- 1 1/2 cups chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (about 32 cookies)
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 (14-oz.) can sweeten condensed milk
- 1/3 cup whipping cream
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chunks
- 1/2 cup coarsely crushed hard peppermint candies (about 18 candies)
- 3/4 cup whipping cream
- 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels
- Garnishes: 65 soft peppermint sticks (5 small bags), broken, and peppermint bark
- Combine first 3 ingredients; stir well. Press mixture firmly on bottom of a lightly greased 9" springform pan. Bake at 325° for 14 minutes; let cool.
- Beat cream cheese at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sweetened condensed milk, beating just until blended. Add 1/3 cup whipping cream and next 3 ingredients, beating just until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears. Stir in chocolate chunks and crushed candies.
- Pour batter into baked crust. Bake at 325° for 52 to 55 minutes or until edges are set and center is almost set. Turn off the oven. Immediately run a knife around the edge of the pan, releasing sides. With the oven door slightly open, let cheesecake stand in oven 1 hour. Remove from oven; cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill 8 hours. Remove sides and bottom of pan; place cheesecake on a serving plate.
- Pour 3/4 cup whipping cream into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until hot. Add 1 1/2 cups semisweet morsels; stir until chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Pour ganache over chilled cheesecake, allowing ganache to spill over edges of cheesecake; smooth ganache with an offset spatula. Let stand 10 minutes before garnishing. Store in refrigerator.
For easy cleanup, place wax paper strips under edges of cheesecake on a serving plate. When you pour the ganache, it will drip onto the wax paper. Gently remove wax paper strips after the 10-minute standing time.