- Combine crumbs and margarine, press onto bottom and sides of 9-inch spring-form pan.
- Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes.
- In 1½-quart heavy saucepan, melt caramels with milk over low heat, stirring frequently, until smooth.
- Pour over crust.
- Top with pecans.
- Combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla, mixing at medium speed on electric mixer until well blended.
- Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Blend in chocolate, pour over pecans.
- Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes.
- Loosen cake from rim of pan; cool before removing rim of pan.
- Garnish with whipped cream, additional chopped nuts and maraschino cherries, if desired.