Chocolate Irish Cream Cheesecake

Chocolate Irish Cream Cheesecake

1 cup chocolate wafer crumbs (about 18 cookies)*
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
24 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 (8 ounce) container dairy sour cream
1 cup granulated sugar
1 (8 ounce) package semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
3 eggs
1/3 to 1/2 cup Irish cream liqueur
2 tablespoons whipping cream or milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Fresh raspberries (optional)
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate pieces, melted (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

For crust, in a medium mixing bowl combine crumbs, butter and cinnamon; toss gently to mix. Spread mixture evenly in the bottom of a 9- or 10-inch* springform pan; press onto bottom for a firm, even crust. Set pan aside.

For filling, in a large mixing bowl combine cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and melted chocolate; beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until combined. Add eggs all at once. Beat on low speed just until combined. Do not overbeat. Stir in liqueur, whipping cream or milk, and vanilla extract. Place pan on a baking sheet. Pour filling into crust. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until center appears nearly set when gently shaken.

Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove sides; cool completely. Cover and chill cheesecake for 4 hours or overnight.

Before serving, transfer the cheesecake to a platter. Top with fresh raspberries and drizzle with 1/3 cup melted chocolate, if desired.

Serves 12 to 16.

NOTE: If using the 10-inch springform pan, add another 1/4 cup chocolate wafer crumbs to the crust.

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