3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon sugar plus 2/3 cup sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2-1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
2 to 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon shortening
Miniature peanut butter cups or toasted sliced almonds
1. Grease a 6-in. springform pan; place on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 12 in. square). Wrap foil securely around pan.
2. Pour 1 in. water into a 6-qt. slow cooker. Layer two 24-in. pieces of foil. Starting with a long side, roll up foil to make a 1-in.-wide strip; shape into a circle. Place in bottom of slow cooker to make a rack.
3. In a small bowl, mix cracker crumbs, 1 tablespoon sugar and cinnamon; stir in butter. Press onto bottom and about 1 in. up sides of prepared pan.
4. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and remaining sugar until smooth. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour into crust.
5. Place springform pan on foil circle without touching slow cooker sides. Cover slow cooker with a double layer of white paper towels; place lid securely over towels. Cook, covered, on high 2 hours.
6. Do not remove lid; turn off slow cooker and let cheesecake stand, covered, in slow cooker 1 hour.
7. Remove springform pan from slow cooker; remove foil around pan. Cool cheesecake on a wire rack 1 hour longer. Loosen sides from pan with a knife. Refrigerate overnight, covering when completely cooled.
8. For topping, in a microwave, melt chocolate and shortening; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Remove rim from springform pan. Pour chocolate mixture over cheesecake; sprinkle with miniature peanut butter cups or almonds.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 40 min. Cook: 2 hours + chilling
YIELD: 6 servings.
Cinnamon and vanilla give this cheesecake so much flavor.
1 piece: 565 calories, 41g fat (24g saturated fat), 180mg cholesterol, 351mg sodium, 41g carbohydrate (33g sugars, 1g fiber), 10g protein.