no-bake white chocolate peppermint cheesecakes

Note: Please be sure to use real peppermint extract in this recipe for the best results. Be careful NOT to buy mint extract which is usually a combination of peppermint and spearmint. The spearmint flavoring will be too strong for this dessert.
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INGREDIENTS

For the crust

  • ½ package Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers (about 20 cookies)
  • 10 After Eight chocolate mints
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

For the filling

  • 1 1-ounce package sugar-free white chocolate instant pudding mix (or a 3-ounce package of the regular pudding mix)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 1-ounce package sugar-free cheesecake-flavored instant pudding mix (or a 3-ounce package of the regular pudding mix)
  • ½ teaspoon real peppermint extract (do not use mint extract which is typically a combination of peppermint and spearmint)
  • 1 12-ounce container frozen whipped topping, plus extra for garnish, if desired
  • 1-2 drops of red food coloring (optional)
  • Candy cane sticks, After Eight chocolate mints, and additional crushed chocolate wafers and crushed candy canes for garnish, if desired

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place the chocolate wafers and chocolate mints in the bowl of a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse again until combined.
  2. Spoon the crumbs into individual 9-ounce plastic cups (or other individual sized cups for serving). Place in the refrigerator to set while you are preparing the filling.
  3. Prepare the white chocolate pudding with the milk according to package instructions. (Note: Do NOT prepare the cheesecake pudding mix – that will be added as a dry stabilizer later in the recipe.)
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until light and creamy.
  5. Add the prepared white chocolate pudding, the dry cheesecake pudding mix and the peppermint extract and beat until completely mixed, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure that all ingredients are well combined.
  6. Change your stand mixture attachment to the wire whisk. On slow speed, fold in the tub of frozen whipped topping and until well combined. If you’d like to tint your cheesecakes a light pink “peppermint” color, add 1 drop of red food coloring – you can leave the color swirled or mix completely for a light pink color. If desired, add a second drop of red food coloring if you want a darker pink color and mix again.
  7. Allow the mixture to sit in the refrigerator for about an hour to firm up.
  8. Using a large pastry bag with a large tip, or a spoon, top the chocolate mint crumb crust in each cup with the cheesecake mixture and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  9. Garnish with additional whipped topping, a candy cane stick, a chocolate mint and crushed chocolate wafers and candy canes, if desired.
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