Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Quest

It's no surprise to any of you that I enjoy baking. I especially enjoy baking for other people, because not only is it rewarding to see the enjoyment they get from my food, but most importantly, I dont have whole portions of baked goods laying around my house. Because I will eat them.

Thank you Gayle for reminding me this morning: I run because I bake.

Several months ago, on a trip to someone's house with baked goods in tow, Jordan turns to me and asks, "Why dont you ever make this kind of thing for us?" I matter-of-factly replied, "Because I would eat the entire pie, minus half a piece which you would nibble on." My husband is not a sweets fan, unlike myself. I dont just have a sweet tooth; I have 32 sweet teeth. I'm currently battling with my desire for some Oreos and milk - my favorite cookie combo.

Earlier this week, I remembered this conversation and I came to my husband with an offer:

I'll make you whatever you want for your birthday!

It was his chance to get any sort of baked good under the sun and my opportunity to show him some love through baking. Here's how the conversation on friday afternoon played out.

Me: So have you decided what delicious goodie you'd like for your birthday?
Jordan: I can pick anything???
Me: Yep.
Jordan: Red Velvet Cake!
Me: (look of disdain... and in my mind thinking: But that's a holiday thing. You dont make red velvet cake in June. He's nuts.)
Jordan: (sensing my indignation) Ok, I guess no red velvet cake.


(Light goes off)

Me: Done.

And thus, my cheesecake quest began. Given that it was my husband's birthday, I wanted to make him something really special. I began narrowing down my selections in my mind, knowing he wasnt a fan of fruit-flavored cheesecakes. No lemon blueberry, or caramel apple, or pumpkin (also a holiday-only type dessert!). I wanted something more distinctive than plain cheesecake. I searched through my cabinet of cookbooks with little luck. Pioneer woman is sorely lacking in the cheesecake department. Tasty Kitchen had some options, but none that really stood out. I almost went with a Paula Deen Praline cheesecake, but knew in my mind there was something out there better suited to my husband's tastes. I spent the better part of 2 hours searching for the perfect recipe.

And I think I did.

For Turtle Cheesecake. The ultimate combination of cheesecake, chocolate, caramel and pecans. My husband declared in sunday school today that it was awesome. Those of you who know my husband and his quirky food rating habits, are fully aware that this is a big deal.
Dont be fooled by inferior Turtle cheesecake recipes that make plain cheesecake and top it with caramel sauce, chocolate chips and nuts. You aint gonna find that here. Feast your eyes on this:

Let me tell you (and I am kind of tooting my own horn here... sorry!), that this cheesecake is as divine as it looks. Oreo crust. Caramel Pecan layer. Chocolate cheesecake. Drool. It's hard to believe I've only had 2 pieces so far. This recipe is going in my brain file of awesome recipes to make for anything and everything. (See also: Cherry Yum Yum and Beef Stroganoff!). You must make this recipe!!!! Just Do it!!!

Turtle Cheesecake

2 cups crushed oreo cookies
3 tbsp melted butter
1 bag (14oz) kraft caramels
1 can (5 oz) evaporated milk
1 cup chopped pecans
2 packages (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

350 degrees.
Combine melted butter and oreo crumbs and press into a 9in springform pan. Work some crumbs about halfway up the side. If it doesnt easily press together, add in an additional 1-2 tbsp melted butter. In a saucepan over low heat, melt caramels into evaporated milk. Stir regularly until well-incorporated and smooth. Pour mixture directly onto crust. Top with pecans. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs one at a time. Melt the chocolate in the microwave (watch closely!!!) or double boiler and fold chocolate into cream cheese mixture. Pour chocolate cream cheese goodness over pecans. Bake 40-50 minutes or until filling is set. (I didnt use a water bath because I knew Jordan wouldnt care if it was cracked or not. Surprisingly, it still didnt crack.) Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove from pan and DEVOUR.


Carey said...

Darn you, Hollie! I'm off sweets. At least for awhile. But not forever. I'll file it away.

Casey D said...

darn those 32 sweet teeth..I have them too!!!

sophia smith said...

Wow..Its looking awesome cake..Thanks for sharing such a delicious recipe here..
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