Tuesday, October 13, 2015

No Shells on this Turtle

A long while ago I made an Oreo cheesecake based solely on the idea that my brother would not like a turtle because it had nuts in it.  Well, this time, I threw Oreos to the wind and made that Turtle Cheesecake.  Nuts to him!
We were celebrating my mom's and my birthday with my family and were planning on dinner at my brother's.  I offered to bring dessert and had visions of strawberry pie in my head.  That pie only feeds 8 people, and we had 8 adults plus 3 kids who would want a slice too... here comes the Turtle Cheesecake idea.
This recipe is good - really good.  I didn't have graham crackers to crumb up - well I did, I just didn't realize I had them in the cabinet.  Isn't that the way of things?  The day after you need something - there is, just sitting there saying, "come on, as if you couldn't see I was right in front of your face?"  Anyway, I used Oreos.  Oops... get those Oreos back out of the wind!!  This recipe has a chocolate "ripple" of sorts.  Hindsight - I would have swirled it a bit more.  It sunk to the bottom of the cheese cake and while delicious - it was not swirled throughout.  The nuts?  Pecans.  I took a little butter and roasted the pecans just a little in the butter, then added salt to them.  With the caramel, fudge and cheese cake?  oh yes, this is a combo worth repeating.
The cheesecake setup perfectly, the strawberry pie?  It needed another few more hours, it pretty much feel apart all over, it was a delicious mess, but a mess none the less.  The cheese cake?  Stood tall and strong and awesome.  I feel like I should have a flag and my hand on my heart or something... ok... enough rambling, someone hand me a fork!  .... please....

Ultimate Turtle Cheesecake
1-3/4 cup (1-1/2 pkgs) Chocolate Graham Crackers or Oreos (crushed)
1/3 cup Margarine (melted)
3-8 oz pkgs Cream Cheese
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 cup Sugar
3 Eggs
3 Tbls Lemon Juice
1 Tbl Vanilla
3/4 cup Chocolate Chips
1/4 C. mini chocolate chips
1/2 C. caramel ice cream topping
1/2 C. hot fudge ice cream topping
1/4 C. chopped pecans (sautéed in butter and sprinkled with salt)

Mix graham cracker crumbs and butter in bowl with fork & press into bottom & 1-1/2 inches up sides of spring form pan. (13 x 9 can be used in a pinch). (We used regular graham crackers because we had a bunch on hand)
Beat Cream cheese and condensed milk together until creamy.
Add remaining filling ingredients until well combined.
Remove 1 cup of filling and set aside. Melt chocolate chips about 1 minute, (just until melted) and mix completely into the 1-cup reserved filling.
Pour 1/2 of the white filling into crust, then the chocolate filling, then the last 1/2 of the white. Take knife and gently swirl colors.
Bake at 300 for 1 hour and 15-30 mins-until light golden on top and edges are set and middle moves slightly. Cool completely & Chill. **(I place a pie pan full of water on the lower rack during cooking time for moisture. Also, I turn oven off and leave cake in oven to cool for 1-2 hours before removing from oven)
Remove outer ring just before topping and serving
Top outer edge and center with Pecans . Drizzle melted chocolate chips and caramel topping all over top and drip down sides.

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