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Turtle Cheesecake

"Our guests love this rich, delicious make-ahead dessert," field editor Jo Groth of Plainfield, Iowa relates.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. + cooling Bake: 55 min. + chilling
  • Makes
    14-16 servings

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, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted and lightly cooled
  • Whipped cream, optional

Directions

  • 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 at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.
  • In a saucepan or microwave melt caramels with milk; stir until smooth. Cool for 5 minutes. Pour into crust; top with 1-1/2 cups of pecans.
  • 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 to baking sheet.
  • Bake at 350° for 55-65 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
  • Remove sides of pan. Garnish with remaining pecans and whipped cream if desired. Refrigerate leftovers.
Nutrition Facts
1 piece: 492 calories, 31g fat (12g saturated fat), 90mg cholesterol, 232mg sodium, 53g carbohydrate (42g sugars, 3g fiber), 7g protein.

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