1 1/2 cups thin chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (about 30 cookies)
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
4 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted*
2 oz bittersweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup caramel topping
1 Heat oven to 300°F. Wrap foil around outside of bottom and side of 9-inch springform pan to prevent drips. Spray bottom and 1 inch up side of pan with cooking spray. In small bowl, mix cookie crumbs and melted butter. Press crumb mixture on bottom and 1 inch up side of pan. Bake crust 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool at room temperature 5 minutes. Refrigerate about 5 minutes or until completely cooled.
2 Meanwhile, in another small bowl, mix flour, pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin; set aside. In large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth. On low speed, beat in eggs, one at a time, just until blended. Gradually beat in pumpkin mixture until smooth. Pour filling over crust.
3 Bake 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 25 minutes or until edge of cheesecake is set but center still jiggles slightly when moved. Run knife around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake. Turn oven off; open oven door at least 4 inches. Let cheesecake remain in oven 30 minutes.
4 Cool in pan on cooling rack 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight before serving.
5 Just before serving, sprinkle pecans over top of cheesecake. In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate and oil uncovered on High 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring every 15 seconds, until melted. Drizzle chocolate over pecans.
6 To serve, run knife around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake; carefully remove side of pan. Drizzle caramel topping over each serving. Store covered in refrigerator.
By Betty Crocker