How to Make It
Combine first 3 ingredients; stir well. Press into bottom of a greased 9" springform pan. Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until toasted. Remove from oven, and reduce oven temperature to 300°.
Combine 3/4 cup butter and chocolate in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until melted, stirring often. Remove from heat, and let cool.
Beat cream cheese at medium speed of an electric mixer until creamy. Add 1/2 cup sugar; beat well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Stir in cooled chocolate mixture and cream of coconut. Pour over crust in pan. Bake at 300° for 40 minutes or until cheesecake is barely set. Let cool to room temperature in pan on a wire rack; cover and chill 8 hours.
Beat whipping cream at high speed until foamy; gradually add powdered sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Add vanilla; beat just until blended.
Carefully remove sides of springform pan. Place cheesecake on serving plate. Frost top and sides with whipped cream mixture. Gently press coconut onto sides, and sprinkle on top of frosted cheesecake. Chill thoroughly.
Note: For coconut chips, we used Melissa's. You can find them near packets of dried fruits in grocery stores; you can also buy these fat coconut shavings in stores where nuts are sold in bulk. Or you can substitute flaked coconut.
Christmas with Southern Living 1997