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Chocolate-Caramel Dessert

Prep time 16 mins
Cook time 55 mins
Other time 8 hrs
Yield Makes 18 servings
Just close your eyes and you'll think you're eating a candy bar. Chock-full of goodies, this dessert's a winner with its creamy, smooth-textured cheesecake layer and crunchy pecans.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 (12.25-ounce) jar fat-free caramel topping, divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1 (11.75-ounce) jar hot fudge topping
  • 1/2 cup chocolate syrup

How to Make It

  1. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; add sugar, beating well.

  2. Combine flour and salt; add to butter mixture, beating until fine crumbs form. Press into bottom of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch pan.

  3. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

  4. Beat cream cheese at medium speed until smooth. Add sour cream, peanut butter, and half of caramel topping, beating just until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Stir in pecans. Pour over prepared crust.

  5. Spoon dollops of hot fudge topping evenly over cream cheese mixture. Swirl batter gently with a knife to create a marbled effect.

  6. Bake at 325° for 45 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack. Cover and chill 8 hours. Cut into 18 squares. Spoon remaining caramel topping and chocolate syrup onto individual plates; top each with a square of dessert.

  7. Tip: Stir fudge topping in a small bowl before dolloping on cheesecake. This will help soften the mixture to easily swirl into cheesecake batter.

Southern Living Cook-Off Cookbook