When Katie and I were first married, we went to a party and were asked to bring a dessert. Back in those days, our kitchen skills were minimal, but I wanted to try something adventurous. I thought a cheesecake might wow the crowd, and I was up for the challenge.
The recipe must have come from Betty Crocker because I think that was the only cookbook we owned at the time. I probably also had to go out and purchase a springform pan. I don't recall much about the whole experience but I do remember the cheesecake was a hit. I was even asked to make the cheesecake for a get together with friends the following week.
It just sort of snowballed from there. And I might add, it turned into a big snowball. I was testing out all kinds of different cheesecake recipes, studying techniques for achieving the perfect cheesecake, and building my collection of cheesecake recipe books. At one point in time, we were having cheesecake a couple times a week. This was also back in the day when I could eat whatever and whenever I wanted and not gain weight.
We had another birthday at the office, so I decided to pull out this old favorite, which always received rave reviews. Everything about this cheesecake is yummy from the oatmeal pecan crust to the creamy caramel filling. And chocolate makes everything better.
If you have a special occasion coming up, give this a try. And don't worry, it's not really that hard. One thing I have learned, though, is that it gets better with age. So, you can make it a few days in advance and relax the day your guests come over. Your friends and family will be amazed at our skills.
Ooooh! It looks like the birthday
girl, Nicki, is impressed.
- ¾ cup quick rolled oats
- ¾ cup chopped pecans
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- 1 ½ pounds cream cheese
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup dark brown
- 5 tsps. cornstarch
- 3 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 ½ tsps. vanilla
- 2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350˚. To make crust, mix together oats, pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Add butter and mix well. Press into the bottom of a greased 9-in. springform pan. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden, remove from oven, and set aside to cool. To make filling, beat together cream cheese, brown sugar, corn syrup, and cornstarch. Add eggs and egg yolk, beating well. Mix in 1 cup chocolate chips and vanilla. Pour filling into crust and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 225˚ and bake for 40 minutes more. Remove from oven and sprinkle remaining chocolate chips over top. Return to oven and bake for 35 minutes. Turn off oven and leave cheesecake in oven for 1 hour more. Remove from oven, let cool on a wire rack for 1 hour and chill uncovered overnight.