Peppermint mini Oreo cheesecakes make a special holiday dessert that is easy to make, transport and serve - and looks and tastes amazing. Plus, you can make them any time of the year with the variation options.
18chocolate cookies with cream filling,preferably peppermint flavored*
2(8 ounce)packages cream cheese,softened**
2/3cupcrushed peppermint candies,+ more for decorating
3/4cup dark chocolate chips***(or semi-sweet)
1/4 cupwhite chocolate chips***
1½ teaspoonsbutter or coconut oil
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper liners in 12 and 6 cup muffin tins (to equal 18). Add one cookie to the bottom of each liner.
Beat the cream cheese in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment (or a large bowl and a hand mixer) until smooth. Add sugar, eggs, vanilla, and peppermint extract (if using) and whisk until incorporated. Gently stir in the crushed peppermint pieces.
Spoon the cream cheese mixture over the top of each cookie - the tins should be 2/3 to 3/4 full.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in tin one half hour. Place the cheesecakes in the refrigerator 4-6 hours or overnight (can be baked 2 days ahead of serving).
Melt dark chocolate with 1 teaspoon butter or oil until smooth. Melt white chocolate (if using) with 1/2 teaspoon butter or oil, whisking to smooth. (Melt them in the microwave for 1 minute, stirring well and additional 10 seconds as need to smooth OR over simmering water in a double boiler until smooth.) Transfer both chocolates to separate plastic baggies, pushing the melted chocolate to one of the bottom corners in each.
Remove liners from cheesecakes and place on a wax paper lined surface.
Snip the corner of one of the chocolate baggies and hold over cheesecakes, moving back and forth while pushing the chocolate out to create a drizzle over the tops. Repeat with the white chocolate. (Alternately, you can use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate, but it's much more uneven). Sprinkle the cheesecakes with more crushed peppermint candies while still wet (you'll need to work fast since the cakes are cold).
Refrigerate cheesecakes at least 4 hours before serving. Store 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
*I use Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe-Joes, available October-December. Any cream filled cookie will work, though.**If you get Neufchatel cream cheese with slightly less milk fat, it's always soft!***Or use all chocolate chips (1 cup total).Variations:
Plain: Use regular Oreos for the crust and 2 teaspoons vanilla in the cheesecakes. Top only with chocolate drizzle or a mixture of dark and milk chocolate.
Chocolate Chip: make like the plain variation above, but add 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips in the batter and decorate the drizzle with more mini chips.
Peanut Butter: Use peanut butter filled Oreos for the crust and stir in 1/4 cup of peanut butter into the batter before baking. Top with chocolate drizzle and chopped peanuts.
Vanilla: Use vanilla Joe Joe's or Oreos for crust, 2 teaspoons vanilla in cakes, and top with only white chocolate - maybe sprinkled with multicolor sprinkles for a birthday cake look.
Pumpkin: Use pumpkin spice Joe-Joe's or Oreos for crust, add 1-2 teaspoons pumpkin spice to cakes, and top with chocolate of your choice - and maybe chopped up candy corns or spiced cookie crumbs?