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.

Cookies and Cream Bars

I know I shouldn’t be tempting you guys more dessert posts after that last doozy. But since my blogging is falling by the wayside, it’s been a week since then…and if you’re living in my household, that cake is long gone!

Cookies and Cream Bars

I also know I shouldn’t be making these desserts when I have 6 weeks left to look lovely in my wedding dress. And now that I’ve had my first fitting I’d really not like to gain any weight!

But I’m sorry I just had to share these. I saw them online thinking they reminded me of “cookies ‘n cream” (even though they were called Oreo Cheesecake Bars), but figuring they wouldn’t really taste like it….but they did!

Cookies and Cream Bars

You can’t taste the cheesecake tang in these as much as just a creamy vanilla filling and they’re CHOCK FULL of oreos- like almost-two-entire-packages-full. And worth every little calorie.

Cookies and Cream Bars

I was afraid to figure out how many calories are actually in these, so I didn’t. Instead I cut myself off a half of a piece each night and savored it…and then sometimes went back for the other half. Oops.

This week i’m only eating salad…let’s hope I fit in my dress!

Luckily LC doesn’t have to fit in a dress for the wedding, because she’s one lazy cat…

Cookies and Cream Bars

From Blissfully Delicious (following her doubling directions) via Annie’s Eats

Print this recipe!

makes 24 bars

For the crust
46 Oreo cookies (almost 2 entire packages including the ones in the cheescake layer)
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake:
24 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3/4  cup. sour cream, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large egg plus 2 egg yolk
24 Oreo cookies, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 325˚ F. Line a 9×13 pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper.

Make the crust: place cookies in the bowl of a food processor. Process, pulsing, until the cookies are finely ground. Add in the melted butter and pulse until the cookie crumbs are moistened. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan. Press the crumbs into an even layer over the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then set aside and prepare the filling while maintaining the oven temperature.

Make the filling: add the cream cheese to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until light and smooth, about 2 minutes. Mix in the sugar until well combined. Blend in the sour cream, vanilla and salt. Beat in the eggs and egg yolks on medium-high speed until incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed. Stir in the chopped cookies with a rubber spatula.

Pour the cheesecake batter over the prepared crust, smoothing the top with a spatula. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the cheesecake is set around the edges but slightly wobbly in the center. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool about an hour to room temperature. Cover the pan and refrigerate until well chilled, about 3 hours or overnight.

To cut the bars, pull the cake from the pan by lifting the foil up out of the pan. Place on a cutting board, peel away the foil, and slice into bars. Clean the knife blade between each slice to keep the edges neat. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

I’m the most indecisive person you’ve ever met. My family and Nate can certainly vouch for that.

Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake

I rarely buy things for myself, so when I do you can imagine how long I spend deciding exactly what item I want. I will literally stand in a department store with a blue shirt and a red shirt in each hand, looking back and forth for a good 30 minutes to figure out which one I really want.

I’m not exaggerating.

At restaurants I will agonize over what to order because everything sounds so good and I know I can only get one thing. I usually make the waiter go to everyone else and take my order last just so I have that extra 1 minute to finalize my choice.

It’s like making decisions paralyzes me.

How do you choose what to have??! Well with this recipe you don’t have to. There’s a super dense chocolate layer for the chocoholic in all of us, and then there’s the tangy cheesecake marbeled throughout for those of us cheesecake lovers!

This is not for the faint of heart. If you like serious chocolate desserts than this is for you. Nate could barely finish his slice…although it could be because it was a large slice and we had just had a giant mac and cheese dinner. Man, I wish I had his metabolism…

Marbled Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake

slightly adapted from Baker Street

Print this recipe!

makes one 9″ round cake

For the vanilla batter:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

For the chocolate batter:
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 stick (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 large eggs
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbs. dark rum or espresso
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp flour
Pinch table salt
Cocoa powder for dusting

Preheat the oven to 300°F.

Lightly grease a 9 inch round cake pan and /or line the bottom with parchment.

Make the vanilla batter:
In a medium bowl, beat the softened cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth.

Add the sugar and continue beating until well blended and no lumps remain. Add the egg and vanilla and beat just until blended. Set aside.

Make the chocolate batter:
In a medium bowl, melt the chocolate and butter in a large metal bowl over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave.

Whisk until smooth and set aside to cool slightly. With a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the eggs, sugar, rum or espresso, vanilla, and salt on medium high until the mixture is pale and thick, 3 to 4 min.

With the mixer on low, gradually pour in the chocolate mixture and continue beating until well blended. Beat in the flour.

Spread about half of the chocolate batter in the bottom of the pan. Alternately add large scoopfuls of each of the remaining batters to the cake pan.

Using a knife or the tip of a rubber spatula or a toothpick gently swirl the two batters together so they’re mixed but not completely blended.

Tap the pan against the countertop several times to settle the batters.

Bake until a pick inserted about 2 inches from the edge comes out gooey but not liquid, 40 to 42 min.; don’t over bake.

The top will be puffed and slightly cracked, especially around the edges. It will sink down as it cools. Let cool on a rack until just slightly warm, about 1-1/2 hours. Let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours or overnight, or freeze.

Remove cake from fridge one hour before serving. Loosen the cake from the pan by holding the pan almost perpendicular to the counter; tap the pan on the counter while rotating it clockwise. Invert onto a large flat plate or board. Remove the pan and carefully peel off the parchment. Sift some cocoa powder over the cake (this will make it easier to remove the slices when serving).

Let sit until cake warms to room temperature before serving. (or eat it cold if you like that!)

Invert again onto a similar plate so that the top side is up.