Dec 10
2012

Holiday Chocolate & Peppermint Cheesecake Bar Recipe

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Holiday Chocolate & Peppermint Cheesecake Bar Recipe by Cookin' Canuck

I just received word from the North Pole that I am on the “naughty” list. It seems that the man in red got wind of the fact that I was posting these cheesecake bars. And yes, they are naughty. Creamy cheesecake, swirled chocolate, set over a tender chocolate crust and garnished with peppermint candy canes. Yeah, I think that takes me out of the “healthy food blogger” category for today. But you know what? I’m okay with that. Because these are so darn good, and deserve to be in every holiday dessert line-up.

For the crust, I used Anna’s Chocolate Mint Thin Cookies that I found at the grocery store, but regular chocolate wafers will work perfectly.

Be sure to plan ahead when making these cheesecake bars, because they need to cool for 2 hours and then rest in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight. In other words, they are not a “spur of the moment” kind of dessert. But I promise that they are worth the wait.

A Worthy Cause:

As I mentioned in the Chocolate Covered Pretzels with Crushed Candy Canes post, my trusty OXO tools are always at the ready when I get down to some serious baking.

Baking tools aside, I am truly touched by the story of their affiliation with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising fund for pediatric cancer research, and it was started by two OXO employees, Gretchen and Larry Witt, who lost their little boy, Liam, to pediatric cancer.

Photo courtesy of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer

They spearheaded the bake sale of all bake sales to raise money. There have now been bake sales all over the country for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. In addition, OXO developed the “Good Cookie” Spatula and, in 2012, the sales of this spatula helped raise more than $250,000 for the organization.

Consider buying a Good Cookie spatula, or head to the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer site to see what you can do to help.  Wouldn’t your friends love to receive some of the Mint-Night Chocolate or Ginger Spice cookies you can buy from the site?

Now, let’s get cooking.

The recipe:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare a 8-inch square baking pan by lining the pan with aluminum foil, leaving 3-4 inches of foil draping over the sides of the pan.

The Crust:

Place the chocolate wafers into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the wafers form fine crumbs, about 30 seconds. To the crumbs, add butter, brown sugar, flour, and salt. Pulse until the ingredients are fully combined. Using the bottom of a measuring cup or your fingers, press the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan.

Holiday Chocolate & Peppermint Cheesecake Bar Recipe by Cookin' Canuck
OXO tools seen here: Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons and Small Spatula

Bake until the crust is beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let the crust cool on a cooling rack for about 30 minutes.

The filling:

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until it is very smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape the beaters and sides of bowl frequently. Gradually beat in granulated sugar until the mixture is combined, about 1 minute. Beat in eggs, one a time, making sure that each is fully incorporated. Beat in sour cream and vanilla extract until fully combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape the cream cheese mixture into the baking pan, over top of the cooled crust. Spread evenly.

Holiday Chocolate & Peppermint Cheesecake Bar Recipe by Cookin' Canuck
Other OXO tools seen here: Stainless Steel Measuring Cups, Medium Spoon Spatula and 4 Piece Mini Measuring Beaker Set

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips and heavy cream. Melt in the microwave on 50% power, stirring every 20 seconds, until smooth.

Using a teaspoon, spoon the melted chocolate gently onto random places over the surface of the cheesecake. Using a small knife, gently swirl the chocolate into the cream cheese mixture.
Bake until the edges are set but the middle still jiggles slightly when the pan is shaken slightly, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.

Place the pan on a cooling rack, sprinkle with half of the crushed candy canes (these will melt on top) and allow the bars to cool for 2 hours. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, and up to 24 hours.

Holiday Chocolate & Peppermint Cheesecake Bar Recipe by Cookin' Canuck

Using the overhanging foil, lift the bars from the pan. Sprinkle the remaining crushed candy canes over the top. Gently remove the foil and cut into 16 bars.

Other treats with chocolate and peppermint:

Mint & Chocolate Recipes
Cookin’ Canuck’s Chocolate Marshmallow Pops Three Ways: Candy Cane, Heath Bar & Coconut
Cookin’ Canuck’s Chocolate & Peppermint Candy Cane Wedding Cookies
Tutti Dolci’s Peppermint Bark
Diethood’s Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha Latte
Peaches & Cream’s Peppermint Mocha Cake

Holiday Chocolate & Candy Cane Cheesecake Bar Recipe

Yield: Makes 16 bars

From the kitchen of Cookin Canuck. www.cookincanuck.com

Ingredients

    Crust:
  • 4 oz. chocolate wafers, broken into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Filling:
  • 2 (8 oz. each) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate)
  • 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 8 mini candy canes, crushed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Prepare a 8-inch square baking pan by lining the pan with aluminum foil, leaving 3-4 inches of foil draping over the sides of the pan.
  3. The Crust:
  4. Place the chocolate wafers into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the wafers form fine crumbs, about 30 seconds. To the crumbs, add butter, brown sugar, flour, and salt. Pulse until the ingredients are fully combined. Using the bottom of a measuring cup or your fingers, press the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  5. Bake until the crust is beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let the crust cool on a cooling rack for about 30 minutes.
  6. The filling:
  7. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until it is very smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape the beaters and sides of bowl frequently. Gradually beat in granulated sugar until the mixture is combined, about 1 minute. Beat in eggs, one a time, making sure that each is fully incorporated. Beat in sour cream and vanilla extract until fully combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape the cream cheese mixture into the baking pan, over top of the cooled crust. Spread evenly.
  8. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips and heavy cream. Melt in the microwave on 50% power, stirring every 20 seconds, until smooth.
  9. Using a teaspoon, spoon the melted chocolate gently onto random places over the surface of the cheesecake. Using a small knife, gently swirl the chocolate into the cream cheese mixture.
  10. Bake until the edges are set but the middle still jiggles slightly when the pan is shaken slightly, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.
  11. Place the pan on a cooling rack, sprinkle with half of the crushed candy canes (these will melt on top) and allow the bars to cool for 2 hours. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, and up to 24 hours.
  12. Using the overhanging foil, lift the bars from the pan. Sprinkle the remaining crushed candy canes over the top. Gently remove the foil and cut into 16 bars.

Notes

Adapted from America's Test Kitchen.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by OXO. Regardless of sponsorship, OXO tools are simply my favorite to work with in the kitchen.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Erin @ Texanerin Baking December 10, 2012 at 5:50 am

But it’s fun to be on the naughty list sometimes, isn’t it? :) These definitely look like they’re worth it! The time, calories, and being sentenced to a day on the naughty list.

And Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is such a great cause! I’m happy that more and more people are getting involved.

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2 Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar December 10, 2012 at 7:00 am

I love these! So pretty and festive :)

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3 brandi December 10, 2012 at 7:11 am

these sound so delicious! i love the colors, too – so festive!

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4 shelly (cookies and cups) December 10, 2012 at 7:50 am

Holy yum!! I can’t even think about how amazing these are!

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5 Lori @ RecipeGirl December 10, 2012 at 7:52 am

Delicious naughty treat indeed!

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6 Sommer@ASpicyPerspective December 10, 2012 at 8:37 am

Such a fun recipe and a GREAT cause!

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7 Helene December 10, 2012 at 8:57 am

Such a great cause, and these bars would not last long in my house :)

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8 Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen December 10, 2012 at 9:06 am

Such a festive recipe- and a worthy cause!

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9 Laura (Tutti Dolci) December 10, 2012 at 10:51 am

These bars look incredible, Dara! Thanks for linking to my peppermint bark! :)

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10 Jessica@AKitchenAddiction December 10, 2012 at 11:19 am

These are so festive! What a great cause to share!

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11 Jennifer December 10, 2012 at 11:56 am

Love, love this recipe! My friend and I have been talking about planning a Cookies for Cancer bake sale, and I think we’ll be able to get it done in the spring.

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12 Holly December 10, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Who wants to be nice if it means skipping these goodies?? I like your step by step photos and thanks for the heads up to leave lots of setting time for these bars. It might not be last minute but it’s great to have a dessert you can make ahead of time.

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13 Lail December 10, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Such a worthy cause. The cheesecake bars loo notoriously delicious.

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14 Liz @ The Lemon Bowl December 10, 2012 at 1:31 pm

I am not sure if this will be good. I better make it and find out for sure. ;-)

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15 MikeVFMK December 10, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Cheesecake and bars? I’m sold. I’ve always had this crazy sweet tooth. And it’s because of recipes like this. So delicious! And a great cause too! Happy holidays Dara!

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16 Julia {The Roasted Root} December 10, 2012 at 8:56 pm

We can’t be healthy allllll the time ;) Plus you made these delicious treats for a great cause! They do look sinfully addicting!

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17 Brooks December 11, 2012 at 8:29 am

Dara, this kind of naughty behavior is welcome because these Holiday Chocolate & Candy Cane Cheesecake Bars are oh… so… nice! The nod to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is spot on too. Brava!

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18 carrian December 11, 2012 at 9:41 am

Love these! And those cute little snowmen!

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19 Azzina December 12, 2012 at 4:50 am

This is not fare yesterday was my birthday. I landed your blog today I miss out the awesome cheese. Definitely i would have tried this on my birthday. Better next time.

Cheese cake

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20 laura March 18, 2013 at 9:22 am

any way to determine the calories per serving?

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21 Bar April 24, 2013 at 8:44 am

This Cheesecake bars looks fantastic. I’ll try to make this specialty tonight. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!!!

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