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Pecan Cheesecake

Author/Submitted by: Southern Living
Servings: 12
Categories: Cheesecakes / Desserts

1 1/2  cups  graham cracker crumbs
3  tablespoons  sugar
1/4  cup  butter, melted
2  tablespoons  butter, melted
40  ounces  cream cheese, softened
1 2/3  cups  light brown sugar, firmly packed
5    eggs
1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
1  cup  pecans, chopped
    Whipped cream, (optional)

Additional chopped pecans (optional) Pecan halves (optional) Combine first 3 ingredients, mixing well. Press into bottom of 10-inch springform pan; chill. Beat cream cheese with electric mixer until light and fluffy; gradually add brown sugar, mixing well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla and 1 cup chopped pecans. Spoon into prepared pan. Bake at 325 for 1 hour. Turn oven off; allow cheesecake to cool in oven 30 minutes. Let cool to room temperature; refrigerate 8 hours. Remove sides of springform pan. If desired, garnish with whipped cream, top with additional chopped pecans and pecan halves, and gently press additional chipped pecans onto sides of cake. Yield: 12 servings.

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