Food & Drink

Recipe Mailbox: Peppermint cheesecake

Peppermint cheesecake

Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 1 hour, 10 minutes Serves 12 to 16

Meloti Paea of Sacramento was looking for a good peppermint cheesecake recipe with a chocolate crumb crust.

This Sunset recipe should fill the bill for Paea. You can make this festive dessert up to two days before your Christmas dinner.

Note: The prep time does not include the cool time or the 4-hour chill time for cheesecake before being served.

12 ounces crème-filled chocolate sandwich cookies, such as Oreos, broken into pieces

3 tablespoons melted butter

1½ pounds cream cheese, room temperature

¾ cup sugar

1/3 cup sour cream

4 eggs

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon peppermint extract

½ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup coarsely crushed peppermint candy

Place cookies in a heavy zip-lock plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. Pour into a buttered 9-inch round springform pan and pour melted butter over crumbs; mix to coat, then press evenly over bottom and about ½ inch up sides of pan. Bake in a 300 degree oven until crust is slightly darker and looks a bit dry, about 10 minutes. Leave oven on.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese and sugar until well blended. Beat in sour cream, add eggs one at a time, beating to blend after each addition. Beat in flour, vanilla, peppermint extract and salt until smooth. Pour cream cheese mixture into pan over baked crust.

Bake until edges are just golden and center jiggles slightly when pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour. Run a knife around edge of pan rim. Place pan on a wire rack and cool cheesecake completely in pan. Cover and chill until cold, at least 4 hours or up to 2 days. Run a knife around rim again, then release rim. If any liquid has pooled on surface of cheesecake, blot dry gently with a paper towel.

Decorate top of cake with crushed peppermint candy, pressing it in gently with your hands.

How to contact the mailbox

If you have recipes in reply to Mailbox reader requests, or questions or comments, write to: Mailbox, c/o Taste, The Sacramento Bee, P.O. Box 15779, Sacramento, CA 95852. You also can email or fax (916)  321-1109. Please include your full name, your city and phone number.