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Turtle Cheesecake

Total Time

Prep: 35 min. + cooling Bake: 55 min. + chilling

Makes

16 servings

Guests love this rich, delicious make-ahead dessert. It turns out perfect every time and looks impressive on the table. —Jo Groth, Plainfield, Iowa
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups crushed vanilla wafers (about 60 wafers)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 package (14 ounces) caramels
  • 1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 2 cups chopped pecans, toasted, divided
  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
  • Whipped cream, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a bowl, combine wafer crumbs and butter; blend well. Press into the bottom and 2 in. up the sides of a 10-in. springform pan. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake until set, 8-10 minutes. Cool pan on a wire rack.
  2. In a saucepan or microwave, melt caramels with milk; stir until smooth. Cool for 5 minutes. Pour over crust; top with 1-1/2 cups pecans.
  3. In a bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and vanilla; mix well. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Add chocolate; mix just until blended. Carefully spread over pecans. Return pan to baking sheet.
  4. Bake until center is almost set, 55-65 minutes. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
  5. Remove sides of pan. Garnish with remaining 1/2 cup pecans and, if desired, whipped cream. Refrigerate leftovers.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 635 calories, 45g fat (20g saturated fat), 126mg cholesterol, 367mg sodium, 54g carbohydrate (43g sugars, 2g fiber), 9g protein.

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