Peppermint Candy Cheesecake—Gluten-free & Corn-free
Updated December 15, 2016
If you enjoy celebrating, then you will love Peppermint Candy Cheesecake; it will become a festive family favorite!
Everyone loves special desserts during the holidays, especially a New York style cheesecake.
This dessert makes an impressive presentation, rivaling restaurant quality 5-star creations.
Upon first sight, your family and friends will thrill, “How lovely!”
Ultra-rich and creamy, it’s a perfect blend of melt-in-your mouth fantastic flavor, cheesecake, chocolate and peppermint . . . oh yum!
So, What is the Secret to Creating an Irresistible Gluten-free Peppermint Candy Cheesecake?
The answer is, to start with a fantastic recipe as the foundation before building a new recipe.
Our all-time favorite cheesecake recipe is Cheesecake, New York Style, by the wife of Jeff Smith, author of, The Frugal Gourmet.
Not only is Mrs. Smith’s recipe no fail, it’s the next best thing to the famous cheesecake we enjoyed when we visited New York City some years ago. I guess Mrs. Smith would know what great cheesecake is, because she hails from Brooklyn!
So, I got busy and made a few changes, nothing major, except for the finishing touches.
I replaced the traditional graham cracker crust with a nut crust to eliminate gluten, and then I substituted an organic gluten-free peppermint extract for Homemade Vanilla Extract.
I covered the entire cheesecake with chocolate candy coating; it looked like a giant peppermint patty!
After garnishing the sides with a heavy layer of crushed gluten-free and corn-free candy cane, I applied the crowning touch, artfully placed gluten-free Candy Cane Cookies dusted with finely crushed candy cane.
Tips for Making the Perfect New York Style Peppermint Candy Cheesecake
Wherever possible, use organic ingredients to achieve a product with outstanding flavor.
I recommend using Hammonds Candies All Natural Mint Candy Canes for best results; they are gluten-free and corn-free.
All ingredients should be at room temperature prior to making the cheesecake.
Protect protein structure to create a creamy confection by baking cheesecake in a water bath.
To prevent a cracked top or a fallen cheesecake, bake gently at a slow moderate temperature just until set, and then turn off the oven, crack the door and let the cheesecake slowly cool for one hour.
Remove from the oven and cool cheesecake on a wire rack until it comes to room temperature.
Cover cheesecake and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
Frost, garnish and decorate the dessert just before serving, because peppermint candy is by nature hygroscopic (absorbs moisture from the air), and will lose its crisp crunchiness.
Peppermint Candy Cheesecake is a decadent dessert; serve small portions.
Peppermint Candy Cheesecake
Time: 6 to 10 hours
- 1 ½ cups walnut halves
- 3 tablespoons cold butter
- ¼ cup granulated white sugar
- Preheat oven to 325° Fahrenheit.
- Move rack to lower third of oven.
- Line the bottom of an 8 inch ungreased spring-form pan with parchment paper.
- To waterproof the springform pan, wrap bottom and sides in a seamless double layer of extra-large foil; crimp foil over top of pan.
- Put all walnuts, butter and sugar into a food processor or blender.
- Process until nuts are not quite finely ground and are just starting to stick together.
- Press mixture into the bottom of the spring-form pan, and then set aside.
- 1 ½ cups sour cream
- ½ cup white granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons gluten-free peppermint extract
- 16 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- Blend sour cream, sugar eggs and peppermint extract in a food processor or blender for 1 minute.
- Add the cream cheese pieces and blend until smooth.
- While blending, drizzle in the melted butter until blended and smooth.
- Pour into the springform pan.
- Set springform pan in a large baking dish or roasting pan with high sides.
- Carefully pour boiling water into roasting pan until water level is halfway up the side of the springform pan.
- Bake for 1 ½ to 1 ¾ hours or just until set; edges should be firm, just beginning to turn light golden brown, and center will barely jiggle.
- Turn off the oven and crack the door; allow the cheesecake to cool inside the oven for 1 hour.
- Remove cheesecake from water bath and let cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
- Carefully remove foil from outside of springform pan.
- Cover cheesecake and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- To decorate just before serving, run a sharp straight-edged knife around sides of pan to loosen cheesecake edges; release side of springform pan and remove.
- Carefully slip cold cheesecake from spring-form pan bottom, with parchment paper intact, onto a cake plate or pedestal.
Chocolate Candy Coating
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup gluten-free semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 peppermint candy canes, crushed
- In a small saucepan over medium heat bring water and sugar to a simmer and cook for one minute, or until sugar is completely dissolved.
- Add butter and stir until melted.
- Add chocolate chips and stir until melted and smooth.
- Frost top and sides of cheesecake with chocolate candy coating; coating will quickly set up on the cold cheesecake.
- Immediately garnish with crushed peppermint candy and gluten-free Candy Cane Cookies.
- Slice servings of cheesecake with a long thin-bladed knife (not serrated edged), rinsing knife with warm water between slices for a nice clean cut.
- Store covered in refrigerator.
Peppermint Candy Cheesecake Bars
- Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit.
- Move rack to lower third of oven.
- Prepare Walnut Crust as directed in key recipe.
- Press mixture into the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish, and then set aside.
- Prepare Peppermint Cheesecake as directed in key recipe.
- Pour over walnut crust.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or just until edges turn light golden brown and the center is set.
- Remove from oven and cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
- To decorate just before serving, prepare Chocolate Candy Coating as directed in key recipe.
- Frost top of cheesecake with chocolate candy coating; coating will quickly set up on the cold cheesecake.
- Immediately garnish top with crushed peppermint candy.
- Slice servings of cheese cake with a long thin-bladed knife (not serrated edged), rinsing knife with warm water between slices for a nice clean cut.
- Store covered in refrigerator.
More Christmas Desserts You Might Enjoy
Candy Cane Cookies
Egg Nog Bread Pudding
Mincemeat Baked Apples
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