Chocolate-Peppermint Cheesecake

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Cheesecake is always a holiday favorite, but a crunchy chocolate crust and refreshing peppermint flavor take this indulgent dessert to the next level.

Chocolate-Peppermint Cheesecake
 
Makes 1 (10-inch) cheesecake
Ingredients
Crust:
  • 2 cups finely crushed chocolate graham crackers
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
Filling:
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 ounces white chocolate melting wafers,* melted according to package directions and cooled slightly
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup crushed peppermint candies
Topping:
  • 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup crushed peppermint candies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300°. Spray a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with cooking spray.
For crust:
  1. In a large bowl, stir together cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter until well combined. Press mixture into bottom and 1 inch up sides of prepared pan. Refrigerate while preparing filling.
  2. For filling: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, and flour with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Beat in sour cream and melted white chocolate on low speed, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed just until combined after each addition. Gently stir in ½ cup crushed candy. Pour mixture into prepared crust.
  3. Bake until cheesecake is set 3 inches from the sides and center jiggles when skillet is gently shaken, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. Gently run a knife between edges of crust and side of skillet. Loosely cover, and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
For topping:
  1. In a medium bowl, beat cream, sugar, and vanilla with a mixer at medium speed until stiff peaks form. Spread onto cheesecake, and sprinkle with crushed candy. Serve immediately.
Notes
KITCHEN TIP-Pay attention to the indicators of doneness and slight jiggle in the center of this cheesecake. Although you may be tempted to bake it longer than the recipe calls for, the cheesecake will continue to set and firm up as it cools. Overbaking the cheesecake can cause it to crack and become dense.