Peppermint Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache

Hi all– So how was your Christmas??  Hope it was full of sweet times with people you love.  We are winding down here.  Watching the Santa Paws movie on Netflix with the Grand-girls while all our kids are off seeing Star Wars.

And wanted to send you this recipe from our Christmas Eve lunch.  Peppermint laced cheesecake topped with rich chocolate ganache.  It does taste like Christmas.

PEPPERMINT CHEESECAKE WITH CHOCOLATE GANACHE

Crust:
1 store-bought Oreo pre-made crust
2 tab. cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar

Filling:
32 oz. cream cheese (4 packages)
1 cup sugar
3 tab. flour
5 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. peppermint extract
2 candy canes, crushed to a powder

Chocolate Ganache:
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tab. butter
1  1/3 cup chocolate chips (8 oz.)
garnish: 2 or 3 candy canes, chopped to bits

Mix the Oreo pre-made crust, 1/4 cup sugar and melted butter until the chocolate crust turns to crumbs and blends with the butter and sugar.  Press it into a 10″ springform pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake the crust for just 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

For the filling, with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and cup of sugar until they are blended and smooth (no lumps!).  Then beat in the flour, eggs, sour cream and peppermint extract.  Finally fold in the crushed candy canes.

Spoon the mixture over the semi-cooked crust and return it to the oven for 60 to 70 minutes at 350 degrees.  It helps to put a pan of water on the bottom rack below the cheesecake to prevent cracks as it cools.  The cake while be slightly wobbly in the center, but should firm up as it cools.  Open the door of the oven a crack and let the cheesecake sit 60 minutes more in the cooling oven.

Take the cheesecake out of the oven and run a sharp knife around the sides, so it won’t stick to the sides and let it cool an hour more.  Then cover it with foil and store in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it.

To make the ganache, bring the cream and 2 tab. butter to a low simmer in a saucepan on the stove top.  Take it off the heat and stir in the chocolate chips, beating it together until smooth and shiny (3 or 4 minutes).

Let the ganache cool and then spoon it over the cooled cheesecake.  Sprinkle the chopped peppermint on top.  Pretty and ready to eat!

And here’s my beautiful mother– enjoying her cheesecake with the family.  Merry Christmas Mom! (And I know she’s one person who always reads my little blog– thanks Mom– Your’e the best!)

Christmas Cake

IMG_2502Hi all– this really isn’t much of a recipe– more just an idea for making a cake mix into a cake fit for Christmas–with the help of some mini chocolate chips and a little peppermint extract.  We had a friends Christmas potluck dinner on Monday so with one cake mix I took these two cakes along.  Easy and celebratory enough for a party.

CHRISTMAS CAKE
1 chocolate fudge cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
water
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 tsp. peppermint extract

Frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 box powdered sugar (about 3 3/4 cups)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tab. whole milk (or half & half)
garnish:  12 mini candy canes, pounded to bits.

IMG_2506Mix up the cake mix according to the directions on the package.  (my box called for 1/3 cup oil, 3 eggs and 1 cup water).

Then fold in the mini chocolate chips and the peppermint extract. Spoon the batter into 2 8″ cake pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray.  And pop them in the oven at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

When the cakes are cooled, make the frosting– With an electric mixer beat together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and milk until it is smooth and creamy.

Normally I use the frosting to cover a 2 layer cake– but this time for our potluck I wanted 2 smallish cakes.  Who needs a huge dessert after all that yummy potluck food?.

Just spread on the frosting, and sprinkle the crushed candy canes on top.

This could scarcely be easier!!  Hope you have a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

IMG_2525
Here’s the Monday night friends– just love these gals, every one! We’ve been meeting together for almost 20 years, through thick and thin, we know each other so well…  xo