*Ashlyn of The Pedantic Foodie will be headlining a seasonal food series here on PMQ for two. She creates mouthwatering recipes on her site, and they’re always full of colour and tastes. Her fall recipe line-up looks divine. I like to think she cooks the way I decorate – with all the flavours!
“Let’s make the cutest and most festive cheesecakes ever!
Cheesecake will forever be my favorite indulgence. Add white chocolate, peppermint extract, and festive toppers and it is essentially magic.
When Ariel approached me about creating a peppermint-themed recipe, my brain quickly jumped from peppermint to cheesecake. I find that the coolness of peppermint goes so well with the rich nature of cheesecake. The combination is decadent and wintry all at once.
These mini cheesecakes are not only adorable, they are also SO much faster to make than a full- size cheesecake! We are talking 2 1/2 hours as opposed to 6, and that extra time really counts when it comes to the holiday season.
Rather than turning to a typical graham cracker crust, I used my favorite shortbread cookies to create a buttery base for the cheesecakes. A bit of melted butter and several handfuls of cookies go into the food processor and create the easiest crust ever.
After the cheesecakes have baked, they will need some time to chill. This gives us a chance to whip some cream and contemplate garnishes – probably my favorite part!
You could certainly omit the pink food coloring if you wish, but this popping pink whipped cream makes me so happy and feels very retro-Christmas to me.
There’s no chance of your dessert being white noise at this year’s Christmas party. These adorable show-stoppers are such a welcome change from the cookie platters and yule logs.
The hardest part of this recipe is not eating them all yourself.”
Mini Peppermint Bark Cheesecakes makes 16
- 2 cups shortbread cookies (16 Walker’s shortbread fingers)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.Place cookies in the work bowl of your food processor and pulse to fine crumbs.
Pour in melted butter and pulse 4-5 times; until the mixture comes together and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and place approximately 1 tablespoon of the crust mixture into each cup. Use the tips of your fingers to press down the crust, forming a tight disc.
Bake for 8 minutes. While the crusts bake, prepare the filling. Allow the crusts to cool for 10 minutes before filling.
For the White Chocolate Cheesecake Filling
- 2 blocks cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/3 cup sour cream, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1/2 cup good-quality white chocolate chips, melted*
*Cook’s Note: To melt the white chocolate, simply place white chocolate chips in a small, glass bowl and microwave for thirty seconds. Stir well, then repeat this process of heating and stirring until the chocolate is smooth.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Combine cream cheese and granulated sugar in the work bowl of your stand mixer and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes; until fluffy. Reduce speed to low and beat in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in sour cream. Mix on low speed until smooth. Add in vanilla extract, peppermint extract, and melted white chocolate. Mix on low speed. Divide the batter amongst the cooled crusts, filling each cavity about 3/4 of the way full.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the edges have just begun to brown but the centers are still just slightly wobbly.
Transfer the cheesecakes to the refrigerator and chill for three hours. Prepare the whipped cream.
For the Peppermint Whipped Cream
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
- pink food coloring, optional
- 10 peppermint candies, crushedCombine heavy whipping cream and confectioner’s sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat on high speed until the cream has reached soft peaks.
Mix in peppermint extract and food coloring.
Transfer the whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a star tip and pipe a small amount of whipped cream on top of each cheesecake.
Sprinkle with crushed peppermint candies and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Cook’s Note: If you are not planning on serving these cheesecakes immediately, wait to sprinkle the peppermint candies until just before serving. Cheesecakes will last in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.