submitted by and thanks to Dawn Thomas
Crust (this is the BEST crust. . .so I have been told!)
1 bag of cinnamon graham crackers (a box has 3 bags)
1 stick butter – melted
2 1/2 cups of pecans
2/3 cups sugar
cinnamon sugar for sprinkling
In a food processor chop graham crackers until they are like dust. Next grind pecans, sprinkling with cinnamon sugar before processing. Note- leaving small chunks (about the size of screw head) of pecans adds a great texture. Add crushed graham crackers, sugar, and crushed pecan in a large bowl. Mix well. Add butter and mix until butter is incorporated through. Press into springform pan or pie pan. This recipe makes enough for 2. You can use it all if you like a thick crust or you can freeze the rest. It is great used in place of a streusel topping or pressed into a small muffin top pan and baked like cookies. I even make mini cheesecake bites with my mini muffin pan. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 8 minutes. Prepare filling.
14 ounces of wrapped caramels
5 ounces of evaporated milk
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 pounds of cream cheese (softened)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
In a large (non stick works best) pan or skillet add evaporated milk and unwrapped caramels and melt over medium heat. (If you wanted to make a quicker version use a jar of sundae sauce instead). When melted pour about half into the bottom of the pan, reserve the rest for the top of cheesecake. Sprinkle with the pecans. Cream together softened cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time. Melt chocolate chips then add to mixture. Pour into the pan. Add some whole pecans to top if desired. Bake in 350 degree oven for 50 minutes or until center is almost set. Before serving drizzle caramel over the cheesecake (might need to be microwaved first.) You can also drizzle with melted chocolate.