Thin Mint Cheesecake is a Girl Scout cookie twist on the perfect Italian classic cheesecake. What better way to prepare for St. Patrick's Day than with this easy dessert that will stop your guests in their tracks.
5drops of green food coloringor enough to color to your liking
1/2cupsemi-sweet chocolate morsels
Pre-heat oven to 325°F.
Place a full box of Thin Mint cookies into a plastic baggie and wrap in a towel.* Crush the cookies with the bottom of your skillet until they reach a crumb-like consistency. Add the crumbs to a bowl with melted butter and stir. Then press in an even layer onto the bottom of a 10-inch cast-iron skillet sprayed with cooking spray. Bake the crust for 10 minutes.
Reduce the oven to 275°F.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese for approximately 3-5 minutes on low speed until smooth. **
Add the ricotta (or sour cream) and cream together on low until smooth.
Add the sugar, vanilla extract, and mint extract to the bowl and blend until incorporated.
Add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended.
Place the skillet on a baking sheet. Pour the batter over your thin mint crust. (Note: Pan will be very full.)
Melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl with heavy cream. Place dobs of it (or drizzle) on top of the batter. Using a knife or a toothpick, gently swirl the chocolate a couple of times for the desired design.
Then place centered in the oven. (Tip: to prevent cracking of your cheesecake, place an oven-safe bowl or casserole dish with about two inches of water in it, on the rack below the cheesecake).
Bake 50 to 55 min. or until the center of cheesecake is almost set. The center should still look somewhat soft. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside to cool slowly, preferably overnight. The filling will continue to set as it cools, and taking it out of the oven too soon may cause it to crack.
Once fully cooled to room temperature place it in the fridge, removing and allowing to warm up in temperature 20 minutes before serving.***
*You can also add the cookies to a bowl and use a potato masher to crush the cookies into the perfect crumble texture for the crust. This is a great step for kids to help with. **You can use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment to create the filling or a hand mixer with whisk attachments for a bit more control. Just be careful not to overwhip the cream cheese or your cheesecake will end up with a consistency more like mousse. ***The cheesecake will be much easier to cut and serve by allowing to sit on the counter after removing from the fridge. This allows the crust to soften enough for a clean removal from the skillet. CAUTION: A cast iron skillet should never go directly from the oven to the fridge or freezer. A dramatic, quick change in temperature at any time with your cast iron can cause it to crack.
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