Pecan Cheesecake

Course : Cheesecakes
Serves: 12
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1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup butter -- melted
2 tablespoons butter -- melted
40 ounces cream cheese -- softened
1 2/3 cups light brown sugar -- firmly packed
5 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pecans -- chopped
1 cup whipped cream -- (optional)

Preparation / Directions:

Additional chopped pecans (optional) Pecan halves (optional) Combine first 3 ingredients, mixing well. Press into bottom of 10-inch springform pan; chill. Beat cream cheese with electric mixer until light and fluffy; gradually add brown sugar, mixing well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla and 1 cup chopped pecans. Spoon into prepared pan. Bake at 325 for 1 hour. Turn oven off; allow cheesecake to cool in oven 30 minutes. Let cool to room temperature; refrigerate 8 hours. Remove sides of springform pan. If desired, garnish with whipped cream, top with additional chopped pecans and pecan halves, and gently press additional chipped pecans onto sides of cake.

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