Around this time, I think my happiness level peaks to an all-time high. Christmas music, peppermint-candy-everything, sparkly trees and ornaments, and the irresistible urge to purchase everything in sight to positively spoil my family and friends.
Yep, I’m a true winter girl alright!
These cookie cups came to me after a Cheesecake Factory FAIL. After a day of shopping until my arms fell off, I decided to reward my job well done with a thick, fat slice of Peppermint Cheesecake from the eponymous restaurant. After all, they’re a factory of friggin’ cheesecake… only to be terribly informed that they don’t have peppermint cheesecake until after Thanksgiving.
What kind of injustice is this? How can we as a society accept this nonsense? Peppermint comes after Thanksgiving? Oh HELL NAH.
So I was like “I’ll show you!” and got all sassy and drove to Target to pick up my ingredients in a huff. Target, meanwhile, had just received the peppermint memo and hadn’t even finished unloading their candy when I was all up in their faces digging through boxes of Peppermint Hershey Kisses. I’m sure they love obnoxious people like me.
But alas, these Peppermint Bark Cheesecake Cookie Cups were born and ohmahgawwwd, y’all, they’ll rule your face now until January 1st, where peppermint goes to die in our cruel, peppermint-judgmental society. So EAT UP!!
*slightly adapted from my Chocolate Cookie Cups with Peanut Butter Cheesecake Frosting Recipe
- ¾ cup butter, softened
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 & ¼ cups chocolate cake mix
- 1 & ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- Pinch salt
- 24 Hershey's Peppermint Kisses, unwrapped
- FOR CHEESECAKE FROSTING:
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½-1 tsp peppermint extract (to suit your tastes)
- About 3 cups powdered sugar
- Crushed candy canes, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 24-cavity miniature muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until creamy. Stir in egg and vanilla. Lastly, beat in the dry cake mix, flour, baking soda and salt until a soft dough comes together.
- Drop heaping Tablespoonfuls of dough into each muffin cavity using a cookie dough scoop. Flatten the dough slightly with your fingers. Bake for approx. 12-15 minutes or until the tops appear set and are slightly sunken in. Immediately upon removing from the oven, nestle a peppermint kiss candy in the center of each cup. Cool for about 15 minutes in the pan, then gently release them by running a knife along the outer edge and popping them out. If they resist at the 15 minute mark, allow them to cool a little longer in the pan. Cool the cups on a wire rack completely.
- Clean out your stand mixer bowl and paddle attachment. To make your cheesecake frosting, beat together the butter, cream cheese, vanilla and peppermint extract until combined. Add in powdered sugar, about a cup at a time, until frosting is thick but fluffy. If the cheesecake frosting it too thick, stream in a little bit of milk to help thin it out some.
- Pipe the cheesecake frosting onto the cookie cups, then immediately garnish with crushed candy cane pieces. Serve immediately, or store leftovers covered in the fridge.
Cool, refreshing and piled high with a luscious, creamy peppermint cheesecake, these fantastic cups scream wintertime! I love the secret gooey peppermint bark surprise nestled within each soft and buttery chocolate cookie cup, and I know you will too! For an added festive touch, consider garnishing each cookie cup with a sliver of a peppermint bark piece, or top with chopped peppermint marshmallows for a hot-cocoa-inspired twist!
Have a fantastical day!