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St. Patrick’s Day Cheesecake

St. Patrick’s day is a time to turn everything green in honor of the Irish Saint. This creamy cheesecake with festive green stripes is perfect to serve after corned beef, cabbage and a Guinness. Using fresh mint makes the rich cake as bright in flavor as it is in appearance.

St. Patrick’s Day Cheesecake
Makes: 12 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 45 minutes
Level: Easy, with several steps

The Crust:
24 chocolate wafer cookies (homemade or store bought)
3 tablespoons butter, melted

The Mint Cheesecake:
1 cup packed fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 drops green food coloring
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups sour cream
6 yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons mint extract
2 tablespoons Irish whiskey

The Topping:
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

To make the crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a food processor break up the cookies until they are powder. Add the butter and pulse until it just sticks together.

Firmly pat the chocolate crust into an 8-inch spring form pan. Bake the crust for about 5 minutes and then cool on rack. Reduce the oven to 300°F.

To make mint-cream:
In a blender or food processor add the mint and heavy cream.

Pulse until the mint is well blended in the cream. Add the food coloring. Set aside.

Mix the cheesecake batter:
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the cream cheese and sugar on medium low speed. Scrape the mixture off the sides of the bowl and make sure it is very smooth. Mix in the sour cream. Add the yolks one at a time, mixing well between each one. Add the mint extract and whiskey and mix until well combined.

Divide the cheesecake batter into two bowls and add the mint-cream mixture to one of the bowls.

Add about 1 cup of the white cheesecake batter to the prepared pan. Then add 1 cup of the mint batter in the center, do not spread it out too much.

Add about 3/4 cup of the white batter, followed by 3/4 cup of the mint batter.

Add about 1/2 cup of the white batter, followed by 1/2 cup of the mint batter.

Add about 1/4 cup of the white batter, followed by 1/4 cup of the mint batter.

Add about 2 tablespoons of the white batter, followed by 2 tablespoons of the mint batter.

Tightly wrap the spring form pan with foil and then bake the cheesecake in a water bath, tented with foil. Bake for about 45 minutes, but check it after 30 minutes. It is done when the center is set and jiggles like jell-o. Allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes, still sitting in the water bath.

Remove the pan from the water and foil.

Mix together the sour cream, sugar and vanilla. Spread the mixture over the top of the cheesecake and return to the oven for 10 minutes.

Before the cake cools, run a paring knife around the edge so that the cake can shrink away from the pan without cracking.

Garnish with a mint sprig and serve.

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