- 1 cup vanilla wafer crumbs
- 1 cup almonds, lightly toasted and finely ground
- ¼ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon Amaretto liqueur
- pinch of coarse salt
- 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 1-½ cups granulated white sugar
- ½ cup sour cream
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon Amaretto
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 16 ounces sour cream (about 2 cups)
- ¼ cup granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon Amaretto
- ¼ cup almond slivers, lightly toasted
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 10-inch springform pan with melted unsalted butter or cooking spray. Set aside.
- Combine together vanilla wafer crumbs, ground almonds, light brown sugar, melted butter, Amaretto and salt. Mix until well blended and resembles coarse crumbs. Press onto the bottom, and if desired, about 1 to 1-½ inches up the sides of springform pan. Chill until needed.
- Beat cream cheese over low speed until smooth and creamy. Increase speed to medium. Add sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of bowl, as needed. Beat in sour cream until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in Amaretto and vanilla.
- Whip cream until doubled in volume and soft peaks form. Fold into cream cheese mixture. Transfer batter into prepared crust.
- Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until center is nearly set but still moist and tester inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Do not turn oven off.
- Beat together sour cream, sugar and Amaretto. Spoon over top of cheesecake and spread evenly to cover. Sprinkle with almond slivers. Return pan to oven and bake for another 5 to 7 minutes or until almonds are lightly golden and sour cream topping is set.
- Remove pan from oven and cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of pan to loosen. Allow to cool for another 60 to 70 minutes. Chill for at least 8 hours or overnight.
- Just before serving, remove sides of pan and use a thin metal spatula to loosen cake from bottom of pan. Transfer to a serving platter and cut into wedges before serving.
- If desired, drizzle warm caramel or chocolate sauce over each cheesecake wedge before serving.
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