Double-Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake

Double-Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake
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Ingredients
  1. Crust
  2. 1 1/2
  3. cups chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (about 32 cookies)
  4. 1/4
  5. cup butter, melted
  6. 2
  7. tablespoons sugar
  8. Filling
  9. 4
  10. packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
  11. 1/4
  12. cup sugar
  13. 1
  14. can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
  15. 1/3
  16. cup whipping cream
  17. 2
  18. tablespoons Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
  19. 2
  20. teaspoons vanilla
  21. 3
  22. eggs
  23. Ganache
  24. 3/4
  25. cup whipping cream
  26. 1 1/2
  27. cups semisweet chocolate chips
  28. 1
  29. bag (12 oz) soft peppermint sticks, coarsely crushed
  30. Garnish
  31. Store-bought peppermint bark
Instructions
  1. 1 Heat oven to 350°F. Wrap outside bottom and side of 9-inch springform pan with heavy-duty foil to prevent leaking. Spray inside bottom and side of pan with cooking spray. In small bowl, mix crust ingredients. Press firmly in bottom of pan. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F. Cool crust 10 minutes.
  2. 2 Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat cream cheese and 1/4 cup sugar with electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add condensed milk, beating just until blended. Add 1/3 cup whipping cream, the flour and vanilla; beat just until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended. Pour over crust.
  3. 3 Bake 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 25 minutes or until edge of cheesecake is set at least 2 inches from edge of pan but center of cheesecake still jiggles slightly when moved. Turn oven off; open oven door at least 4 inches. Let cheesecake remain in oven 30 minutes. Run small metal spatula around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake. Cool in pan on cooling rack 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.
  4. 4 Run small metal spatula around edge of cheesecake; carefully remove foil and side of pan. Place cheesecake on serving plate. In medium microwavable bowl, microwave 3/4 cup whipping cream on High 1 minute or until hot. Add chocolate chips; stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Pour ganache over cheesecake; smooth ganache with spatula. Let stand 10 minutes. Gently press crushed peppermint sticks into side of cheesecake. Cover; refrigerate any remaining cheesecake. Garnish with peppermint bark, if desired.
Notes
  1. For easy cleanup, place waxed paper strips under edges of cheesecake on serving plate. When you pour the ganache, it will drip onto the waxed paper. Gently remove waxed paper strips after the 10-minute standing time.
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