Friday, December 2, 2011

Turtle Cheesecake

This was another dessert we made in Arizona.  Are you starting to feel like I need an intervention?  Too much cheesecake?  Is there really such-a-thing as too much cheesecake?  Really?

I have made this cheesecake quite a few times.  I originally found the recipe over 7 years ago and have changed it here and there to make it more what I would like.  I am not sure if it's absolutely perfect yet, but it's pretty darn good.  I think cheesecake gets a bad name and people make it seem like it's harder than it is.  It's really not that hard to make and well worth the effort in my opinion.  It's best to have a springform pan, but they are pretty inexpensive.  I read once that when making cheesecake to start with all of your ingredients at room temperature, so I usually try to do that.

Turtle Cheesecake
2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs (about ¾ of a box)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
¾  cup white sugar
1.5 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
¾  cup semisweet chocolate chips 
¼ cup butter
½ + 2 T brown sugar
¼ cup corn syrup
¼ cup sweetened condensed milk
¼ tsp vanilla
1.5 cup chopped pecans
White Chocolate chips (about ¼ cup) melted w/ 1 T milk
Semi-sweet Chocolate chips (about ¼ cup) melted w/ 1 T milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a food processor, combine butter and wafer crumbs for the crust.  If you don’t have a food processor, you can melt the butter and mix into crumbs, your crust will be slightly denser than if processor is used. 
Press into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.
In mixer, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla; beat well until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Melt the chocolate, and blend into cream cheese mixture.  (I will sometimes fold extra chocolate chips in the filling, depends on my mood.)  Pour into crust.

My cute baking friend.  I am not sure she was making the Turtle Cheesecake, but we'll pretend. :)  I wish I had taken more pictures. 

Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until filling is set.  (the middle might still move slighlty but it will feel firm to the touch.)  Loosen cake from the edges of pan, but do not remove rim until cooled to prevent the top from cracking.  Cool, prepare caramel and pour over top. Add pecans and white and semi-sweet chocolate drizzle if desired.  Chill in refrigerator for 4 hours, or overnight. 

For drizzle, melt chocolate (white or semi-sweet or both) transfer to a ziplock bag.  cut a small hole (really small, you can always make it bigger if you want) in one corner and squeeze bag while making back and forth motion over the top.  Repeat horizontally.  Repeat with other kinds of chocolate if desired.

I don't have a picture of it sliced since I didn't want to be a weirdo at Thanksgiving, but you get the gist, right?

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