Have a 9 inch springform pan ready.
To make crust, mix flour, nuts, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle with milk and stir until mixture clumps together to form a dough. Form into a ball, flatten, then press evenly over bottom and 2 inches up sides of the springform pan. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
To make filling heat oven to 350F. Beat cream cheese in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add remaining filling ingredients and beat until thoroughly blended. Pour into pastry lined pan. Bake 50 minutes until firm to the touch. Remove from oven and leave at room temperature 5 minutes.
Mix topping ingredients in a small bowl. Spread evenly over cheesecake. Return to oven and bake 5 minutes. Cool on rack 20 minutes, then refrigerate until cold before removing sides of pan. Garnish with hazelnuts.
Makes 12 servings.
To toast hazelnuts, spread nuts in shallow baking pan. Bake in 350F oven 8 to 10 minutes until skins start to brown. Turn out onto clean kitchen towel. Wrap and let stand one minute. Rub off most of skins. Cool before chopping.
Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana