Ultimate Turtle Cheesecake

8 Mar

It’s finally March, which means march madness, one month until my birthday and Easter! Besides Christmas, Easter has always been my favorite holiday. First and foremost because of the meaning: Jesus rose from the dead! Because He made such a sacrifice to die a gruesomely painful death for each and every one of us, we are forever forgiven. Now that is grace. Okay I’m done preaching. I also love Easter because it means spring is here! It’s such a happy, colorful holiday and so fun being surrounded by family.

Every year I look forward to our Easter meal. And one of my favorite parts (okay my favorite part) is dessert. My Aunt Cindy makes this incredible cheesecake (by Kraft) that will literally nock your socks off. No matter how full you are, you always have room for a slice.

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It is a basic cheesecake base, which is necessary because the crust and toppings are so sweet.

You’re going to start off by stirring together 2 cups of crushed up Oreo cookies, 1/2 cup pecans and 6 tablespoons of melted butter in a medium size bowl. (The Kraft recipe calls for chocolate Oreo crumbs. I couldn’t find the box at King Soopers so I just crushed up my own Oreos).

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Press the crumbly topping into the base of a springform pan and 2 inches up the sides.

Meanwhile melt the caramels and milk in a microwave-safe bowl for about 3 minutes. Stirring every minute. Pour half of the caramel (about 3/4 cup) onto the crust and refrigerate for 10 minutes while you get the cheesecake mixture ready.

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To make the cheesecake mix the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until well blended. Blend in the eggs one at a time.

Pour onto the refrigerated crust and bake for 65-70 minutes. NOTE: either place the springform pan on a baking sheet or wrap the outside with foil. I didn’t do this and mine leaked quite a bit. Bake until edges are slightly brown and the center is set but still a little giggly. Make sure it’s not soupy. I baked mine for about 65 minutes but my oven cooks things way faster than what is called for so you may need a little more time. Just keep an eye on it.

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Take out of the oven and let cool for a couple of hours on a cooling rack. Do not put it into the fridge until it is cooled otherwise it will condensate and make your cheesecake soggy. When cooled refrigerate for another couple of hours or overnight (which is what I did).

When ready to eat drizzle the rest of the caramel and melted chocolate on top and then sprinkle with remaining pecans. Or what we do is cut the pieces first and then drizzle the caramel and chocolate to each person’s liking. It’s up to you!

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INGREDIENTS:

2 cups Oreo chocolate cookie crumbs (I used regular oreos and crushed them up)

1 cup  chopped pecans

6 Tbsp. butter, melted

1 bag (14oz) Kraft caramels

3 packages (8oz each) cream cheese, softened (I used 1/3 less fat)

3/4 cup sugar

1 Tbsp. vanilla

3 eggs

hot fudge (use whatever you like, I used Hersey hot fudge)

DIRECTIONS:

1) Mix crumbs, 1/2 cup of the pecans and butter. Press onto bottom and 2 inches up the side of a 9-inch springform pan.

2) Place caramels and milk in a small microwavable bowl. Microwave for 3 minutes or until caramels are completely melted, stir after every minute.

3) Pour 1/2 of the caramel mixture (about 3/4 cup) onto the crust. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Cover remaining caramel and refrigerate once cooled.

4) Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time mixing on low speed until blended. Pour over the caramel mixture in crust.

5) Bake at 300 degrees for 65-70 minutes or until center is almost set (will still be a little giggly) and edges are slightly brown.

6) Allow to cool completely and then put in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.

7) When ready to eat, microwave reserved caramel mixture and fudge and drizzle over cheesecake (or cut slices first and then drizzle over individual slices). Sprinkle with remaining pecans.

Store extra cake in the fridge. Will keep for a couple extra days.

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And that’s it! If you’re looking for something to make for Easter, give this a try! I promise it won’t disappoint.

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Enjoy!

xoxo. Lindsi.

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