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After Dinner Mint Cheesecake

This is the first recipe Pat Harmon ever entered in a contest. It didn't win anything in the Phildelphia Cream Cheese competition, but it remains a family favorite -- and it doesn't need to be baked.

2 cups creme-filled chocolate mint sandwich cookie crumbs (see note)
1/4 cup margarine, melted (not spread)
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar
8-ounce package Cool Whip, thawed
1/4 cup creme de menthe liqueur

1 cup mint-chocolate morsels (see note)
4 tablespoons margarine (not spread)

Mix together cookie crumbs and margarine (we used butter) and press into bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Refrigerate while making filling.

For filling, soften gelatin in cold water. Stir over low heat until dissolved or in microwave oven on medium for 11/2 minutes. In food processor or mixer, mix together cream cheese and sugar. Gradually add gelatin mixture.

Chill until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add creme de menthe to whipped topping and fold into cream cheese mixture. Pour into prepared pan. Chill while preparing topping.

For the topping, melt morsels and margarine (we used butter) over low heat or in microwave oven. Cool.

Spoon over filling. Chill. Score topping for serving before it becomes too firm to prevent cracking. (We refrigerated for only about 5 minutes and then scored the semi-set chocolate with a sharp knife.)

Makes 12 to 15 servings.

Shopping note: We used a 7-ounce package of Pepperidge Farm Mint Milano cookies for the crust. We couldn't find mint chocolate chips, so we used semisweet chips and added 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract, after the chips were melted.

Thursday, April 05, 2001

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