St. Paddy’s Cakes

kmi1416

Ingredients

Crust

30 fudge mint cookies, crushed (about 1 3/4 cups) 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
Filling
4 oz semisweet baking chocolate 3 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened 1 cup sugar 4 eggs 1/3 cup green crème de menthe liqueur*
Topping and Garnish, if desired
Sweetened whipped cream Crème de menthe thin rectangular candies for garnish, unwrapped, cut in half diagonally

1 Heat oven to 300°F. Wrap foil around bottom and side of ungreased 9-inch springform pan. In large bowl, mix crust ingredients with fork until crumbly. Press in bottom and 1 inch up side of pan. Bake 12 minutes. Cool 30 minutes.
2 In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate on High 45 to 60 seconds, stirring once halfway through microwaving, until melted. If necessary, continue to microwave on High in 15-second increments, stirring until smooth. Set aside.
3 In large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed, scraping bowl frequently, until smooth and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Stir in liqueur. Pour filling evenly over crust.
4 Drop 8 to 10 tablespoonfuls melted chocolate randomly onto filling, allowing chocolate to sink into filling. With table knife or small spatula, cut through chocolate and filling to swirl for marbled design.
5 Bake 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes or until set 2 inches from edge of pan. Remove from oven; run knife around side of cheesecake to loosen. Return to oven; turn oven off and open door slightly. Cool cheesecake in oven 1 hour. Remove from oven to cooling rack; cool at room temperature 1 hour. Refrigerate 3 hours.
6 To serve, remove side of pan. Spoon whipped cream into decorating bag with large star tip; squeeze bag to pipe cream around top edge of cheesecake. Garnish with candies.

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