: Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl. Press mixture on bottom and 1 inch up sides of a lightly greased (with cooking spray) 9-inch springform pan. Bake 10 minutes. Let stand at room temperature until ready to use.

  2. Prepare Filling: Reduce oven temperature to 325°. Microwave chocolate morsels and cream in a small microwave-safe bowl at MEDIUM (50% power) 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 sugar at medium-low speed 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 prepared crust.

  4. Bake at 325° for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until center of cheesecake jiggles and is almost set. Remove cheesecake from oven, and gently run a knife around outer edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan. (Do not remove 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.