Coconut Macadamia Nut Caramel Cheesecake

Coconut Macadamia Caramel Cheesecake

TOASTED coconut, that is…mmm. Michael fully approved of this flavor suggestion when he asked for a cheesecake and this one was bouncing around my brain. There’s kind of always a new flavor of cheesecake that I want to try out. They’re my version of cupcakes, where the possibilities are endless. Want to know my secret? You need a good solid base that can handle any flavor. Here’s my basic recipe I build from:

Crust:
1 ½ c. cookie crumbs
¼ c. oil
Filling:
3 pkgs. cream cheese (Neufchatel)
2 eggs
3/4 c. sweetener, more or less as needed

THAT’S IT! It’s so easy, but it works. You can then use any kind of cookie, oil, and various mix-ins to make your own flavors. I always bake them the same way too. 1 hour at 300 degrees with a pan of water beneath it. Cheesecakes are dangerously easy to make.

For this recipe, I got a little crazy and added extra ingredients that might not be necessary, but I had them so why not? Be adventurous, that’s my thing.

Crust:
1 ½ c. cinnamon graham cracker crumbs (the only kind of graham crackers I had!)
¼ c. coconut oil

Directions:
Stir together, press into springform pan, place in the oven as you heat it to 300 degrees and toast the coconut (15 minutes).

Filling:
3 pkgs. cream cheese, softened
3/4 c. coconut sugar (SO yummy)
2 eggs
1 t. coconut extract
1 T. vanilla natural coffee creamer (just cream, milk, vanilla and sugar), optional
1 c. sweetened shredded coconut, toasted* (save some for topping)
1 c. macadamia nuts (save some for topping)
½ white chocolate chips
Caramel for topping (I used caramel bits by Kraft, found in the baking aisle at Hyvee)
*Toast coconut on stovetop in a skillet for best results. 

Directions:
Mix cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, extract, and creamer (if using) and blend until just combined. Stir in coconut, nuts, and chips. Pour into crust and bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of pan to loosen and remove the edges. Drizzle caramel on cheesecake (add milk to caramel if you need it runnier) then top with with leftover coconut and nuts if desired. Refrigerate overnight…or just eat it warm like Michael and I usually do!

*Anna Original*

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