Peppermint White Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake Bars ~

I hope that everyone who celebrates had a wonderful Thanksgiving! My family had Thanksgiving in Manhattan this year, for the first time ever.

This is the last year that Nate and I will be living in NYC, and the first that we were actually here on Thanksgiving, so my parents, brother, Nate and I decided to go to my office to check out the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Macy's Day Parade 2013 ~


It was a pretty awesome view since my building is right on the parade route. The only problem was that the balloons were kept low to the ground this year because they were worried about the wind, and the floor we were on was pretty high above them. It was still closer than I’ve ever been to the parade though!

We took a nice family photo on Thanksgiving but I think my mom is using it for her holiday card, so you’ll have to settle for this pic of just me and Nate. I think I dressed for the wrong holiday :)

Thanksgiving 2013 ~

Yes, I’m really that pale…

Actually, I think my outfit is kind of appropriate for this post, since it matches this dessert I’m sharing with you. I don’t know why but I just got this idea of peppermint white chocolate cheesecake bars in my head and couldn’t get it out. I had visions of these swirly pink and white bars perfect for a holiday dessert. 

These definitely need to be refrigerated overnight if you like them to firm up a bit, but they’re more on the softer side of cheesecake bars- this is according to Nate who likes cold, dry, hard food. If you leave the candy cane bits out of the batter and just sprinkle them on top, they should firm up a little more, but I thought they were perfect!

Peppermint White Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake Bars ~

Oh, and for another house update, since you guys seem to love that so much :) :

The contractor had told me at the beginning of last week that he was pretty much done with demolition and would start framing by Friday. On Wednesday he texted me, saying his guys had removed the ceiling in the basement and found some asbestos underneath that had been overlooked when they did the asbestos removal back in August…UGH! 

He told me that he called up the company that I had used for the removal before and they said it was ok for him to work, but he thought it would be best to wait til Monday when the asbestos guy would meet him at the house to check it out. Because of Thanksgiving, that only meant one day of work (Friday) would be wasted. 

Peppermint White Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake Bars ~

So Monday, my contractor had a smaller than normal crew there working and the asbestos guy came to assess the situation and gave me a quote for removing it ( $$ :( ), but the good news is that he can do it this Thursday and that the contractor can continue to work in the meantime. 

But the exciting part is that I took my family over to the house on Friday since my brother had never seen it, and when I opened the door, I was SO surprised. There are NO WALLS in my house at all! Like completely gone…all that’s there are the studs. I had NO idea they were going to remove every single wall!! It was so crazy to see the house that way and I’m sorry I don’t have a pic, but it was getting dark out. I should be able to take one before they put up the drywall I think.

Anyway, I’m so psyched :) It totally made this project feel like it’s really happening!

Oh yeah, and on Friday morning my mom came with me and Nate to the bath store and we managed to pick out pretty much all of our faucets, sinks, toilets and a bath vanity. Still a few more things to decide but good progress. Thank you, Mom!!!

Peppermint White Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake Bars ~

Peppermint White Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake Bars
Creamy cheesecake squares with a festive minty swirl!
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  1. 2 cups finely crushed chocolate wafer cookies (about 35 cookies)
  2. 2 Tbsp sugar
  3. 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  4. 4 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened (I used two light and two regular)
  5. 1 cup sugar
  6. 1 tsp vanilla
  7. 1 cup sour cream
  8. 4 eggs
  9. 6 oz. white chocolate chips
  10. red food coloring (I used 7 drops of red liquid food coloring)
  11. 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  12. 3/4 cup crushed peppermint candy canes (about 6 oz), divided
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease bottom of a 9x13 pan.
  2. For crust, mix crushed cookies, 2 Tbsp sugar and the melted butter. Press mixture evenly into bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 10 min then set aside to cool while making batter.
  3. For filling, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, sour cream and vanilla with electric mixer until smooth. Beat in eggs until blended. Pour 2/3 of batter over the prepared crust, spreading to edges and set the remaining 1/3 of the batter aside.
  4. Put white chocolate chips in a microwaveable container and microwave 1 min at 50% power. Stir well. Continute microwaving in 30 sec increments, stirring well in between until melted. There can still be a couple solid pieces- do not over cook!
  5. Stir white chocolate into the 1/3 of the batter that you set aside. Stir in about 6 drops red food coloring (or enough to give a pink hue), along with peppermint extract and 1/2 cup of the crushed candy canes.
  6. Put the pink batter on top of the white batter in the pan in 5-6 large blobs, making sure to leave white in between. Drag a knife back and forth through the batter to create swirls.
  7. Bake for 35-40 min or until set (a knife pierced 1" from edge comes out almost clean).
  8. Cool in pan for an hour or so, and then cover and chill for 4-24 hours. Cut into bars and sprinkle with remaining peppermint candies as desired.
  1. For slightly firmer bars, leave the chopped peppermint out of the batter, and only use as a garnish.
  2. Best served after being refrigerated overnight.


  1. They’re pink!! These look delicious and beautiful!! YUM! Thanks for sharing girl!!! I LOVE peppermint candy canes this time of year :)

    • Thanks, Caliee! Haha, I’m a fan of pink too ;) And candy canes are such a good, long-lasting, low calorie snack!

    • I admit it…I cheated! For the topping, I found Andes candies that were white chocolate and peppermint. I used about half a bag- white chocolate, peppermint flavoring, peppermint candy bits and red coloring all in one! I also used mint Oreos in the crust for a little more peppermint zip! Delish! Thanks for the great idea.

  2. I love this time of year- I want to put peppermint and eggnog in everything! These cheesecake bars are so pretty and festive for the holidays!

  3. Oooh, these bars are so pretty!! Sugar Plum Fairy worthy! Also, I’ve always thought that cheesecake should be more portable. Thanks for filling my pockets…

    • Thanks Movita! I agree…the only way to make cheesecake portable is to sandwich it between layers of something more sturdy, like cheesecake brownies. Hope you’re having fun in nyc! ;)

  4. Ooh…these are so pretty!! (I just realized I’m repeating Movita! but it’s soo true!) And, I will add they are as pretty as you!

  5. I’m not a huge cheesecake fan (I know, what is wrong with me?) but I LOVE peppermint! These might change my mind on cheesecake.

  6. love the colour of the cheesecake. yummy!

  7. Must have been fun to be so close to the parade! I love the picture you got because my little nephew was over watching the parade with me, and he had Snoopy and Woodstock stuffed animals and we got all excited when the balloon showed up on TV. :) The cheesecake bars sound wonderful!

  8. Oh how cute are you to accidentally match these delicious and festive cheesecake bars! Hope everything works out for the house, good luck!

  9. Great pictures, Amy! Cute shot of Snoopy – I’m just so glad the weather was decent enough to go on with the show. What would happen if it rained or something?! I’m sure you’ve heard this already but these bars are so pretty! You did good! : )

    • Hehe, thanks, Monica :) I’m glad the floats didn’t get cancelled, but it was a bummer not seeing them higher. But at least I can say I’ve been there now!! I think they cancel the parade if it rains…i’m not sure.

  10. How fun that you got to watch the parade from above! Huge crowds give me hives so I think you had exactly the right idea. :) We actually live on the route of the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, so we get front-row seats every year. I used to not care about parades at all, but seeing a big one in person is pretty fun!
    But now to the important stuff: These cheesecake bars! YES PLEASE. Peppermint + cream cheese + swirls = pure heaven. Gorgeous!

    • I HATE crowds. Leaving the parade wasn’t fun due to them, but we managed. It’s also the reason I hate christmastime in the city- my office is in tourist central, UGH! I don’t usually watch parades on tv, but doing it in-person once was definitely fun. I don’t know if I’d want to do it every year though ;) Thanks, Elizabeth!

  11. Those cheesecake bars look too delicious! And aren’t you just so pretty lady?

  12. looks like someone shot the starting gun for peppermint! :) And here i thought i was on time again after the whole “late to the pumpkin” fiasco.
    i loved your photos from the parade! no matter how low those balloons were, that’s a view many of us will never get to see; so cool! and of course, love the house update. i need to know EXACTLY what is going on. :)
    confession: i’m not a big peppermint anything person. BUT: when december hits, i do enjoy it, and i’ll enjoy it until january, when it goes right back underground again. I made peppermint bark over the weekend, and it’s funny how that first opening of a candy cane can really make it feel like the holiday season has arrived. love these! especially the pink swirl.

    • Haha, FINALLY, i’m on time with stuff this year. I’m really glad we made the effort to check out the parade in-person since it’s the only time it will be so easy to get there. You know, a lot of people have been telling me they’re not into peppermint…i love it so I don’t really understand. But then, I don’t think there’s any flavor that I won’t eat :) I LOVE peppermint bark. I’m gonna make some over the weekend. Thanks, Shannon!!!

  13. Cold, dry, hard food. Haha, that sounds awful. But these! These are so pretty.

    When we flew through NY the weekend before Thanksgiving, the wind was insane. Kids on the plane were screaming with glee/horror at every turbulent bump, and I think pretty much everyone was feeling sick. So glad we went through when we did, given that the weather only got worse. Glad you had a great Thanksgiving!

  14. What a great view of the parade from your office building Amy and how fun that you got to be in NYC for the holidays this year — extra special I suspect. These bars are sooo festive and fun! Our youngest adores anything peppermint at Christmas time and would simply be over the moon with your delightful dessert. I will have to figure them into our baking roster ;-). I hope you can share the family photo eventually, meantime lovely image of you and Nate (did L.C. feel snubbed? lol).

    • I got so lucky this year with the view! It’s definitely something I’ll never be able to do again, so I’m so happy we decided to check it out :) Oooh, I hope you make these, Kelly! If so, let me know how he likes them. I will totally share the photo when I can…and I presume L.C. was none to happy. But then, we take so many photos of her on a daily basis, she really can’t complain ;)

  15. I’m SO excited to see your house when its done! It must be nice to have a contractor come in a do everything for you. My husband refuses to hire people – except to lay carpet, which is hilarious to me. He’s planning on starting the master bathroom over the holidays. Then he and his dad will do the railings throughout the house, and finally we’ll carpet the upstairs. Then we’ll be DONE, which is pretty crazy considering we’ve been working on the house for 3 years.

    • I’m so excited to see it too! haha. I can finally start to picture it since the new walls are almost framed out. If I had a handy husband and we didn’t have to gut the ENTIRE house, I totally would have rather had him do it. Unfortunately, I’m the handy one and knocking down and putting up walls aren’t in my repertoire. I hope you’ll share pics of your bathroom makeover. There’s nothing I love better than a “before” and “after” :)

  16. consuelohoneyandfigs

    These look so beautiful and delicious! And so so christmassy, I gotta love them!
    Good luck with the house stuff, it sounds so exciting! ^^

  17. wow this looks fantastic. i love cheesecake bars of any kind. Hope you guys had a wonderful thanksgiving. how lucky are you to work at Rockefeller!!! :-)

    • Thanks, Honey :) I’m with you..cheesecake is my fave! Working by Rockefeller is pretty awesome…except at Christmastime. TOO MANY TOURISTS! I can barely walk down the sidewalk to get home.

  18. What a lovely and yummy Christmas time treat! These look delicious! Thank you for sharing such a festive recipe. I’m glad to hear that things are progressing on the house front too. I can’t wait to see what happens!

  19. Oh, my! 3 of my favorite flavors in one: white chocolate, cheesecake and mint! LOVE these bars!

  20. These bars look like so much fun! Very cute!

  21. Exciting news about the house Amy but bummer about the asbestos! I can’t believe the previous owner living there all those years and didn’t bother to have the house checked out. Yikes! Anyway, progress is good!

    These cheesecake bars look delicious! So perfect for the holidays and so festive too. Love it! Have a great rest of the week my friend.

    • Thanks, Anne! Luckily the asbestos is easily fixed, it just costs money. The previous owner didn’t care I guess…and the thing is, if we weren’t renovating I probably would have left it. The previous owner is 96 and lived there for 60 years so i’m sure it’s not harmful if left undisturbed. But anyway, it’s gone now :)

  22. !!!! Exciting on the house progress!!! But UGH to asbestos. Hopefully it can all be taken care of quickly!!

    I am always up for peppermint swirled into everything. Totally loving these bars!

    • Luckily the asbestos was nothing a little $$ couldn’t fix (ugh), haha. But it was gone in a day and work is progressing! Check out my newest post for pics :) Thanks, Joanne!

  23. Cheesecake is my favorite thing ever. This is great!

  24. These are so pretty! I love peppermint anything, and cheesecake is a favorite of mine. That’s so cool you were so close to the parade!

    • I love peppermint and cheesecake anything too! ;) Yeah, i’m so glad we got to go to the parade…it probably won’t happen again once we move to NJ, but maybe when we have kids, we’ll see. I just hate crowds and nyc traffic so i’m not sure…

  25. Pingback: Christmas Peppermint Dessert Recipes - Un - ComplicateUn – Complicate

  26. I would like anything pink and swirly, especially cheesecake!

  27. These look so festive and pretty. That’s a lovely shot of the two of you and I don’t think you look pale at all – you should see me! And your house sounds like it’s making terrific progress. I can’t wait to see more images xx

  28. We’re working on a Christmas Roundup post. May we please include your Recipe?

    We don’t want to publish your recipe. Instead,We will include one photo with a link back to our site.

    Please let me know via email. Krystle kouture at yahoo dot com

  29. Love these festive cheesecake bars Amy! So Pretty! Asbestos is a real bummer but sounds like you are making some good progress on your house.

  30. Nothing nicer than a peppermint dessert for the holidays and your cheesecake bars sound great.

  31. oh my god, you should have heard the noise i made when i saw these! they look INCREDIBLE! so impressed, lady. also that photo of you & nate is absolutely adorable :) glad you enjoyed thanksgiving!
    the hobbit kitchen x

  32. Sounds like a great Thanksgiving — with a delish dessert! You’re lucky to live so close to the parade route — what a view! I used to live not too far from it when I lived in NY (I went to culinary school there) — I miss it!

  33. So exciting! It must’ve been crazy to walk into a house with no walls… I think I would’ve had a moment where I was like “wow, look at all this space! Can we keep it this way?” :P

    Also, peppermint cheesecake bars are GENIUS. I wants to eat them… I wants to eat all of them.

  34. I thought I would add my comments on this dessert! It was AMAZING! I had to change it slightly as I am the Dietary Coordinator for a Skilled Nursing Facility in Rural Wisconsin. Candy Canes and Dentures are not a good combination. I used a 1/2 bag of the Hershey’s Peppermint Kisses instead and melted them in with the white chips. Worked PERFECT! I also had to make it into a bigger batch, to feed 80+ people, and it replicated well. It was amazing! I can only imagine what it would have tasted like if I actually used candy canes! Thank you!!

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