Peppermint Cheesecake Bars Recipe

Experience the decadent joy of the holiday season all year round with peppermint cheesecake bars. This delightful dessert combines the creaminess of cheesecake with the refreshing aroma and taste of peppermint. It's perfect for an after-dinner treat, a holiday gathering, or just a sweet indulgence on a cozy evening at home.

Peppermint Cheesecake Bars Recipe
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The not so common ingredient in this recipe is peppermint extract. It is a concentrated flavoring derived from pure peppermint oil. You might not have it in your pantry but you can easily find it in the baking aisle of your local supermarket. The other ingredient is candy canes which are usually found in stores around the holiday seasons. If you're making this recipe off-season, you can substitute it with any peppermint candy.

Ingredients for Peppermint Cheesecake Bars

Butter: It adds richness and moistness to the cheesecake bars.

Cream cheese: It's the main ingredient in cheesecakes, providing a creamy, tangy flavor.

Sugar: It sweetens the cheesecake bars.

Peppermint extract: Provides the refreshing, minty flavor in the cheesecake bars.

Candy canes: They are used for garnishing and add a crunchy texture.

Red food coloring: It's used to create visually appealing swirls on the cheesecake bars.

One reader, Blythe Flowers says:

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These peppermint cheesecake bars are a delightful holiday treat! The creamy texture and refreshing peppermint flavor make them a hit at any gathering. The red swirls and candy cane topping add a festive touch. They're easy to make and always impress guests. I highly recommend trying this recipe!

Blythe Flowers

Techniques for Perfect Peppermint Cheesecake Bars

How to blend ingredients: Use a hand mixer to blend the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and peppermint extract together until smooth. Add additional peppermint extract to taste.

How to pour mixture into pan: Line an 8x8 pan with wax or parchment paper, making sure the paper overflows on the sides for easy removal. Pour the cheesecake mixture into the lined pan.

How to create red swirls: Place 3-5 drops of red food coloring on the top of the cheesecake and use a knife to swirl the color into the mixture for a marbled effect.

How to decorate with candy canes: Sprinkle bits of crushed candy cane over the top of the cheesecake for a festive and flavorful decoration.

How to chill the cheesecake: Place the pan in the fridge and chill the cheesecake for 1-2 hours to allow it to set.

How to remove cheesecake from the pan: Use the overhanging paper to lift the chilled cheesecake out of the pan.

How to cut into bars: Cut the cheesecake into bars and serve for a delightful peppermint treat.

How To Make Peppermint Cheesecake Bars

Who knew that peppermint and cream cheese went together so well? These cheesecake bars with crushed candy canes are proof of this.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking:
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • cupsbutter,softened
  • 20ozcream cheese,softened
  • cupssugar
  • tsppeppermint extract
  • candy canes,optional
  • red food coloring,optional

Instructions

  1. With a hand mixer, blend all ingredients together until smooth. Add additional peppermint extract as desired.

  2. Pour mixture into an 8×8-inch pan lined with wax or parchment paper (make sure paper is overflowing on the sides, for easy removal).

  3. For red swirls, put 3 to 5 drops of red food coloring on the top of the cheesecake and swirl using a knife.

  4. To decorate, swirl drops of red food coloring with a knife. You may also sprinkle bits of candy cane over the top of the cheesecake.

  5. Chill in the fridge for at 1to 2 hours.

  6. Use the hanging paper to remove cheesecake from the pan.

  7. Cut into bars and serve.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 692.80kcal
  • Fat: 58.79g
  • Saturated Fat: 35.54g
  • Trans Fat: 1.40g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 15.06g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.31g
  • Carbohydrates: 40.43g
  • Fiber: 0.01g
  • Sugar: 39.73g
  • Protein: 4.57g
  • Cholesterol: 169.47mg
  • Sodium: 263.80mg
  • Calcium: 80.45mg
  • Potassium: 109.72mg
  • Iron: 0.31mg
  • Vitamin A: 550.88µg
  • Vitamin C: 0.05mg

Essential Technique for Achieving the Perfect Cheesecake Bar Texture

To ensure a smooth and creamy texture for your peppermint cheesecake bars, make sure your cream cheese and butter are at room temperature before you start blending. Cold ingredients don't mix together as well, which can result in a lumpy cheesecake. Additionally, when swirling in the red food coloring, use a light hand to create delicate swirls rather than deep cuts that could disrupt the texture of the cheesecake.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Peppermint Cheesecake Bars

Plan ahead: Prepare all ingredients and equipment before starting to make the recipe to streamline the process.

Use pre-made crust: Save time by using pre-made graham cracker crust instead of making it from scratch.

Chill while you work: Place the cheesecake in the fridge to chill while you prepare the toppings and decorations to save time.

Organize your workspace: Keep your kitchen organized and clean as you work to avoid wasting time looking for ingredients and tools.

Multi-task: While the cheesecake is chilling, use that time to clean up your workspace and utensils to save time later.

Substitute Ingredients For Peppermint Cheesecake Bars Recipe

  • butter - Substitute with coconut oil: Coconut oil can provide a similar richness and flavor to butter, and it can be a suitable dairy-free alternative for those with dietary restrictions.

  • cream cheese - Substitute with vegan cream cheese: Vegan cream cheese made from nuts or tofu can be used to create a dairy-free version of the recipe while still providing a creamy texture and tangy flavor.

  • sugar - Substitute with honey: Honey can be used as a natural sweetener and can add a unique flavor profile to the dessert. Adjust the quantity to taste as it is sweeter than sugar.

  • peppermint extract - Substitute with vanilla extract and a hint of mint: A combination of vanilla extract and a small amount of mint extract can provide a similar flavor profile to peppermint extract, with a slightly different but still delightful taste.

  • candy canes - Substitute with crushed peppermint candies: Crushed peppermint candies can be used as a substitute for candy canes to provide a similar minty flavor and festive red and white colors.

  • red food coloring - Substitute with beet juice: Beet juice can be used as a natural food coloring to achieve a red hue without the use of artificial colorants. Adjust the quantity based on the desired intensity of color.

Presentation Ideas for Peppermint Cheesecake Bars

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the peppermint cheesecake bars, focus on creating an elegant and visually appealing plate. Use a clean, white plate to allow the vibrant colors of the cheesecake and candy cane to pop.

  2. Garnish with crushed candy canes: Sprinkle a fine dusting of crushed candy canes around the edges of the plate to add a festive and flavorful touch to the presentation.

  3. Incorporate a drizzle of red syrup: Create a vibrant red syrup using sugar and a touch of peppermint extract. Drizzle this syrup in an artistic pattern on the plate to add a burst of color and flavor.

  4. Add a touch of elegance with edible flowers: Consider adorning the plate with delicate, edible flowers such as pansies or rose petals. This adds a touch of sophistication and a subtle floral note to the dish.

  5. Use a dusting of powdered sugar: Lightly dust the plate with a fine layer of powdered sugar to create a visually stunning backdrop for the peppermint cheesecake bars.

  6. Incorporate a chocolate garnish: Create a small, elegant chocolate garnish to accompany the cheesecake bars. This can be achieved by drizzling melted dark chocolate onto parchment paper and allowing it to set before carefully placing it on the plate.

  7. Consider the use of gold leaf: For an extra touch of luxury, delicately place a small piece of edible gold leaf on the plate to add a shimmering, opulent element to the presentation.

Essential Tools for Making Cheesecake Bars

  • Hand mixer: A handheld kitchen appliance used to blend and mix ingredients, such as the cream cheese and butter, to create a smooth and creamy texture for the cheesecake bars.
  • 8x8 pan: A square baking pan used to hold and shape the cheesecake mixture before it is chilled and cut into bars.
  • Wax or parchment paper: Used to line the baking pan, making it easier to remove the cheesecake bars once they are set and chilled.
  • Knife: Used to swirl the red food coloring into the cheesecake mixture and for decorating the top of the bars with candy cane pieces.
  • Refrigerator: Used to chill the cheesecake bars, allowing them to set and firm up before cutting and serving.

Storing and Freezing Peppermint Cheesecake Bars

Here are the storing and freezing guidelines for peppermint cheesecake bars:

  • Refrigerate the cheesecake bars in an airtight container for up to 5 days. The peppermint flavor will intensify over time, making them even more delightful to enjoy.
  • For longer storage, freeze the cheesecake bars for up to 2 months:
    • Wrap each bar individually in plastic wrap, ensuring a tight seal to prevent freezer burn.
    • Place the wrapped bars in a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag, removing as much air as possible.
    • Label the container with the date and contents for easy reference.
  • To thaw frozen cheesecake bars, transfer them to the refrigerator and allow them to defrost overnight. This slow thawing process helps maintain the creamy texture and prevents condensation from forming on the surface.
  • For a quick treat, you can enjoy the frozen cheesecake bars straight out of the freezer. The cold temperature will create a delightful, ice cream-like texture that complements the peppermint flavor perfectly.
  • If you plan to serve the cheesecake bars at a party or gathering, remove them from the refrigerator about 15-20 minutes before serving to allow them to soften slightly, enhancing the creamy texture and making them easier to bite into.

Interesting Fact About Peppermint Cheesecake Bars

The peppermint extract in this recipe adds a refreshing and festive flavor to the cheesecake bars.

Is Making Peppermint Cheesecake Bars at Home Cost-Effective?

The cost-effectiveness of this peppermint cheesecake bars recipe largely depends on the availability and prices of the ingredients. Cream cheese and butter are generally affordable, while peppermint extract and candy canes may be pricier. Considering the yield and the delightful flavor, this dessert can be a cost-effective treat for special occasions. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people would be around $15-$20. Overall Verdict: 8/10

Are Peppermint Cheesecake Bars Healthy or Unhealthy?

This peppermint cheesecake bars recipe is undoubtedly delicious, but it's far from healthy. The main ingredients - butter, cream cheese, and sugar - are all high in saturated fat and calories, which can contribute to weight gain and increased risk of heart disease if consumed in excess. Additionally, the recipe calls for a significant amount of sugar, which can lead to blood sugar spikes and crashes, as well as an increased risk of tooth decay and other health issues.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Reduce the amount of butter and cream cheese, or replace them with lower-fat alternatives like Greek yogurt or cottage cheese
  • Use a sugar substitute like stevia or erythritol to reduce the overall sugar content
  • Incorporate more wholesome ingredients, such as whole wheat flour or nuts, to increase the fiber and nutrient content
  • Reduce the portion size and enjoy the cheesecake bars in moderation as a special treat rather than a regular indulgence

By making these adjustments, you can still enjoy the delightful flavor of peppermint cheesecake bars while minimizing the potential negative health impacts. Remember, a balanced diet is key, and it's okay to indulge in treats like this occasionally as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.

Editor's Opinion on This Peppermint Cheesecake Bars Recipe

This peppermint cheesecake bars recipe is a delightful holiday treat. The combination of creamy cheesecake and refreshing peppermint creates a perfect balance of flavors. The addition of red food coloring and candy canes adds a festive touch, making it visually appealing. The recipe is simple and easy to follow, making it suitable for both experienced bakers and beginners. The chilling time in the fridge allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a delicious and refreshing dessert. Overall, these peppermint cheesecake bars are a wonderful addition to any holiday gathering or celebration.

Enhance Your Peppermint Cheesecake Bars Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Create a creamy and flavorful side dish by adding roasted garlic to your mashed potatoes. The roasted garlic adds a delicious depth of flavor to the dish.
Grilled Pineapple Slices: Add a tropical twist to your meal with grilled pineapple slices. The caramelized sweetness of the pineapple pairs perfectly with the peppermint cheesecake bars.
Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts: Elevate your side dish game with balsamic glazed Brussels sprouts. The tangy and sweet glaze complements the rich and creamy cheesecake bars.

Alternative Recipes Similar to Peppermint Cheesecake Bars

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup: This creamy tomato basil soup is the perfect comfort food for a chilly day. It's rich, flavorful, and easy to make.
Grilled Lemon Herb Chicken: Grilled lemon herb chicken is a delicious and healthy option for dinner. The combination of citrus and herbs gives the chicken a bright and flavorful taste.
Mango Coconut Popsicles: These mango coconut popsicles are a refreshing and tropical treat for a hot summer day. They're easy to make and bursting with fruity flavor.

Suggested Appetizers and Main Courses to Serve with Peppermint Cheesecake Bars

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a savory and indulgent appetizer by stuffing mushrooms with a flavorful mixture of cheese, herbs, and breadcrumbs. Bake until golden and serve hot for a delicious start to any meal.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip: Whip up a creamy and cheesy spinach and artichoke dip that is perfect for dipping bread, chips, or veggies. Bake until bubbly and golden on top for a crowd-pleasing appetizer.
Main Courses:
Chicken Alfredo: Create a creamy and indulgent pasta dish featuring tender chicken and a rich, savory Alfredo sauce. Pair it with your favorite pasta for a comforting and satisfying meal.
Beef Stir Fry: Whip up a flavorful and colorful stir fry with tender beef and an assortment of fresh vegetables. The combination of savory flavors and vibrant colors makes for a visually appealing and delicious dish.

Why trust this Peppermint Cheesecake Bars Recipe:

This recipe is a guaranteed hit for any peppermint lover. With a rich and creamy base of cream cheese and a perfect balance of sweetness from sugar, it promises a delightful burst of peppermint extract in every bite. The festive touch of candy canes adds a delightful crunch, while the vibrant swirls of red food coloring make for a visually stunning treat. Trust the expertise behind this recipe to deliver a decadent and irresistible peppermint cheesecake experience.

Want to share your experience making these Peppermint Cheesecake Bars or have any tips to perfect the recipe? Join the discussion in the Baking and Desserts forum!
FAQ:
Can I use a different flavor extract instead of peppermint?
Yes, you can definitely use a different flavor extract to customize the taste of the cheesecake bars. Feel free to experiment with flavors like vanilla, almond, or even coconut for a unique twist.
Can I use low-fat cream cheese for this recipe?
Absolutely! You can use low-fat cream cheese as a lighter alternative without compromising the creamy texture and flavor of the cheesecake bars.
How long can I store the peppermint cheesecake bars?
The peppermint cheesecake bars can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days in an airtight container. Just make sure to let them come to room temperature before serving for the best taste and texture.
Can I omit the red food coloring?
Of course! The red food coloring is for decorative purposes and can be omitted without affecting the flavor or texture of the cheesecake bars. You can also use natural food coloring alternatives if desired.
Can I use a different type of topping instead of candy canes?
Absolutely, you can get creative with the toppings. Crushed chocolate, chopped nuts, or even a drizzle of chocolate or caramel sauce would all make delicious alternatives to the candy cane topping.

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