This delicious no bake peppermint cheesecake is an easy make-ahead dessert that requires minimal effort. A thick and sweet Oreo cookie crust is filled with a light peppermint cheesecake filling and topped with whipped cream and crushed peppermint.
OREO CRUST: Blend or pulse the oreos (no need to remove the filling) until they resemble fine crumbs. Mix the crumbs with the sugar and melted butter. Spray a pie pan or springform pan (I use a 9-inch) with nonstick spray and press the cookie crust evenly along the bottom and slightly up the sides. Place in freezer while preparing the filling.
FILLING: Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy. (Make sure it is at room temperature first - I leave mine out for an hour in advance. Microwaving sometimes makes it "chunky" so I wouldn't recommend that)
FILLING CONT.: Once it is smooth, slowly add in the sweetened condensed milk while continuing to beat the mixture. Beat until smooth. Beat in the peppermint extract, food coloring if desired, pinch of salt, and crushed candy canes (you can crush them in a food processor or powerful blender). With a spatula, fold in the whipped topping to the mixture gently until completely combined. Taste the mixture and increase any of the peppermint flavors if desired. Make sure to not over mix once the whipped cream has been added in.
ASSEMBLE: Pour the cheesecake mixture over the Oreo crust, smooth into an even layer with a spatula, and freeze for at least 8 hours.
SERVE: When ready to serve, remove it from the freezer and cut into slices. Note 1 If desired, garnish individual slices with whipped cream and crushed peppermint.
LEFTOVERS: Cover any leftovers rightly and return leftovers promptly to the freezer.
Note 1: run a sharp knife under hot water, quickly dry it off, and then make a cut. Repeat for each cut; this cheesecake is sticky and firm!