November 18, 2009

Layered Turtle Cheesecake

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
6 tablespoons cold butter
4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour, divided
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips, melted and cooled
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons chopped pecans
Optional garnish: pecan halves and additional caramel ice cream topping

Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and pecans; cut in butter until crumbly. Press onto the bottom of prepared pan. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 12-15 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugars until smooth. Beat in 1/4 cup flour, cream and vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Remove 1 cup batter to a small bowl; stir in melted chocolate until blended. Spread over crust.
Combine caramel topping and remaining flour; stir in pecans. Drop by tablespoonfuls over chocolate batter. Top with remaining batter. Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan.
Bake at 325° for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
For ganache, place chips in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. Pour over chips; whisk until smooth. Cool slightly, stirring occasionally. Spread over cheesecake. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Refrigerate until set. Garnish with pecan halves and additional caramel topping if desired. Yield: 12 servings.

*picture courtesy of Taste of Home

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