These yummy and festive no-bake cheesecake bars by Slow Roasted Italian are a delicious holiday dessert! I like to substitute the cream cheese for mascarpone cheese and I also like to use ricotta instead of whipped cream for the garnish, but either way, these are so tasty! Prepare them at least one day ahead of time so they can set in the fridge. The best part about these treats is that you don’t need the oven! This recipe makes 12 bars.
For the crust:
- 3 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
For the cheesecake:
- 15 Peppermint hard candies, crushed
- 1/2 cup hot, boiling water
- 2 (7 gram) packets unflavored gelatin
- 3 (8 ounce) package full fat cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
For the garnish:
- 10 Peppermint hard candies, crushed
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Prepare the Crust: Add all the ingredients to a large bowl, mix with a fork until well combined and press into a lightly greased 9×13 inch pan.
- Prepare the Cheesecake: Add peppermints to a large Ziploc bag. Seal the bag well, but do not make the bag air tight, or the bag will perforate on the first smash. To avoid a mess, place the bag inside another Ziplock bag.Place the bag on a wooden cutting board and using a kitchen mallet, crush the candies.
- Add the crushed candies to a medium bowl and pour hot, boiling water over them. Using a spoon, stir the mixture for 3-5 minutes, until the candies completely melt.
- Sprinkle the two packets of gelatin over the peppermint mixture, let it bloom for 1 minute and whisk it until fully combined. Set aside.
- Add room temperature cream cheese and sugar to a large bowl and using a hand mixer (you can also you a stand mixer for this), whisk it on medium-high speed until creamy and fully combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl a few times.
- Add the gelatin mixture to the cream cheese, mix it in with the electric mixer starting on low speed and increasing it to high. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl a few times.
- Add cold heavy whipping cream to a preferably chilled, cold bowl and beat it on medium-high speed until soft peaks form and the whipped cream holds its shape, about 1-2 minutes. Fold whipped cream into the cheesecake mixture and stir well to combine.
- Add the cheesecake mixture to the pan, level the top with a spatula. Chill for at least 3 hours, better 5-8 hours.
- Garnish: When ready to serve, add cold heavy whipping cream and sugar to a preferably chilled, cold bowl and whisk it on medium-high speed until soft peaks form and the whipped cream holds its shape, about 1-2 minutes.
- Garnish each peppermint cheesecake bar with whipped cream and top with crushed peppermints.