A chocolate cookie crust is topped with creamy and rich peppermint cheesecake, loaded with white chocolate peppermint bark pieces, crushed candy canes and topped off with more chocolate. Bite sized holiday dessert perfection!
I’ve been hanging on to this recipe for a while. I wish I could say that it’s because of some super secret, super awesome reason where it had to be posted today to guarantee that the recipe would result in a unicorn on a sleigh delivering it to you directly while it sings Jingle Bells.
Nope, it’s nothing that cool (although, tbh, I feel like that could also be slightly terrifying). It’s just that I’ve had a pretty epic backlog of holiday recipe posts to get done and only so many hours in a day to finish them while in the process of baking all the Christmas cookies. Grinch cookies, fluffernutter cookies, chocolate sugar cookies, chewy salted caramel cookies, butter balls, almond ginger cookies, and I’ve got my sights set on this crazy beautiful gingerbread house.
Good lord, I’m tired just running through that list. Side note: if you don’t want to exhaust yourself and you’re not sure what to make for all your holiday festivities, consider buying my holiday dessert ebook! It’s only $5 and it’ll save you so much Pinterest searching so you have more time for eating the delicious treats. Priorities, people.
This week marks the last four days of my day job. While it’s the right move, it’s pretty scary. I’ve never been without a plan B for something, so I’m a million percent out of my comfort zone. And without getting all political and deep (after all, this is a food blog – you’re probably here to escape reality for a bit, not be reminded of it), the current overall climate in the US makes it feel all the more uncertain.
With that said, I’ve got the wheels moving and I don’t plan to sit on my ass and wait for an opportunity to fall in my lap. I’ve been working extra hard to get new content out here for you guys, and I want to keep it up. We’ll see what happens once I find my next opportunity (of which, if you know anybody looking for someone to play with their dog and bake them cookies every day for six figures…), but until then – full steam ahead! NOW – let’s talk about these peppermint bark cheesecake bites.
In case it wasn’t clear from the name, they are bite-sized peppermint bark cheesecakes. Okay, maybe two bites.
They have a chocolate graham cracker crust, but it could easily be substituted for Oreos or other crushed chocolate cookies. You can dip the tops in chocolate, or you can just drizzle chocolate on top if you want a quicker option. You could also just leave them naked – they’ll still be 100% delicious.
The chocolate is really just my way of covering up any cracks that may have appeared because I don’t go above and beyond to prevent it from happening. Dip or drizzle the chocolate, sprinkle with crushed candy canes, and no one will no the difference.
I will admit, they’re easier to eat with the drizzle. With the dipped chocolate, you’re biting into the hard chocolate shell which can cause the cheesecake to smoosh out a little and could end up being a tad messy. But you know what? It’s two bites, and if you believe in yourself enough you can make it one bite and then the issue is moot.
I’ve included crushed candy canes and Ghirardelli Peppermint Chunks in the cheesecake because I wanted peppermint flavor with a little crunch. Have you had the Ghirardelli peppermint chunks before? It’s like that peppermint bark you get from Williams Sonoma, sans the dark chocolate. It worked out beautifully – you could even add more of the crushed candy canes if you so desired even more crunch. Power to you, my friend.
I added swirls of red food gel on top for the prettiness factor, but it’s of course totally optional. Just dot the top with a few dots of food gel and drag a knife through them to create those gorgeous red swirls.
I honestly don’t have anything else to say about these, so I’m just going to litter the page with more pictures of these little morsels.
I’ve got a few more holiday recipes for you before the month is out – so make sure to sign up my email updates so you don’t miss any of them!
A chocolate cookie crust is topped with creamy and rich peppermint cheesecake, loaded with white chocolate peppermint pieces, crushed candy canes and topped off with more chocolate. Bite-sized holiday dessert perfection!
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate graham crackers or chocolate cookies
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1-2 drops of peppermint extract
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup Ghirardelli Peppermint Chunks
- 1/4 cup crushed peppermint candy canes, plus more for topping
- Red food gel coloring, optional (for swirling on top)
- 8 ounces chocolate melting wafers (or 8 ounces chopped chocolate, plus 1 tablespoon coconut oil)
- Preheat oven to 325°F and line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a food processor, combine graham crackers and melted butter. Pulse until combined and the texture of wet sand.
- Press mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on high speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, sugar, cornstarch or arrowroot starch, vanilla extract, peppermint extract and salt and beat until combined and smooth.
- Fold in bark pieces and crushed candy canes.
- Pour on top of prepared crust. If desired, place a few drops of red food gel on top of the filling and drag a knife through those dots to create pretty swirls.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until just set and the center barely jiggles when shaken. Let cool to room temperature for half an hour in the pan on top of a wire rack.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer for at least an hour to completely set and chill.
- Remove from pan and use a large knife (or my personal preference, a pizza rocker knife) to cut into 36 squares.
- Melt chocolate according to package directions. Either dip the top of each cheesecake bite in the chocolate, or place chocolate in a piping bag and drizzle on top. Sprinkle crushed candy canes on top, if desired. Serve and enjoy!
Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.