Turtle Cheesecake with a twist

Oct 14, 2013 by Capt. John Wampler

There are many ways to make cheesecake, but the base of it all is the crust. It is all too easy to buy a ready-made graham cracker crust. However, making your own crust is simple and using vanilla wafers instead of graham crackers adds a different flavor combination to the dessert. Also, I like to use a smooth pie pan instead of those disposable aluminum pie pans as the presentation is much cleaner. This recipe takes a little bit of time to prepare, but the reward at  the other end is well worth the effort. Enjoy.

Prep: 30 min; Bake: 55 min; Cool: 1 hr; Chill: 2 hr

1 1/2 cups vanilla wafer cookies, finely crushed (about 1/2 box)

1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 eggs

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup hazelnut spread (I used Nutella)

1/4 cup hot fudge ice cream topping

1 cup caramel ice cream topping

Fresh berries

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix cookie crumbs and butter in medium bowl. Press firmly against bottom and side of pie plate, 9×1 1/4 inches. Place pie pan in freezer.

Beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and eggs in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed until smooth.

Remove pan from freezer.

Mix peanut butter and hazelnut spread and warm in microwave. Drizzle over pie crust.

Pour half of the creamed cheese mixture into pie plate.

Add hot fudge topping to remaining cream cheese mixture in bowl; beat on low speed until smooth. Spoon over vanilla mixture in pie plate. Swirl mixtures slightly with tip of knife.

Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until center is set. (Do not insert knife into cheesecake because the hole may cause cheesecake to crack as it cools.) Cool at room temperature 1 hour. Refrigerate at least 2 hours until chilled.

Serve with whipped cream,  caramel topping and fresh berry garnish. Store covered in refrigerator up to two weeks.