Chocolate Turtle Cheesecake

  • 3 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) butter, melted
  • 3 (8-ounces) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 6-ounces sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) milk chocolate morsels
  • 1 (12-ounce) jar caramel topping
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (or peanuts)

 

1. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar; mixing well. Press mixture firmly into the bottom and up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Chill in the freezer while preparing the filling.

2. Beat cream cheese at medium speed of an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add 1 1/4 cups sugar, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping sides and bottom as needed. Stir in sour cream and vanilla. Pour batter into prepared crust.

3. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 5 minutes. (Center will not be completely set). Turn oven off; partially open oven door. Leave cheesecake in oven 1 hour. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Cover and chill at least 8 hours.

4. Melt 1/4 cup butter in small heavy saucepan; add chocolate morsels. Stir over low heat just until chocolate melts and mixture blends. Spread warm chocolate mixture over cheesecake; chill 15 minutes.

5. Combine caramel topping and pecans in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, over medium heat; boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool 5 minutes. Spread over chocolate; cool completely. Serve immediately, or cover and keep refrigerated.

Yields: one 9-inch cheesecake.