1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted and lightly cooled
Whipped cream, optional
In a bowl, combine wafer crumbs and butter; blend well. Press into the bottom and 2 in. up the sides of a 10-in. springform pan. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.
In a saucepan or microwave melt caramels with milk; stir until smooth. Cool for 5 minutes. Pour into crust; top with 1-1/2 cups of pecans.
In a bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and vanilla; mix well. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Add chocolate; mix just until blended. Carefully spread over pecans. Return to baking sheet.
Bake at 350° for 55-65 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
Remove sides of pan. Garnish with remaining pecans and whipped cream if desired. Refrigerate leftovers.
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