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By Teresa Bigham/The Hesperian-Beacon—
A cheesecake fashioned after turtle candies, it has an Oreo crust, a layer of caramel and pecans, a creamy cheesecake, and is then topped with a chocolate ganache and drizzled with more caramel sauce and sprinkled with additional pecans.
For the crust:
24 Oreo cookies (finely crushed into crumbs)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
Pinch of salt
For the Caramel-Pecan Layer:
1½ cups caramel sauce
1 cup chopped pecans
For the Cheesecake:
32 ounces cream cheese (at room temperature)
1¼ cups granulated sugar
4 eggs (at room temperature)
¾ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Ganache:
¾ cup heavy cream
¼ cup light corn syrup
8 ounces semisweet chocolate (finely chopped)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Make the Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Toss together the Oreo crumbs, melted butter and salt until all the crumbs are moistened. Press into the bottom and two inches up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Place pan in the freezer for 10 minutes. Bake for 7 minutes, or until crust is firm. Remove from oven and cool completely.
- Make the Caramel-Pecan Layer: In a small bowl, stir together the caramel sauce and pecans. Pour onto the cooled crust and gently spread into an even layer. Refrigerate while the cheesecake is prepared.
- Make the Cheesecake: Beat together the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well until fully incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Add the heavy cream and vanilla and beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Pour the batter on top of the caramel-pecan layer and bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until the edges are set, but the middle still jiggles a little.
- Keeping the oven door closed, turn off the oven and let the cheesecake rest in the oven for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove the cheesecake from the oven, and place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely, about an additional 2 hours. Once completely cool, refrigerate for at least 6 hours (preferably overnight).
- Make the Chocolate Ganache: Combine the heavy cream, corn syrup, chocolate and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Set the glaze aside to cool and thicken at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Pour the ganache over the top of the cheesecake, gently spreading it to the edges. Refrigerate for 15 minutes, or until set. Remove the sides of the pan, garnish with additional caramel sauce and chopped pecans, and serve. Leftover cheesecake can be stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It can also be frozen for up to 2 months.
- Note: Some readers have mentioned issues with the caramel sauce leaking through the springform pan while baking. To avoid a mess, place a rimmed baking sheet on the oven rack below the cheesecake to catch any drips.