This Peppermint Pattie Cheesecake is one of those show-stopping Christmas desserts that will become a family tradition every holiday season. Unlike traditional cheesecake, this one is made with lighter ingredients so that it is lower in calories, but still very creamy and pepperminty too!
This post was originally published on December 14th, 2010. I have updated the text and images.
Do you always go for the Junior Mints at the movies? Has a York Peppermint Pattie ever gone missing out of your child’s candy stash? Well I have the perfect special holiday dessert for you. It is cheesecake that looks and tastes like a giant peppermint pattie. I’ve lightened it up with several tricks, so you can feel less guilty about this than stealing your kid’s candy.
The first trick is pureeing non-fat cottage cheese in a food processor and using it to replace some of the cream cheese in a traditional cheesecake recipe. It is less thick than regular cream cheese, so to keep the texture creamy but not too soft I added cornstarch.
Fun fact: A pound of pureed cottage cheese has 1320 less calories than 1 pound of regular full-fat cream cheese!
Nutrition bonus: cottage cheese it is high in protein and is a good source of calcium.
Topping the velvety mint-spiked cake is a shiny chocolate layer that really makes this cheesecake look like a big ole Peppermint Pattie. The lightened-up chocolate glaze is different from traditional ganache [which is typically heavy cream and chocolate.] A quarter cup of chocolate chips was all it took to make this glaze rich and fudgy because I used chocolaty-tasting, but lower-fat, cocoa powder and non-fat evaporated milk. I added honey which is a naturally liquid sugar (aka invert sugar) to keep the glaze shiny just like a Peppermint Pattie. You’ll see that this glaze is just as rich as those that include heavy cream.
For the crumb layer I used ground-up chocolate cookies mixed with a little butter. I found Mi Del Chocolate Snaps at the market. Again the label reading thing…
Have fun with the garnish. I opted for crushed candy canes and fresh mint. You could also try using junior mints or York Peppermint Patties cut into triangles.
This creamy, peppermint and chocolate cheesecake is made with pureed cottage cheese and reduced fat cream cheese to lighten it up, and save on calories. It tastes just like a York Peppermint Pattie candy.
- 6 ounces chocolate cookies such as Mi Del Chocolate Snap (about 2 cups)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 2 8- ounce packages Neufchatel cheese 1/3 less fat cream cheese
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
- 1 16- ounce container non-fat cottage cheese
- ¼ cup non-fat evaporated milk
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ cup bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespooons honey
- 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
- 3/4 cup Junior Mints,Peppermint Patties, fresh mint sprigs or candy cane for garnish, optional
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. See note*. Put a kettle of water on to boil for the water bath.
- Prepare cake: Grind cookies to a fine meal in food processor. Drizzle in butter and process until crumbs are moistened. Press the crumb mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Set the springform pan into a roasting pan and set aside.
- Beat cream cheese, sugar and cornstarch in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until completely smooth, stopping and scraping down sides occasionally. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down sides occasionally. Beat in vanilla and peppermint extracts.
- Clean food processor and add cottage cheese. Process the cottage cheese in the food processor until completely smooth, about 2 minutes. Scraping down sides once. Gradually beat the cottage cheese into the cream cheese mixture.
- Pour the batter into the springform pan over the crumb crust. Pour the boiling water into the roasting pan to create a hot water bath for the cake and carefully transfer the pan to the oven. Bake until set but not cracked, 70 to 80 minutes.
- Remove the roasting pan from the oven and let cake cool in the water bath until the water is room temperature. Remove the springform pan from the water bath and refrigerate until completely cold, at least 4 hours. Wrap tightly and refrigerate overnight if desired.
- Prepare glaze: Heat evaporated milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Place cocoa powder, chocolate chips and honey in a large heat-proof bowl. As soon as the milk starts to bubble pour it over the chocolate chip mixture and whisk until completely smooth, about 1 minute. Whisk in confectioners sugar until smooth.
- To garnish and serve: Remove sides of the springform pan. Transfer cake to a cake stand if desired or just leave it on the pan bottom. Spread the glaze over the cake. Garnish with Junior Mints, Peppermint patties, fresh mint, or candy cane pieces.
If you have an older spring-form pan that may leak, wrap the outside of the pan with a few layers of aluminum foil. 0 mg cholesterol, 19 g added sugars
Here are the old photos from the post back in 2010! My how times have changed. This cake however, is still amazing!!
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