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August 27, 2013

HAYNES: It may not be pretty, but turtle cheesecake is a hit

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — The recipe, adapted from Taste of Home magazine, is relatively simple. The hardest part was crushing up all those vanilla wafers for the crust and opening up all the little caramels. Just make sure everything is as close to room temperature as possible beforeand you should be fine, Jill says.

Be sure to plan ahead because I made the unfortunate mistake of thinking I could make this thing just a few hours before the baby shower. No dice. It needs to cool in the refrigerator overnight. Luckily it can last a few hours in the freezer and set up just fine, so that’s an option if you really need to get this thing cooling quickly, but it still wasn’t quite as cool as it should’ve been.

As you can tell from the photograph, this wasn’t the prettiest-looking thing on the table that day in Texas, but it certainly got the most oohs and aahs — well, aside from the adorably pregnant guest of honor, of course.

Turtle cheesecake

2 cups crushed vanilla wafers (about 60 wafers)

1⁄2 cup butter, melted

1 package (14 ounces) caramels

1 5-ounce can evaporated milk

2 cups chopped pecans

4 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips, melted and lightly cooled

Whipped cream if you feel the need to hide any cracks that may form across the top

Mix vanilla wafer crumbs with butter and press into bottom and 2 inches up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Bake the crust at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool crust on wire rack while you prepare the rest of the recipe.

Melt caramels with milk in saucepan or microwave and stir until smooth. Cool mixture for 5 minutes, then poor into crust and top with pecans.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth and add sugar and vanilla. Mix well. 

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