Thursday, February 13, 2014

Caramel Macadamia Nut Cheesecake

I saw a recipe for this cheesecake on the internet somewhere...somewhere being the critical word here and immediately decided that I needed to make it. So, I diligently printed it out and stuck it in my purse so that I would have it when I went to the store to pick up the ingredients. Fast forward a couple of days, or a week, and I am at the store today ready to shop and I look in my bag and what should I find? No recipe. Not a tattered full sheet, not a scrunched up half sheet, not a crumpled sticky note even, a big fat nothing where that recipe should be. So, because I hate being that person that stands in the aisle of the grocery store surfing the web and clogging up good cart space I decided to wing it. I've done cheesecake before and I've made caramel sauce before so surely I can figure this out, right?

This is what happened when I combined recipes in my repertoire and the picture in my head from the missing one I printed out. Not bad at all I say. Not bad at all. And, I got to lick the caramel sauce spoon. Bonus!

Caramel Macadamia Nut Cheesecake
10 inch cheesecake

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 c. sugar
6 T. melted butter
3 bricks cream cheese
1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare springform pan with parchment and foil. Spray lightly with non stick spray.
2. Mix 1/4 c. sugar, cracker crumbs and melted butter together until a crumbly consistency. Press into bottom and slightly up the sides of your pan.
3. Beat cream cheese, 1/2 c. sugar, and vanilla extract together until smooth.
4. Add eggs one at a time beating until smooth.
5. Pour batter over the graham cracker crust and gently place in oven.
6. Bake for 60-70 minutes. The cake will puff up but is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan to room temperature and refrigerate for a couple of hours before removing from pan.

Toasted Macadamia Nuts
1 c. Macadamia nuts

1. Put nuts on a baking sheet covered with foil.
2. Bake in 325 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes. (really I am guessing on time, I just let it go until the nuts smelled toasty)
3. Remove from oven and let cool

Caramel Sauce
1 stick butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 c. whipping cream
1 T. vanilla extract
generous sprinkle of Kosher salt

1. In saucepan over med heat mix butter, sugar, cream and vanilla together.
2. Stirring constantly bring to a boil. Cook approximately 7 minutes. I like mine a little thicker so I cooked it for 9 minutes.
3. Set aside and let cool slightly.

Remove cheesecake from pan and carefully put it on your serving plate. I swiped a dab of caramel on the plate to help keep it from sliding all over. Pour caramel over cheesecake evenly reserving a little bit to drizzle over the nuts. Sprinkle top with nuts and drizzle the rest of the caramel over the cheesecake. Refrigerate over night or until ready to serve.