Almond Lover’s Cheesecake

½ cup toasted slivered almonds
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup almond paste
¾ cup sugar
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 eggs
Chocolate-Covered Almonds for Garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, pulse nuts until finely ground and mix with graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press into bottom of a 9 or 10-inch springform pan. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
Process almond paste and sugar until finely ground. Add cream cheese and vanilla and mix well. Add eggs one at a time and mix until smooth.
Pour filing into crust and bake for 50 minutes. Turn off oven and let cheesecake sit there for 10 more minutes. Cool in pan on rack for 1 hour. Refrigerate. Remove sides before serving and top with chocolate-covered almonds if desired.

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