Turtle Cheesecake Bars

So, it’s that time again – football season!  And, not just regular old football, but Fantasy Football!  This is my 4th season, and I’ve won two Superbowls – last year, my winnings totalled $371 – not bad, no?  Unfortunately, I had the 10th round pick, and my team is less than stellar.  The husband had the 9th round, so he fared no better.  The bright moment of our draft?  Food, of course! (Not the best segue, but I’m still on my second cup of coffee.)
I made Creole jambalaya, jalapeno cornbread, and 7-layer taco dip, all adapted to be gluten-free.  The hit of the day, however, was turtle cheesecake.  This, too, was gluten free, as I used a nut crust, but you could certainly use the standard graham cracker crust.  I made the cheesecake in a 13×9 pan, because I wanted to serve it as a bar rather than a wedge, and it worked perfectly.  You can certainly use the traditional springform pan.

The husband and I both love cheesecake, and this recipe was just my standard cheesecake with the addition of caramel, pecans, and semi-sweet chocolate.  Hope you love it as much as we did!

Turtle Cheesecake
Crust
3 cups finely chopped pecans
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cheesecake Filling
24 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup full-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 large eggs
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Toppings
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
1 11-oz bag caramel candy, unwrapped
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons milk, divided

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  • Line a 13×9 pan with parchment paper, so that parchment extends over long side of pan.
  • In a bowl, mix crust ingredients together with a fork; press mixture onto bottom of prepared pan. 
  • Bake crust for 20 minutes; while crust bakes, prepare filling.
  • Cream together cream cheese, yogurt or sour cream, sugar and vanilla.
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  • After crust bakes, remove from oven and immediately sprinkle on 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips.
  • Pour filling over chocolate chips and return to oven; bake for 50 minutes. 
  • Allow cheesecake to cool for about hour, then place in refrigerator to chill overnight.
  • When ready to serve, remove cheesecake from pan using parchment paper and place on serving platter, then prepare toppings:
  • Toast pecans in oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • Unwrap caramels and place in a microwave safe bowl, along with 4 tablespoons milk.  
  • Microwave in 30 second intervals until caramels have melted and sauce is smooth.
  • Pour caramel sauce over cheesecake and immediately sprinkle on toaste and chopped pecans.
  • Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl, along with 2 tablespoons milk, and microwave in 30 second intervals, about 2 minutes total. 
  • Stir until smooth and drizzle over caramel-pecan topping.
  • Allow chocolate to set before serving.

Cheesecake

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