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The perfect holiday dessert, peppermint cheesecake bars are made with an Oreo cooking crust, crushed candy canes and white chocolate.Peppermint cheesecake bars are the ultimate make-ahead potluck dessert. With an oreo base, white chocolate and crushed candy canes. | livinglou.com

When I think of the holidays, I think of spectacular desserts and this recipe for peppermint cheesecake bars is just that. My love for cheesecake is relatively new, up until this year, I always found it to be a little too rich and indulgent, but not anymore. I think it’s quickly becoming one of my favourite desserts; I think I’ve made this caramel apple cheesecake four or five times since I posted the recipe. I love the way you can change up a cheesecake recipe depending on the season and this festive version is the ultimate dessert for entertaining.

I know, you’re thinking “Cheesecake? Isn’t that a really complicated dessert? How is it the perfect dessert for entertaining?” well here’s the thing, when it comes to entertaining, whether it be throwing a party at your own house, or bringing something to a potluck, the more dishes you can prep in advance, the better. That’s why I love making my seafood salad as an appetizer, it’s so much better the day after. Do you see where I’m going with this? Cheesecake is a simple three step process. First, it needs to bake, then it cools to room temperature and then it gets refrigerated for at least a couple of hours, once it’s cooled then it can be sliced and served. When I’m making cheesecake or cheesecake squares, I refrigerate it overnight and finish it off just before I’m about to serve it. It’s so simple and you have one less thing to worry about knowing that the dessert is ready to go.

Peppermint cheesecake bars are the ultimate make-ahead potluck dessert. With an oreo base, white chocolate and crushed candy canes. | livinglou.com

This month’s #WhatsCooking assignment is all about spectacular christmas desserts and baking recipes, there were so many recipes to choose from but the minute I saw the recipe for white-chocolate raspberry bars I knew that I wanted to make them. I decided to give them a little spin by adding a touch of peppermint flavouring to the cheesecake because I find peppermint to be one of the ultimate holiday flavours. With a delicious Oreo base, a touch of  peppermint extract in the actual creamy cheesecake portion of the cheesecake bars, a drizzle of white chocolate and a sprinkle of crushed peppermint candies or candy canes, the peppermint flavour is subtle and not overpowering.

Typically, a cheesecake is cooked in a springform pan in a water bath to ensure an easy release of the cake and that the middle is evenly cooked without the edges burning. I know it sounds a little complicated, but trust me, after you make it once it’s not intimidating at all. The thing about these peppermint cheesecake bars is that they bake up perfectly in an 8×8 or 9×9″ pan without having to fuss with a water bath. Plus they are the perfect bite-size dessert.

Peppermint cheesecake bars are the ultimate make-ahead potluck dessert. With an oreo base, white chocolate and crushed candy canes. | livinglou.com

Yields 24

Peppermint Cheesecake Bars

20 minPrep Time

28 minCook Time

48 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 15 Oreo Cookies, finely crushed
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 3 oz. Baker's White Chocolate, divided
  • 2 pkg. (250 g each) Philadelphia Brick Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp crushed peppermint candies

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Mix cookie crumbs and butter; press onto bottom of 9-inch square baking pan. Melt 2 oz. chocolate as directed on package.
  2. Beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and peppermint extract with mixer until blended. Add melted chocolate; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over crust.
  3. Bake 25 to 28 min. or until centre is almost set. Cool to room temperature, melt remaining chocolate; drizzle over cheesecake, sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies. min.; spread with jam. Melt remaining chocolate square; drizzle over cheesecake. Cool cheesecake completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours. Cut into 24 bars.
http://www.livinglou.com/2015/12/peppermint-cheesecake-bars.html

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Kraft Canada – as always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting my sponsors and allowing me to continue creating content like these peppermint cheesecake bars!

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