“I want cheesecake for my birthday! Can you make some…PLEEEEASE?”
This is the annual request that I get from Matthew on his birthday. It's a request that (most of the time) I am more than happy to oblige. The exception being last year when I decided to forgo making a birthday cheesecake—an unfortunate occurrence that he has reminded me of several times over the past year.
Having failed at my birthday cheesecake duty last year, I wanted to make something unique and special this year. It'll be hard to top my favorite which was a Sweet Potato Cheesecake that I made a couple of years ago. However, inspiration struck one day during my weekly grocery run to Meijer. OREO cookies are one of Matt's favorites, and I thought why not try and incorporate them into a cheesecake?!
This delectable cheesecake boasts an OREO cookie crust topped with a nutty layer of caramel and a classic cheesecake filling. Drizzles of melted chocolate and caramel-pecan sauce finish it off in style. This cheesecake takes a little more work than your basic recipe, but it's definitely worth the effort.
The Ultimate OREO Turtle Cheesecake
Makes approximately 12 servings
24 OREO cookies, finely crushed
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 (14 ounce) package caramels
½ cup whole milk
½ cup chopped pecans
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
¾ cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
Place racks in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Mix cookie crumbs and butter; press onto bottom and 2 inches up side of 9-inch springform pan.
Microwave caramels and milk in a microwaveable bowl on high for 3 minutes or until caramels are completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after each minute. Stir in nuts; pour half into crust. Refrigerate 10 minutes. Refrigerate remaining caramel mixture for later use.
Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over caramel layer in crust.
Bake 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate 4 hours.
Microwave reserved caramel mixture 1 minute; stir. Pour over cheesecake. Melt chocolate; drizzle over cheesecake.
Heather's Helpful Hints
Be sure to use a cookie sheet under your springform pan when baking in the oven. The caramel may ooze out during baking and this way it won't get your oven dirty.