I made this for my Hubby's birthday and it turned out rich and DELICIOUS! I was looking for a cheesecake that was different that I hadn't tried before. It was very rich. I found it on allrecipes.com here. I made some changes, so I'll make note of them below. If you're looking for something for a special occasion this is perfect.
2 cups vanilla wafers crumbs (I used oreos, about 20 in a food processor worked)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (I think this was a little too much for oreos, so I would cut it down by a couple of Tablespoons next time)
14 ounces individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped (I used Hershey's Caramel Topping)
1 (5 ounce) can evaporated milk
1 cup chopped pecans
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter one 9 inch springform pan.
Toast the pecans at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 6 minutes. Remove pecans and set aside. Leave oven at 350 degrees C (175 degrees C). In a small saucepan, melt the unsalted butter.
Combine vanilla wafer crumbs (or oreos) with the melted butter then press into the bottom of the prepared springform pan. Place the pan onto a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Remove and allow to cool.
In a double boiler, or a bowl set over barely simmering water, melt the caramels in the evaporated milk. (** see note) Stir until smooth. Pour this over the cooled crust. Sprinkle the nuts over the top.
In a bowl, combine the cheese, sugar, and vanilla and beat until smooth, scraping down the bowl several times. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat until smooth. Melt the chocolate chips in the double boiler and mix into the cheese mixture (Instead of mixing the chocolate in, I poured it over the top of the cheesecake mixture and swirled it in with a toothpick making designs.) Pour the batter over the caramel layer.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 40 minutes or until barely set. (This took a lot longer on mine. Just keep an eye on it.) Chill over night in the refrigerator before serving.
**if you use caramel ice cream topping, do not add in evaporated milk, unless you want it to turn out different. I added the evaporated milk and the layer of caramel wasn’t really a layer at all and just came up around the cheesecake mixture. It wasn’t bad, just messier. Next time I will probably go with melting caramels.