Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/2 cup firmly packed Dixie Crystals Light Brown Sugar
- 3/4 cup whipping cream
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups pecan halves
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- To make crust: Crush enough graham crackers with a rolling pin to obtain 1 cup. Add melted butter and sugar and combine well. Press onto the bottom of a 9 inch diameter springform pan and place in oven for 10 minutes or until golden. Reduce oven to 325°F.
- When springform pan is cool enough to handle place it on three layers of aluminum foil and wrap outside of pan with foil. Ensure that no water can penetrate thru foil. Place in a roasting pan and set aside.
- This cheesecake can easily be made without a stand mixer; just ensure that cheese is soft and at room temperature. If using a mixer, use the lowest speed to prevent incorporation of air cells. (Air cells will make the cheesecake rise during baking and once removed from the oven it will fall and crack.)
- To make cheesecake: Mix soft cream cheese and sugars on low speed until well blended and no lumps remain. Scrape bowl well. Add one egg at a time waiting for previously added amount to be fully incorporated, scrape bowl and beater in between additions.
- Add sour cream, vanilla and whiskey and combine well, pour batter into springform pan.
- Pour water into roasting pan about one inch high and place in oven.
- Bake until center of cake no longer trembles when tapping sides of pan, about 2 hours. (If cheesecake puffs in middle area it is more than 100% done.) If using a 10 inch pan baking will be shorter.
- Allow to cool at room temperature for 30 -60 minutes. Place in the refrigerator overnight.
- For pecan praline topping: If desired pre-toast pecans for 8 minutes in a 350°F oven.
- In a saucepan, bring all the ingredients to a boil excluding the pecans. Boil for three minutes, ensuring that mixture will not boil over. Remove from heat and stir in pecans.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes and spread on surface of cake.
- Run a sharp knife around edge and bottom of cheesecake and cut into desired size.