Rich, creamy and decadent are the star qualities in the best desserts. Throw some classic chocolate candies in and you’ve got a world class winner guaranteed to gain you applause. Cheesecake is hands down my favorite dessert, that I may sometimes even eat for breakfast. So, when asked to create something sweet for using Turtles® clusters, there was no question as to what that dessert would be. Turtles® original are clusters of pecans covered in caramel and milk chocolate. They also come in mini and bite sizes-which is basically the best idea ever. For this recipe, I used the full-size clusters as the topping for my cheesecake with a little extra chocolate drizzle. Adding toasted pecans to the graham cracker crust kept that same crunch that I love about the candy, all the way through each bite. A luscious cheesecake layer sandwiched by nutty caramel and chocolate made for a fabulous dessert that was gone before I could get a second (or third) slice.
Turtles® Original Cheesecake
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
½ cup toasted, coarsely chopped pecans
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 pounds of cream cheese (4- 8oz packages), softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 Turtles clusters, roughly chopped
Preheat oven 325°
Make the crust:
In a food processor grind graham crackers and pecans until fine. Mix together in a bowl with the melted butter. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9 in springform pan. Chill crust in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Make the filling:
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer (with a paddle attachment) beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until blended. Add in eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition. Mix well and scrap down the bowl after each addition. The filling will be light and creamy. Be careful to not over mix. Pour the batter on top of the chilled crust layer. Place cake pan in a shallow pan containing hot water that comes about an inch and bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until the edges are set but the center still jiggles a little.
Remove cheesecake from the oven and the water bath. Allow to cool on a wire rack for 2 hours. Cover loosely and refrigerate until completely cold, preferably overnight.
For the chocolate drizzle: melt 4 oz of semi-sweet chocolate in a microwave safe bowl for 2 minutes. Stirring every 30 seconds until chocolate is smooth.
Sprinkle chopped Turtles® clusters pieces over the top of the cheesecake. Using a teaspoon of fork, drizzle the melted chocolate over the top as desired.
*This post was sponsored by DeMet’s Turtles®, however the opinions are my own and based on my love of Turtles® Clusters*