You may have noticed that I really like layering things up in bars. It’s just, this way you get a bunch of delicious things all in one bite. In this case, we’ve got an almond cocoa cookie crust on the bottom, chocolate cheesecake filling in the middle, and a peppermint chocolate glaze on top, with a sprinkling of crushed candy cane on top for some serious crunch. Here’s how:
Yield: 1 8×8 pan of bars
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3 tbsp flour
3 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
8 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 extra large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
Peppermint Chocolate Glaze:
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp light corn syrup
1/4 tsp peppermint extract (or to taste)
2 peppermint candy canes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper.
To make the crust, pulse the almonds in a food processor to grind them up (be careful not to grind them into almond butter). Add the butter, cocoa powder, flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse to combine (it will look crumbly).
Press it out into the pan:
Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
For the cheesecake filling, melt the chocolate either in a double boiler or in the microwave (in 30 second intervals, stirring after each time). Set aside.
In a separate bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy, with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer. Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat to combine. Pour the chocolate in and mix until smooth. Pour the filling onto the cooled crust, and bake for 20-25 minutes. The edges should be slightly puffy, but it should be jiggly in the center. Chill the cheesecake in the fridge until the cheesecake has set.
To make the glaze, melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. Add the melted butter, corn syrup, and peppermint extract, and stir to combine.
Spread all over the cheesecake, and top with crushed candy cane. Chill in the refrigerator until set. Cut into bars and enjoy!
Adapted from Food Network’s Chocolate Cheesecake Candy Cane Bars.