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This was featured in Southern Living magazine as "Dessert of the Month". It is described as a buttery cookie-and-praline crust beneath a dense, creamy filling. I would agree. I love cheesecake and it is one of the best I have made. It was also very beautiful. I know that this is a pretty detailed recipe, but it is worth the effort for a special occasion.
- 2 cups crushed shortbread cookies (about 28 cookies)
- 3 tablespoons butter or 3 tablespoons margarine, melted
- 4 pralines, coarsely crumbled
- 5 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 3⁄4 cups sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1⁄3 cup whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon rind
- 2 (8 ounce) containers sour cream
- 1⁄3 cup sugar
- 3⁄4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 3⁄4 cup half-and-half
- 3 tablespoons butter or 3 tablespoons margarine
- 1 1⁄4 cups coarsely chopped pecans
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cheesecake: Combine cookie crumbs and butter.
- Press into bottom and up sides of a greased 10-inch springform pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for approx 8 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack.
- Sprinkle coarsely crumbled pralines over crust.
- Beat cream cheese at medium speed with a heavy duty electric mixer until creamy.
- Gradually add 1 3/4 cups sugar, flour, and vanilla, beating until smooth.
- Add eggs and egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears.
- Stir in whipping cream and lemon rind.
- Pour in crust.
- Place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 350 degrees on lower oven rack 10 minutes.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees, and bake 1 hour and 20 minutes or until almost set.
- Cool on wire rack 1 hour.
- Stir together sour cream and 1/3 cup sugar; spread over cheesecake.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes.
- Cool on wire rack.
- Cover and chill 8 hours.
- Remove sides of pan.
- Garnish, if desired with pralines.
- Pralines: Butter bottom of a heavy 3-quart saucepan.
- Cook brown sugar and next 3 ingredients in saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugars dissolve; stir in pecans.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes or until a candy thermometer registers 238 degrees (soft ball stage).
- Remove from heat.
- Stir in vanilla; let stand 3 minutes.
- Beat with a wooden spoon 3 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken.
- Working rapidly, drop by tablespoonfuls onto wax paper.
- Let stand until firm.