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Andes Mint Cheesecake

Friday, December 11, 2015

Recipe adopted from food.com.  [Recipe makes 12 servings or one 9-inch cheesecake].

'Tis the season to start thinking about holiday cookies and homemade gift ideas...as well as try out new desserts so that they're perfected by the time the holidays actually hit.

I recently got a few blog post suggestions from a co-worker, and one of them happened to be mint cheesecake.  How in the world haven't I made (or thought of making) this before?!?  I love cheesecake.  I love Andes mints even more.  It's a match made in heaven.  And to add to this joyous occasion, this specific recipe for mint cheesecake is one of the easiest cheesecake recipes I've ever tried.

INGREDIENTS:

5 ounces (~1 cup) chocolate wafer crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

32 ounces (4 packs) cream cheese, softened
7 ounces (~1 cup) sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
28 Andes mints (1 pack)

3 tablespoons heavy cream
28 Andes mints (1 pack)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 325° F.

For the crust, mix the chocolate wafer crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a small bowl until the crumbs are moist.  Spray the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and press the crust firmly into the bottom.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Cool to room temperature, grease the inside walls of the pan, set on a baking sheet, and set aside.

For the filling, add the softened cream cheese and sugar to a food processor.  Pulse until combined.  Add the vanilla and combine.  Add the eggs, one at a time, and pulse after each addition, making sure not to over mix.  Melt the first pack of mints in the microwave (on 50% power for 30 second increments) until most of the chocolate has melted.  Stir until completely melted and then add and incorporate into the batter.  Transfer the batter into the spring form pan, and then bake on the baking sheet for 65 minutes, or until the outside is set and the inside is still slightly jiggly when gently shaken.  Turn off the oven and prop open the door.  Let the cheesecake cool gradually, and then transfer it to a cooling rack on the counter.  [Side note:  Allowing the cheesecake to cool with the oven door cracked open is one way to prevent cracks from occurring in your cheesecake once baked, as drastic temperature changes is one main cause for cracks].  Once the cheesecake is room temperature, move to the refrigerator and cool overnight.

The next day, remove the cheesecake from the springform pan and transfer onto a cooling rack with a sheet of parchment paper underneath the rack.  Combine the cream and second set of mints in a bowl, and heat in the microwave (on 50% power for 30 second increments) until most of the chocolate has melted.  Stir until uniform, and then evenly coat the top of the cheesecake with the ganache, allowing some of it to drip down the sides.  Cool once more, and serve.

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