An "over-the-top" cheesecake! Moist and rich...just right for a special holiday dessert.
Heat oven to 300 degrees. Wrap foil around the outside of the bottom and side of a 9-inch springform pan to prevent drips. Spray the bottom and 1 inch up the inside of the pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl mix the cookie crumbs and the melted butter. Press crumb mixture onto the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Bake crust 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool at room temperature for about 5 minutes. Refrigerate about 5 minutes or until completely cooled.
Meanwhile, in another small bowl, mix flour, pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin; set aside. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth. On low speed, beat in the eggs, one at a time, just till blended. Gradually beat in pumpkin mixture until smooth. Pour filling into cooled crust.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 25 minutes or until the edge of the cheesecake is set but center still jiggles slightly when moved. Run knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cheesecake. Turn the oven off; open oven door at least 4 inches and let the cheesecake remain in the oven for 30 minutes.
Cool in pan on a cooling rack for 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight before serving.
Just before serving, sprinkle the pecans over the top of the cheesecake. In a small microwaveable bowl, microwave chocolate and oil uncovered on High for 1 minute, stirring every 15 seconds, until melted. Drizzle chocolate over the pecans.
To serve, run the knife around the edge of the pan to loosen cheesecake; carefully remove the side of the pan. Drizzle caramel topping over each serving. Sprinkle chopped Heath or Skor bar pieces on top if desired. Store covered in the refrigerator. 16 or more servings.
1 1/2 cups thin chocolate cookie wafer crumbs (about 30 cookies)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup flour
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
4 packages (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 T. oil or shortening
1 cup caramel topping
Optional: chopped Heath or Skor bars