Preheat the over to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a 9 inch spring form pan by lining the bottom with waxed paper.
Measure the Chocolate Teddy Grahams and place them into a food processor with the blade attachment. Pulse a few times to begin crushing them into crumbs. Turn on the processor in continuous mode until all large pieces are crumbled. Transfer crumbs to a mixing bowl. Add the 2 tablespoons of sugar to the crumbs and mix thoroughly.
In a microwave-safe container, melt the butter completely. Pour the melted butter into the crumb and sugar mixture and stir thoroughly.
Pour the crust mixture into the prepared 9 inch spring form pan. Use the bottom of a clean drinking glass to gently press the crumb mixture into the bottom and slightly up the sides of the pan.
Place the pan into the preheated oven for approximately 8-9 minutes.
While the crust is baking, place your room temperature cream cheese and 1 cup of sugar into a stand mixer with paddle attachment and blend at medium speed until the sugar is completely incorporated. Turn off mixture, add the flour, and mix again on medium speed until flour is incorporated.
Add the vanilla bean paste and the lemon zest to the cream cheese mixture on medium speed.
Turn mixture down to low speed and slowly add the eggs and egg yolk. Mix until smooth.
Slowly add the half and half and the sour cream and mix until smooth. Don't over mix!
Pour half of the filling into the pre-baked crust. Arrange cherries from the canned pie filling onto the first half of the topping, then pour the remaining topping over the cherries. Place the cheesecake into a waterbath (see my "Cheesecake Tips and Tricks" for an easy method). Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, gently run a butter knife around the edges to loosen from the pan. Open the spring form and gently lift off from the cheesecake. Continue to cool on the counter for an additional 30 minutes. Place the baked cheesecake into the freezer for 2-3 hours, or overnight. This will firm it up enough to allow you to remove it from the bottom of the spring form pan and place it on a serving plate or cardboard cake circle after peeling off the waxed paper and place it on a serving plate or cardboard cake circle.
Pour the remaining canned cherry pie filling onto the top of the cooled cheesecake and enjoy!
Alternate Topping for Halloween
Using white modeling chocolate, colored with 1-3 small drops of of pink gel coloring. Pulling off large marble-sized pieces, roll them into rope-like pieces. Wind these pieces back and forth in random directions to make "brain" pieces. Set aside to harden slightly. Then arrange them onto the top of your cooled cheesecake and cover with the canned cherry pie filling.
For EXTRA gore...see my post on making cast isomalt eyeballs