The flavorful walnut crust is a nice complement to this deliciously light cheesecake. Toasted walnut halves are stirred into the caramel bourbon sauce and spooned over the cheesecake just before serving.
- 34 caramel squares
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 3 cups California walnut pieces
- 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 3 packages light cream cheese
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup bourbon or amber rum, divided
- 1 cup toasted California walnut halves
- In small saucepan over low heat, combine caramels and milk, stirring frequently, until caramels are completely melted and smooth. Set aside.
- In food processor, combine walnut pieces and 1/4 cup of the sugar; process until it resembles coarse crumbs (do not over process). Stir in melted butter.
- Press mixture into bottom and half way up sides of a 9-inch spring-form pan. Bake in 325°F oven for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, beat cream cheese with remaining 3/4 cup sugar. Add eggs, beating one at a time, just until well blended. Stir in 1/4 cup of the rum or bourbon.
- Pour cream cheese mixture into walnut crust. Drizzle 1/3 cup of the caramel sauce on top; gently swirl with knife. Stir remaining bourbon into caramel sauce. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Bake in 325°F oven for 1 hour. Turn oven off; leaving cheesecake in oven without opening door (to prevent cracking) for an additional hour. Transfer to rack to cool completely. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or up to 1 day.
- To serve, gently warm sauce, stirring in walnut halves. Serve over slices of cheesecake.