Let that sink in…..Maple Pecan Cheesecake!
With a side order of chocolate and salted caramel- ya know…for good measure!
I’ve made a gazillion cheesecakes in my life and this batter is by far my favorite. It’s dense and creamy and easy to play with for different flavor creations. No drooping on the plate from this one…This stands up and demands attention.
Eat your heart out Cheesecake Factory
So this maple pecan thingy I made, it’s perfect for the holiday season with notes of maple and ginger. However, if gingersnaps aren’t really your thing, I would recommend pecan sandies as a substitute or possibly plain ole’ graham cracker crumbs. I really LOVE the punch that the gingersnap provides though. It’s a perfect contrast for the other flavors at play here.
Once you’ve made this, feel free to play around with certain ingredients. Exchange the cookies, substitute different extracts, add in peppermint candies or chocolate chips….the sky is the limit.
Too much excitement for one post??? It’s ok to sit down and rest for a moment…then keep reading, and of course MAKE THE CHEESECAKE!
8 oz. ground gingersnap cookies (about 2 cups)
2 oz. chopped candied pecans (about 1/3 cup)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 pounds cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon maple extract
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 king size peanut butter twix bars
Salted Caramel Sauce- Recipe Link
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Use a food processor, or sealed bag and rolling pin, to crush the gingersnap cookies. Finely chop the pecans.
Measure the gingersnap and pecans and place in a large bowl.
Add in the brown sugar, the drizzle with the melted butter. Use a fork to mix all the ingredients together until the butter is thoroughly incorporated.
Dump the crust mixture in a 10″ springform pan. This is a lot of cheesecake and needs a large pan! Use a cup or spoon to press the crust firmly to the bottom of the pan and halfway up the sides of pan. Check to make sure there are no holes in the bottom of the crust.
Bake the crust in the preheated oven for 8 minutes. Let the crust set for a few minutes then place in the refrigerator to finish cooling.
Turn the oven temperature up to 350 degrees.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. (This will be for the water bath that the cake will bake in)
Add the SOFT cream cheese and sugar to a large mixing bowl. Using a hand beater or stand mixer, blend the cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Takes about 5 minutes.
Add in the eggs….1 egg at a time and blending well with each addition.
Add the 1 tablespoon of maple extract (seems like a lot but trust me), sour cream and heavy cream. Blend well.
Take the crust out of the fridge and lay down a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil that’s large enough to bring up and around the sides of the pan.
Set the crust on the foil and gather it around the pan. We’re going to be baking the cheesecake in a water bath and we CERTAINLY don’t want any water seeping in.
Place the foil wrapped pan in a large casserole or roasting pan.
Pour the filling into the crust. Depending on the depth of your pan, you might have a little bit of filling left. Stop just short of the rim.
Carefully transfer the cheesecake to the oven and place on the middle rack.
Pour the boiling water into the outer pan until the water is about halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. It works best if you’re pouring from something with a spout so none of the water splashes in your cheesecake.
Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Turn the oven off but leave your cheesecake IN the oven for an additional hour!
Remove the cake from the oven. Gently remove the cheesecake and peel away the foil. Let the cheesecake cool inside the springform pan for an hour or two. When the top is cool to the touch, place a layer of plastic wrap over top then wrap the whole shebang in foil….DO NOT REMOVE THE SIDES of the pan YET!
The cheesecake needs to chill overnight in the refrigerator. I let mine chill for 24 hours…it’s SO worth it!
Prepare the salted caramel (recipe link provided in ingredient list) and place in the refrigerator.
The next day, remove the cheesecake and caramel from the fridge. Stir the caramel and chop up the candy bars.
Unwrap your cheesecake and slowly remove the sides from your pan. Take a step back and marvel at the sight!!
Paint a thin layer of caramel on top…just shy of the edge. Just take a spatula or basting brush and spread a thin layer on there. This helps the candy bars stick and well….it just HAS to be done!
Pile the candy bars on top of the caramel
Drizzle with MORE caramel (you wont need ALL the caramel but it sure is good on ice cream)
Take a deep breath…the LOOK AT THIS THING!!!
Use a warm knife to cut slices. I kind of lose words at this point….There’s really no way to describe it!
Modern Mrs. Cleaver