This is the dessert that I brought over to our friends house this past weekend. I saw it in the Kraft Food and Family magazine and drooled over it. I only discovered I like cheesecake about 8 years ago on a family trip to Duluth. We were having dinner at Grandma's (which is an icon in Duluth) after a day spent by Lake Superior. We were treating ourselves to a nice dinner and the Dude ordered cheesecake for dessert. As I have stated in the past, I'm not a really big dessert fan, but I tried his dessert and have been hooked since. I made a half recipe as there were only 6 of us for dinner-plus one for 2 corn casserole-so I made a small pan. Plus, knowing my lack of self control, I didn't want a huge amount in my fridge taunting me every time I opened it and giving in to temptation! I will list the full recipe here. It needs a 9x13 pan for full recipe; I used an 8x8 pan.
Chocolate Turtle Cheesecake
1-1/2 cups crushed Nilla Wafers (I think you need more as I had to add another 15 to cover bottom of pan
3/4 cup chopped pecans, divided
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
32 caramels, unwrapped
3 TBSP milk
4 packages of 8-ounce each cream cheese, room temp
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
8 squares semi sweet chocolate, divided (I used Baker's-have great luck with it)
Heat oven to 300 degrees F. Mix wafer crumbs, 1/2 cup nuts and butter; press onto bottom of 9x13 baking dish. Microwave caramels and milk in microwavable bowl on MEDIUM (50%) for 4-5 minutes or until caramels are melted and mixture is well blended, stirring every two minutes. Pour over crust; spread to within 1 inch of edge.
Cool. Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with mixer until blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each until just blended. Melt 7 chocolate squares. Stir into cream cheese batter; pour over caramel layer. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until center is almost set. Refrigerate 4 hours. Sprinkle remaining nuts on just before serving. Melt remaining square of chocolate and drizzle over top.
I didn't do the drizzle of chocolate because I left the square on the counter at home. The only problem I had was when I cut the dessert, the chocolate cream cheese layer slid off the caramel layer. I don't know why. The hubs loved the crust and the caramel; not so much the chocolate, but he is not a big chocolate fan. More for me!
Off to have lunch with the ladies from my former shift at the cereal plant. They work days as they have been there for many years. I started as a temp so I was able to work days back then. I of course just got off at 6 and haven't slept yet as the youngest is having a surprise party for one of her BFF's and I had to make a cake and pick up some. After lunch I will frost the cake and take a quick nap so I can handle ten 15 and 16 year olds here. I better make sure there is wine in the fridge!