2 – 3 cups finely ground chocolate graham crackers (2 cups is fine if you only want crust on the bottom, but no sides. Use 2 1/2 – 3 cups if you want sides.)
6 – 8 tbsp. of butter
1/3 cup of sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
5 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
2 egg yolks
2 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/8 cup flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
10 oz. white chocolate
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. (to taste) peppermint extract
Red food coloring
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp. powdered sugar, sifted
4 tbsp. cold (important!), unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/8 – 1/4 tsp. (to taste) peppermint extract
Get out your cream cheese, eggs and cream and let sit while making the crust so that they are at or close to room temp by the time you need them.
Grind up crackers in a blender or food processor if necessary. Mix crumbs, sugar, salt and butter in a bowl until combined and press into the bottom and if you want, about an inch or two up the sides of a 10″ springform pan. Place in a preheated 350 degree (F) oven and bake for 10 minutes. Take out to cool. Turn off the oven.
In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, eggs, egg yolks and vanilla; mix until smooth.
Add in the sugar, flour and heavy cream and blend until smooth. Do not over-mix as this will create more air bubbles which can contribute to your cake cracking.
Melt white chocolate on the stove over low heat or in the microwave. Mix into cheesecake batter.
Transfer 1/3 cheesecake batter into another bowl. Stir in peppermint extract and a few drops of food coloring.
Pour 1/3 of the original batter into the prepared crust. Drop in spoonfuls of the peppermint mixture on top. Pour in the rest of the original batter over that. Finally, drop in spoonfuls of the rest of peppermint mixture and swirl it all around with a knife, but don’t overmix.
Place in the oven and then turn it on to 400 degrees (F). Bake for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 200 degrees (F).Full size: Bake for 3 hours. Then turn the over off, prop open the door slightly and let cool for 1 hour. Finally, place in your refrigerator and chill for a full 24 hours.
Small size: Bake for 1 hour. Then turn the over off, prop open the door slightly and let cool for 1 hour. Finally, place in your refrigerator and chill 12-24 hours. Remove springform pan.
To make topping, melt chocolate on the stove over low heat or in the microwave. Remove from heat and let stand for 3 minutes.
Using a small whisk, stir in powdered sugar, followed by the pieces of butter. Stir in peppermint extract. If the mixture is too thin to spread, place the bowl over ice water and stir for a few seconds or until it thickens.
Quickly spread a thin layer of chocolate on top of the cheesecake (if it gets too firm, put it back on the stove over low heat for a minute or so). Sprinkle with crushed peppermints and gently press them into the chocolate. Let set at room temperature for at least 10 minutes before serving.