Monday, November 19, 2007

Apple Pecan Cheesecake

For an extra special touch, drizzle KRAFT Caramel Topping over each piece of cheesecake just before serving. Take advantage of the variety of apples available this season by trying Granny Smith, Honeycrisp or your favorite type for the topping.

1-1/2 cups HONEY MAID Graham Cracker Crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
4 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar, divided
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
4 eggs
4 cups chopped peeled apples (about 3 medium)
3/4 cup PLANTERS Chopped Pecans
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

PREHEAT oven to 325°F. Line 13x9-inch baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Mix crumbs, butter and 2 Tbsp. brown sugar; press firmly onto bottom of pan.

BEAT cream cheese, 1 cup of the brown sugar and the vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour over crust. Mix remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, the apples, pecans and cinnamon; spoon evenly over cheesecake batter.

BAKE 55 min. or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Let stand at room temperature 30 min. before serving. Lift cheesecake from pan, using foil handles. Cut into 16 pieces. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.

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