sorry for the absence...I blame children, their birthdays, a husband and his birthday, my Dad and my in-laws and THEIR birthdays, and buying and rehabing not one, but TWO new rental properties. It's been a busy spring, I'm hoping it will be a more calm summer...although it's already too hot in my opinion...
I've still been cooking and baking (when the occassion calls for it)-I've just been sorely remiss in not documenting!
Have an apology cheesecake! Actually this cheesecake is a birthday gift for my best buddy Heather. She's the one that can perfectly pick out a present for someone (I think she should do it professionally)-I suck at picking presents, but I can pack lots of thought and love into a baked good. So it tends to be my present of choice!
I'll admit to cheating a bit on this to make it 'busy mom' friendly...the cookie crust is not from scratch, neither is the caramel, but I did toast my own pecans..thank you very much.
Turtle Cheesecake on a Chocolate Chip Cookie Crust (adapted from allrecipes.com)
1 package chocolate chip cookie mix-prepared (I used Ghiardelli's, but I'm sure any brand would do)
--I followed the instructions for the cookies, mine called for the packet of mix, plus 1 egg, plus 1 stick of butter. I melted the butter so I'd have a more spreadable dough and put that into a greased and lined springform pan and baked it at 375 for 10 minutes. It will NOT be done..you don't want it to be.
Reduce oven to 350
2 (8oz) packs of cream cheese (I used Neufatchel, less fat...*coughs* not that it really matters)
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large bowl beat cream cheese until creamy. Add sugar, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla and beat until smooth.
Pour over par-baked cookie crust and bake at 350 45-50 minutes )or until it doesn't jiggle when you try to make it do so)
Remove and let cool. Once it's cooled to room temp, cover with saran wrap and put in the fridge for an hour. I took the ring off the spring form and put it in the fridge w/the aluminum liner and base of the spring form and the saran wrap.
Approx 3/4 of a bag of caramels-unwrapped
2 tablespoons of water
Approx 1/2 cup toasted pecans
Approx 12 cup mini chocolate chips
I toasted my pecans while my cheesecake baked. Easy, but don't leave it...nuts can burn QUICKLY and cause you all sorts of heartache. So..dry pan, add the nuts, and over medium heat about 10-15. Again..do not walk away b/c you need to scoot them around a bit. Not to sound too much like Rachael Ray, but listen to your nose, b/c you'll smell them when they are done. DON'T burn them, or if you do, start over again. The taste and texture of the toasted pecans is kinda crucial here.
Take the unwrapped caramels and water and add to small saucepan and put it on medium low and let it go. See how the toppings are more arduous than the actual cheesecake here? The water will start to look milky as the caramels melt, then as they melt some more start stirring and it will get all nice and gooey and pourable.
Remove your cheesecake from the fridge and take off the wrap and the liner and remove the base of the springform. At this point you'll want to put it on some sort of plate or something to hold it while you top it.
Liberally drizzle the caramel over, then quickly (before the caramel sets) add some pecans and mini chocolate chips.
Repeat until all the caramel is gone. It's ok if you have pecans left b/c they are nice to snack on later.
Return to the fridge...or if you are eating it yourself...dig in!