This peppermint white chocolate cheesecake is a delicious make ahead dessert for the holidays and features a chocolate cookie crust!
For the crust:
1–1/2 cups finely ground chocolate wafer cookies
2 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the cheesecake:
10 ounces white chocolate, chopped
2 lbs (4 blocks) cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon peppermint extract
½ cup heavy whipping cream
Whipped cream, if desired
Crushed peppermints or chopped peppermint bark, if desired
To prepare the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare a 9″ springform pan by wrapping it in sheets of aluminum foil. I use 3 layers of extra wide, heavy duty foil wrapped to the top lip of the pan. Spray the inside walls and bottom of the pan with cooking spray.
Stir together the dry ingredients until combined. Add the melted butter and stir just until combined. Gently pat out your mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 8-9 minutes. Set aside while you prep your filling.
To prepare the cheesecake:
Begin boiling some water in a kettle or saucepan for your water bath.
In a double boiler simmering over water on low heat, gently melt the white chocolate, stirring regularly. Do not let it overheat or it may seize. Remove from heat while you prep the rest of your filling.
Beat cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer at medium speed (I use 4 on my Kitchen Aid Mixer) for 2 minutes to remove all clumps. Do not overbeat, but scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. If many clumps remain, ensure that your cream cheese has softened to room temp.
Add the sugar and beat on medium for an additional 1 minute. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat to combine an additional 1 minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl and then add the extracts and the heavy cream. Stir and scoop one cup of the mixture into the melted white chocolate and stir quickly to barely combine. Add the mixture to the cheesecake batter and stir just until smooth.
Strain the cheesecake batter through a mesh strainer (if desired) into a reserved bowl. Pour the batter on top of the crust. Gently rap the pan on the counter to help any air bubbles escape.
Place your springform pan into a slightly larger baking dish/pan and fill the larger pan with the boiling water you prepared for the water bath until the water reaches about halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
Carefully place both pans in the preheated oven and bake for 60-70 minutes. After an hour of baking, the edges and top of the cheesecake should be set but still slightly jiggle in the center. Feel free to cover the cheesecake with a sheet of aluminum foil if it appear to be getting too dark. Turn the oven off and allow the cheesecake to bake for an additional 30 minutes in the oven. Prop the door of the oven open slightly with a wooden spoon and continue to cool the cheesecake for another 30 minutes in the cooling oven.
Discard the water bath, remove the foil and then place the cheesecake in the fridge to chill for several hours or overnight. The cheesecake can be stored in the fridge for several days.
When ready to serve, garnish with whipped cream and the crushed candies. Serve and enjoy!
I wrap my springform pan with three layers of heavy duty aluminum foil. This is to protect your crust from any water leakage of your springform pan. Many pans will claim to be waterproof but your crust will get soggy and inedible if water leakage happens. Don’t take any chances!
I use a 11″ round cake pan for my water bath but you can use any oven-safe dish that you have. Once of my readers used a roasting pan and that works just fine!
The cooling process seems lengthy and unnecessary, but it helps to prevent drastic temperature changes that can cause structural issues with your cake.