FOR THE FILLING
- 30 oz (5 tubs) Bruegger's Plain cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar (for the filling)
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup half & half
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp peppermint extract
- 1/8 tsp Kosher salt
- 3/4 cup peppermint candies, coarsely crushed (reserve 2 tbsp for topping)
FOR THE CRUST
- 1 9-oz box chocolate wafer cookies, crushed
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar (for the crust)
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
Preparing the spring form pan
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Add a small pan of water to the bottom rack of the oven.
- Lightly spray a 9-inch spring form pan with non-stick spray.
- Wrap the outside of the spring form pan with foil half way up the side of the pan. Set aside while you make the crust.
Making the chocolate crust
- Combine the crushed chocolate wafers and granulated sugar in a food processor and pulse until it has a coarse meal texture. Pulse 2 times to loosen the chocolate wafers from the sides of the food processor.
- Add the room temperature melted butter to the food processor and pulse until the mixture has the texture of coarse meal again and all of the butter is incorporated into the chocolate mix.
- Take the foil-wrapped spring form pan and place the chocolate mix into the pan. Working from the bottom and up the sides form the crust evenly on the bottom and sides of the pan.
- Place the chocolate crust-lined spring form pan into the freezer while you prepare the filling.
Making the filling
- In a stand mixer or in a bowl with a hand mixer, add the room temperature cream cheese and beat until smooth. Add the vanilla and peppermint extracts and beat again until smooth.
- Add the granulated sugar and beat until smooth. Do not over mix.
- Add the half and half and beat again until just smooth.
- Add the eggs 1 at a time and beat until just smooth. Do not over mix.
- Remove the beaters from the mixer and carefully fold in the crushed peppermint candies, reserving 2 tbsp for the topping once cake is baked.
- Remove the prepared crust from the freezer and place on a cookie sheet.
- Add the cheesecake batter to the prepared crust and carefully place onto the center rack of the preheated oven.
- Bake the cheesecake uncovered for 35 minutes. After 35 minutes, lightly cover pan with tented foil. Do not let the foil touch the batter.
- Bake for another 40 minutes. To check to see that it’s done, insert a toothpick in the center of the cheesecake and make sure it comes out clean. Turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for 15 minutes before removing. Cool at room temperature for 2 hours before placing into the refrigerator.
- Refrigerate overnight before carefully removing from the spring form pan and placing on a plate.
- Sprinkle the remaining crushed candies over the cheesecake.
- Serve with whipped cream, crushed peppermint candies, and chocolate sprinkles.
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