I find myself baking for other people constantly, but it's not very often that anyone returns the favor. I'm not complaining because I understand that it's far better to give than to receive. But every so often it's nice to see someone bearing a delicious dessert pop up on your doorstep!
Enter my good friend Stephanie, who I believe loves to bake almost as much as I do. She's notorious for repaying favors with cookies and scones (which is a perfectly acceptable form of payment, as far as I'm concerned!), and she makes a downright delightful creme de menthe cheesecake. I've been lucky enough to devour Stephanie's famous cheesecake on two occasions now, most recently this past weekend when she brought it to dinner (and saved me from having to make dessert in my under-renovation kitchen). It was even better than I remember it being the first time I was fortunate enough to have it, which was at my bridal shower in 2009.
It was, in fact, so delicious, that I decided I HAD to feature it here on LoV Bites. Lucky for you, Stephanie agreed to send me the recipe ... along with an adorable picture of the first time the cheesecake made an appearance :)
Coincidentally, Stephanie's recipe comes from the Pampered Chef Festive Holiday Desserts cookbook, and I happened to be serving a menu full of Pampered Chef dishes on Saturday night! Having to clean out my cabinets for the work in our kitchen turned up a ton of books I'd forgotten I had, including a Pampered Chef Cooking for Two and More cookbook that I don't even remember acquiring. Luckily, the panzanella, herbed fettucine, and caramelized garlic and sage stuffed chicken breast recipes make it one worth pulling off the shelf more often!
14-16 creme-filled chocolate sandwich cookies, finely crushed (Stephanie used the Cool Mint Oreos!)
4, 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
8-12 drop green food coloring
2 packages creme de menthe candies (preferably Andes), about 56 candies total
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
1 1/2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
7 creme de menthe candies (reserved from filling)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly spray sides of springform pan with non-stick cooking spray. Line sides of pan with parchment paper. Press cookie crumbs into bottom and up sides of pan. Bake crust 8 minutes. Cool completely.
Using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, and vanilla, about 3 minutes or until well-blended. Add eggs and mix on low speed about 2 minutes., Add sour cream and food coloring and mix until smooth.
Set aside 7 candies for topping. Cut remaining candies in half crosswise and toss with 1 tablespoon flour. Pour half of filling into crust. Arrange candies, slightly overlapping, over filling. Gently spoon remaining filling over candies. Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until center appears nearly completely set when gently shaken (center will firm as it cools). Cool completely, about 3 hours.
Place chocolate morsels, whipped topping, and reserved candies into a double boiler and melt until completely smooth. Spread topping over center of cheesecake. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.