- 1/4 cup cold butter
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup chopped unsalted cashews
- 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 1-1/4 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 5 eggs
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup coarsely chopped unsalted cashews
- In a small bowl, cut butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cashews, confectioners' sugar and salt. Press onto the bottom and 1/2 in. up the sides of a greased 9-in. springform pan. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce heat to 325°.
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs and cream; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour over crust.
- Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 55-60 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen. Cool 1 hour longer.
- In a saucepan, combine sugar and water. Cook over medium-low heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cover and boil for 2 minutes. Uncover; boil until mixture is golden brown and a candy thermometer reads 300° (hard-cracked stage), about 8 minutes.
- Remove from the heat. Stir in cream until smooth, about 5 minutes (mixture will appear lumpy at first). Add cashews; cool to lukewarm. Carefully spoon over cheesecake. Refrigerate overnight.
- Remove sides of pan. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Caramel Cashew Cheesecake in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2001, p88
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