Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Frozen Peppermint Cheesecake

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and I don’t know about you guys, but I love cooking for big holidays.  Some people find it super stressful and annoying but I just don’t even think about that part.  I just pick out recipes I think look awesome and wing it.  If it works, it works.  If not, I make something different next year.  For me, these holidays are a chance to spend time with family and have a good time and if I’m stressing about food, there is no fun to be had (and that’s not okay).

So in my travels on Pinterest this past week, I found this recipe for Frozen Peppermint Cheesecake.  I looked quickly at the recipe and decided there was absolutely no way that a cheesecake recipe with only one 8 ounce brick of cream cheese could feed more than two people.  However, the idea of no-bake, frozen peppermint cheesecake was just too intriguing for me to pass up.  My 8-year-old goddaughter made a graham cracker crust all by herself – since when is she a grown up? – and I made the filling.  It took me approximately 17 seconds.  Okay, that’s an exaggeration.  But honestly, if it took me more than 5 minutes, that’s a lot.  Cream cheese, a can of sweetened condensed milk, peppermint extract, red food coloring, and whipped cream.  Done.  Folding in the whipped cream was the part that took the longest (not counting the time it took me to make the unsweetened whipped cream in the first place) and even that didn’t take long.

Oh, yes.  Unsweetened whipped cream.  Also, did I mention there’s no actual sugar in the recipe?  I was skeptical at first, as well.  However, the can of sweetened condensed milk adds all the sweetness you need.  Seriously.  Add a couple tablespoons of sugar to your graham cracker crust and call it a day.  No more.  Seriously, put down the sugar.  Walk away.  Your taste buds and your waist will thank me later.

In short, it’s delicious.  My goddaughter has an intense dislike for cheesecake and she was eagerly swiping her finger across the rubber spatula after I was done folding the batter (which she was completely able to do without fear of food borne illness because this recipe is no bake and includes no eggs!).  Awesome.  I changed the recipe up slightly and I’ll reflect those changes in the recipe below.  I know peppermint isn’t exactly a traditional Thanksgiving flavor, but the fact that this recipe is fast, easy, and delicious totally makes it worth it to me.



Frozen Peppermint Cheesecake (adapted from Smuckers)

2 cups chocolate wafer cookie or sandwich cookie crumbs (I used graham crackers)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14 oz.) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 teaspoons peppermint extract (I used 1 1/2 teaspoons, but if you like it very minty, use the full 2 teaspoons)
2 cups heavy cream, whipped (and unsweetened!  Trust me!)
Red food coloring

In a 9” spring form pan, combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a bowl. Add the butter and mix well.  Press this mixture firmly into the bottom of the spring form pan, pushing some of the mixture up the sides of the pan as well. 

In your stand mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the cream cheese until it’s fluffy. Slowly add the entire can of sweetened condensed milk and continue beating until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the peppermint extract and food coloring. Fold in whipped cream. Pour filling into pan.

Cover the cheesecake and freeze 6 hours or until firm.

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