Caramel Toffee Crunch Cheesecake

My family says they are full from dinner and plan to pass on dessert. However, when my Caramel Toffee Crunch Cheesecake rounds the corner, everyone in the room is tranquilized. What I hold in my hands is amazingly able to hold captive every single eyeball in the room. They take turns inquiring about its contents and the way in which it is constructed all the while reaching for their forks. Folks that had been sitting quietly at the table suddenly come to life. For that moment we all have one very sweet common denominator.

My husband wants me to promise not to make anymore desserts. However, making desserts at family and friend get-togethers... you get to have a slice without having the remainder taunting you from the kitchen. 

I can’t stop. The final course is the crescendo. It makes too many people happy, happy, happy :) (We’re in to Duck Dynasty. This recipe would definitely be Mrs. Kaye approved :) )


Caramel Toffee Crunch Cheesecake

I repeat: TOFFEE CRUNCH Crust. Then a smooth caramel cheesecake with homemade gooey caramel on top mixed with MORE crunchy toffee and then some whipped cream :)

Crust:
3 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 2 packages crushed graham crackers)
1/2 cup toffee bits (I used the kind of Heath that has some chocolate on it)
pinch salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 sticks butter (1 cup), melted
1 1/4 chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 300º. Combine everything except the chocolate chips. Press into a springform pan lined with parchment paper. Push all the way up the sides and press in firmly. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips. Set the springform pan on a baking sheet (just in case it drips). Bake for about five minutes or until the chocolate chips are melty. Smooth them out with an offset spatula. Throw it in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

Filling:
3 packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 cup caramel topping (recipe below)
4 eggs, lightly beaten

Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and sour cream for a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved. Add the vanilla and caramel and beat well. Add the eggs and beat just until combined. Pour into chilled crust. Wrap the springform pan with a couple of wet dishtowels (this helps the cheesecake to cook more slowly and evenly). Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes. The center will still be jiggly, but never fear, it shall set in the end. Turn the oven off and open the door about 4 inches, but leave the cheesecake in for about 30 more minutes (this helps the cheesecake to cool more slowly and evenly and prevents cracking). Remove from the oven and cool for about 30 more minutes. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.

Topping:
1 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 cup caramel
1/2 cup toffee bits, plus more for garnish (again, I used the chocolatey heath bits)

Beat the whipping cream and sugar in a chilled bowl until stiff peaks form.
Combine the caramel and1/2 cup of toffee. Place small chunks all over the top of the chilled cheesecake and carefully them spread them together (it will be pretty thick, so don't just plop it all on thinking you'll be able to spread it out). Pipe some whipped cream along the edge and garnish with more toffee bits. Slice with a large wetted knife for cleaner slices.

Homemade Caramel Sauce:
1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup heavy cream

In a medium sauce pan, combine the sugar and syrup. Don't leave out the syrup, it helps prevent the caramel from crystallizing. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula. Once it is caramel colored, add the butter and stir until the butter is melted. Add the cream and stir until it's all combined. Bring it back to the heat if you get clumps and stir it until they're dissolved. Store in the refrigerator if not using right away. Makes about 3/4 cup.

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