Saturday, October 17, 2009

TURTLE CHEESECAKE



66 NILLA Wafers, divided
1-1/4 cups sugar, divided
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine or butter, melted
3 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
25 Caramels
3 Tbsp. milk
1 cup Chocolate Chips
2 Squares of semi-sweet baker’s chocolate or more chocolate chips

1. PREHEAT oven to 325 F if using a silver 9-inch springform pan (or to 300 F if using a dark nonstick 9-inch springform pan). Finely crush 50 of the wafers; mix with 1/4 cup of the sugar and the margarine. Press firmly onto bottom of pan. Stand remaining 16 wafers around edge of pan, pressing gently into crust to secure.

2. BEAT cream cheese and remaining 1 cup sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream and vanilla; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended. Add one cup of chocolate chips. Pour into prepared crust.

3. BAKE 45 to 50 min. or until center is almost set. Run small knife or metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim of pan. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

5. Microwave caramels with 3 tablespoons milk for 1 min. or until caramels are completely melted, stirring every 30 sec. Cool slightly. Pour over cheesecake; Melt baker’s chocolate as directed on pkg and pour over caramel. Cut into 16 slices to serve, using the wafers standing around the edge as a guide. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.

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