Mix the graham cracker crumbs and the melted butter and press into the bottom of a 9" springform pan.
Mix the caramels, sweenened condensed milk and 3 tablespoons milk in a large microwave safe bowl, microwave for approximately 5 minutes, stirring well every minute or so until the caramels are melted and the mixture is smooth.
Add the vanilla and stir well.
Add the cream cheese and mix with an electric mixer until combined then mix on high for a minute or so.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until well combined.
Pour the mixture over the crust and bake for 60 minutes at 300°F.
Remove from oven and immediately run a knife around the edge of the pan to help prevent cracking.
Cool then chill in refrigerator for several hours before serving.
Optional chocolate topping: mix chocolate chips with two tablespoons milk and microwave for approximately 1 minute, stir until smooth and creamy then spread on top of cheesecake.