Peppermint Twist Cheesecake
1 box (9 oz.) chocolate wafer cookies
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
4 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1/4 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/3 cup hard peppermint candies, crushed
1-1/2 cups sour cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
additional peppermint candies
For crust: Wrap outside of 9-in. springform pan with aluminum foil. Finely grind cookies with sugar in processor. Add butter, process to blend. Press mixture onto bottom and up sides of prepared pan. Refrigerate crust while preparing filling.
For filling: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Beat cream cheese in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar and beat until well blended. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Beat in half and half, then
vanilla and peppermint extracts. Stir in crushed peppermint candies. Pour filling into crust.
Bake cheesecake until filling is set in center and edges are puffed, about 50 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool 10 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.
For topping: Stir sour cream, sugar and extracts in small bowl to blend. Pour mixture over hot cheesecake, covering completely. Return cheesecake to oven and bake until top begins to set, about 8 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated.)
Using small knife, cut around sides of pan to loosen cake. Remove pan sides. Garnish cake with peppermint candies.