Peppermint always puts me in a good mood and the only thing that makes it even better is chocolate. Regardless of the season, you’ll find me ordering peppermint hot chocolate at Starbucks. Now that the holidays are here, I can go all out with peppermint desserts and not feel weird about it =) So let’s kick off peppermint season with a yummy treat that combines a dark chocolate crust with creamy peppermint: peppermint cheesecake bars! Here is how to make them:

Peppermint Cheesecake Bars
 

Ingredients
  • 2 cups chocolate wafer cookies
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ⅓ cup melted butter
  • 2 8oz packages of cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ tsp peppermint extract
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 5 eggs
  • red food coloring

Instructions
  1. Preheat you oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Put chocolate wafer cookies and sugar in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles soil. Add melted butter and pulse for a few seconds. Pour mixture in a baking sheet (1/4 sheet) or 9×13 cake pan. Press it down to make an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes.
  3. While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract and peppermint extract until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add milk and eggs and mix until smooth.
  4. Put ½ cup of that mixture in a separate bowl and add red food coloring. Mix. Pour into a squeeze bottle.
  5. Pour white batter over the chocolate crust. Squeeze out red batter on top of it in lines. Using a spoon, create swirls in the batter.
  6. Bake for 22 minutes.

Put chocolate wafer cookies and sugar in a food processor. I used Oreo cookies and scraped off the filling:

Pulse until the mixture resembles soil:

Add melted butter and pulse for a few seconds.

Now before you press this crust into your cake pan, here is how I prepare the pan. Cut 2 pieces of parchment paper. One that covers the bottom of the pan and another one that goes beyond both sides of the pan. We will use this extra layer to pull the cheesecake out of the pan in one piece. Trust me, it’s worth the extra step:

Pour mixture in a quarter size baking sheet (or 9×13 cake pan):

Press it down into an even layer:

To press it down in place, use another baking sheet, put it on top and press down:

Bake for 10 minutes.

While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. Put cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract and peppermint extract in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment:

 Mix until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add milk and eggs and mix until smooth.


Pour 1/2 cup of that mixture in a separate bowl, add red food coloring and mix:

Pour that red batter into a squeeze bottle:


Pour white batter over the chocolate crust:

Squeeze out red batter on top of it in lines:

Using a spoon, create swirls in the batter:


Bake for 22 minutes until set:

Let cool for 30 minutes. Then place in the fridge until ready to serve.

To release, just grab the extra parchment paper on each side and pull up:

Easy, right?!?! All in one piece. Told you =)

 Slice and serve.

Happy Holidays!!!