Praline Cheesecake


2 cups crushed shortbread cookies (about 28 cookies)

3 tablespoons butter, melted

4 pralines, coarsely crumbled

5 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 ¾ cup sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

4 large eggs

2 egg yolks

1/3 cup whipping cream

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

2  8-ounce containers sour cream

1/3 cup sugar

Garnish: crumbled pralines

Combine cookie crumbs and butter.  Press into bottom and up sides of a greased 10-inch springform pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.  Sprinkle coarsely crumbled pralines over crust.  Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.  Gradually add 1 ¾ 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 a wire rack.  Cover and chill 8 hours.  Remove sides of pan.  Garnish with pralines, if desired.



¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar

¾ cup sugar

¾ cup half-and –half

3 tablespoons butter

1 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans

½ teaspoons vanilla extract

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, 6-8 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 waxed paper.  Let stand until form.

Gina Tiedemann



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