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.
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.
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!