There is a series of cookbooks called “Best of the Best.”  The authors, Gwen McKee and Barbara Mostley have traveled extensively throughout the United States collecting and researching the best cookbooks from each state.  Then they take favorite recipes from each book and compile it into one cookbook.  I have several of their books in my collection, mostly those from the South.

Recently while grocery shopping in Minden’s Super Wal-Mart; I came across their book titled “Best of the Best from Louisiana Cookbook III.”  Of course, you know me I had to buy it.  In my opinion, there is no kind of cooking as good as Louisiana has.

The recipe I chose for you this week originated from the cookbook titled “The Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cuisine.”  I picked it because I have three family members that like chocolate and cheesecake so the two combined would be a true KEEPER for them.  Although I have not made it, I plan to soon.  In the meantime if you should make it let me know how it tasted.

 

TURTLE CHEESECAKE DES AMIS

15 Oreo cookies

6 Tbsp. butter, melted

1 (14 oz.) bag caramel candy, unwrapped

1 (5 oz.) can evaporated milk

*2 cups chopped pecans, divided

½ cup sour cream

3 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

4 large eggs

½ cup sugar

2 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract

½ cup semisweet chocolate chips

 

Preheat oven to 350○.  Spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray, and set aside.  In a processor, chop cookies to fine crumbs; then toss with melted butter.  Press evenly into pan to form a crust; then set aside.

 

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine caramels and evaporated milk.  Microwave on HIGH at 2-minute intervals, stirring until smooth and creamy.  Allow caramel topping to cool 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened.  Pour half of caramel topping over cookie crust, and top with 1 cup chopped pecans.

 

In a large mixing bowl, blend sour cream and cream cheese with an electric mixer.  Add eggs and sugar, continuing to blend until smooth.  Stir in vanilla; then pour batter into pan.  Bake 45-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Remove from oven, and allow cake to cool 30 minutes.  Top cake with chocolate chips, remaining caramel topping, and remaining 1-cup pecans.  Refrigerate overnight.  Serves 6-8.

 

*A quote from Chef John Folse: “Almonds or walnuts can be substituted, but Louisianans prefer pecans.”

 

NOTE: If interested in acquiring this cookbook and it is no longer available at Wal-Mart, you may order by credit card, toll free at 1-800-343-1583.  ISBN#13: 978-1-934193-97-6  Be sure to mention the special Collect the Series discount.  Visit www.quailridge.com for a complete listing of all their cookbooks.