Monday, October 5, 2009

Caramel Apple Butter Cheesecake

1 1/2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted
20 caramels, unwrapped
3/4 cup apple butter*
3 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp. flour
3 eggs

Caramel Sauce:
3o caramels, unwrapped
1/2 cup half-and-half

*(If you don't have apple butter, don't go out and buy it, it's about as easy as applesauce to make. Try this apple butter.

Heat oven 10 300 F. Wrap outside of 9 or 10-inch springform pan in heavy-duty foil. In small bowl, mix cookie crumbs and butter. Press in bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of ungreased pan.
In microwaveable bowl, microwave 20 caramels and 1/2 cup of the apple butter uncovered on high 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup apple butter; set aside to cool.
In large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and flour with electric mixer on medium speed about 1 minute or until smooth and creamy. On low speed, beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Reserve 1/2 cup batter. Fold caramel mixture into remaining batter without mixing it in completely, leaving a few streaks. Pour over crust. Drop spoonfuls of reserved batter over the top. Cut though batter several times with knife for marbled design.

Bake 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 25 minutes or until center looks almost set when pan is jiggled. Without releasing side of pan, run metal spatula carefully around cheesecake to loosen. Turn oven off; open oven door at least 4 inches. Leave cheesecake in oven 30 minutes, then remove from oven; cool completely at room temperature, about 2 hours. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Run metal spatula around cheesecake to loosen again. Remove side of pan; leave cheesecake on bottom of pan to serve.

In 1-quart saucepan, heat 30 caramels and the half-and-half over low heat, stirring frequently, until caramels are completely melted. Serve warm or cool over slices of cheesecake.

NOTES: I'm not much of a baked cheesecake kind of gal but I made this for a family party and everyone asked me to post the recipe. I did like the caramel sacue together with the applebutter flavor of the cheesecake. Recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker.

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