1CRUST: Preheat oven to 325 degree. In a medium bowl combine crushed butter cookies and melted butter. Press mixture evenly onto bottom and 2 inches up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden. Set aside.
2FILLING: Drain apricot halves, reserving 3 tablespoons syrup. Coarsely chop apricots; set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, sugar, the reserved syrup, and vanilla with an electric mixer until combined. Add eggs all at once, beating on low speed just until combined. Stir in chopped apricots. Pour filling into crust-lined pan. Place on a shallow baking pan in oven. Bake about 50 minutes or until center appears nearly set when cheesecake is gently shaken. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Loosen crust from sides of pan and cool cheesecake 30 minutes more. Remove the sides of the pan; cool cheesecake completely.
3GLAZE: In a small saucepan melt apricot spread over low heat. Remove from heat; stir in the apricot nectar and dried apricots, if used. Spread over cheesecake. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 4 hours before serving. Makes 16 servings.