Kraft's Peppermint Bark Cheesecake

12 Days of Christmas Holiday Cake and Cheesecake – Day 6

Holy cow!  Christmas is just a mere 10 days away!  I’m sure most of you have been shopping ’til you drop.  It truly is the most wonderful time of year, but also the most exhausting. So with that in mind, why don’t ya’ll come on in, grab yourself a nice cup of hot cocoa and cozy up next to my virtual fireplace.

Christmas Fireplace
Grab your hot cocoa and cozy on up next to my virtual fireplace.

Click here to enjoy the full virtual experience, complete with music! (Just be sure to come on back for today’s delicious Christmas confection.)

For all of you who have been following my 12 Days of Christmas posts you know that yesterday I posted a delicious recipe for the French classic Buche de Noel. I love roulades and the Buche de Noel is a fun and festive one to make during the holidays, not to mention totally delicious!

So, since cake was featured for Day 5 I decided for today’s Day 6 post that I would offer up a delicious cheesecake recipe.  I don’t know about you, but I absolutely adore cheesecake, any and all cheesecake.  I have never met a cheesecake I didn’t like. Their creamy, scrumptious goodness sends me over the top – all the way to foodie heaven… yummmmy!

The cheesecake I have selected today is a delicious peppermint, oreo and white and semi-sweet chocolate cheesecake from Kraft recipes.  It is so festive and pretty and would definitely look beautiful on your holiday table.

Kraft's Peppermint Bark Cheesecake
Kraft’s Peppermint Bark Cheesecake

I have had a lot of people tell me they are intimidated by cheesecakes and so they have never attempted to make them.  Let me just say right here and now cheesecakes are easy and fun! Please, do not be intimidated.  Here are some simple steps to follow that will assist you if you are not familiar with making these delicious desserts:

  • If the recipe calls for a springform pan be sure to use it.  These pans have a removable bottom and spring-locked tube that makes it easier to remove the cheesecake from  the pan.

    Springform Pan
    Springform Pan
  • One of the most frequent complaints in making cheesecake is the appearance of a surface crack(s).  This can happen for a number of different reasons but to assist in preventing them it is useful to use a water bath.  This is achieved by selecting a pan larger than the springform pan with a depth of 2 – 3 inches and placing very hot water into it to a depth of about 1/2 to 1 inch.  Before placing the springform pan in the pan with the water be sure to wrap the bottom and partially up the sides with heavy-duty aluminum foil. The water bath will also assist in evenly baking the cheesecake.
  • Always use full fat cheese and milk.  In my opinion, the use of lower fat dairy will result in an inferior cheesecake.  It’s all about the cheese in cheesecake dearies – you want that full fat flavor! And since it is a dessert that you probably won’t be making on a daily basis then, hey, it’s worth the splurge. 🙂
  • Allow your ingredients to come to room temperature.  This is true for all baked goods, but in this case it is particularly helpful in removing all of the lumps from the cream cheese.
  • When adding the eggs avoid over mixing as this can trap air in the batter and also result in a cracked surface.
  • Bake your cheesecake in a low temperature oven… 325 deg. is usually the optimum temperature.  Bake your cheesecake until the center  is just set – it should still be slightly wobbly and slightly moist.  At this point, turn your oven off and allow your cheesecake to remain in the oven for an additional hour.  The slower you cool your cheesecake the less the chance of developing those surface cracks. At the end of the hour carefully take your cheesecake from the oven and remove the foil.  Use a knife to go around the outer edge of the cheesecake and allow the cheesecake to completely cool to room temperature.  This will allow the cheesecake to pull away from the pan as it continues to cool.
  • Once completely cooled again use the knife around the outer edges and remove the sides of the pan.  Place the cheesecake in the refrigerator and allow to chill for an additional 4-6 hours.
  • If you find that you still have ended up with a crack in the surface (because, alas, they do still happen from time to time no matter your precautions) then you can choose a topping to put over the top to hide that pesky crack.  Whipped cream, sweetened sour cream, and fruit make great and tasty choices. Luckily, since this recipe calls for a whipped topping you don’t to have to worry so much in the event of a crack in the surface.

Speaking of whipped cream, this featured cheesecake calls for the use of Cool Whip.  I personally believe that if I am going to go to the trouble of making a spectacular cheesecake then I want a true whipped (chantilly) cream. Nothing wrong with Cool Whip, mind you, because I do use it from time to time but NEVER for cheesecake! 🙂

Here is the recipe that I use:

Whipped Cream (aka Chantilly Cream)

1 cup heavy cream

1 – 1/2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar (I aso use regular sugar if I don’t happen to have confectioner’s on hand).

1-1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

For successful whipped cream I always place my bowl and beaters in the freezer until they are ice cold.

Once cold remove the bowl and beaters and add the whipping cream to the bowl.  With your mixer whip the cream until loose peaks form.  Add in the confectioners or plain sugar and the vanilla and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.  Do not over beat or you will end up with butter.  Use in place of the Cool Whip called for in the above recipe.

Well ya’ll, I really hope you enjoy this cheesecake.  It’s a beautiful and delicious cheesecake.  The combination of chocolate, oreos, and peppermint is over-the-top, gotta-have-a-second-piece, ooooohhhh sooooo good delicious!

Be sure to drop back by tomorrow for Day 7 of Christmas Cake and Cheesecake as I will have another awesome goody waiting for you to grace your holiday table with.

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