Chocolate Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake

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Ingredients

Crust

2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (35 to 40 cookies)1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

Cheesecake

4 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened1 1/2 cups sugar1/4 cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour4 eggs4 tablespoons bourbon1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)1 1/2 teaspoons aromatic bitters1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger1 teaspoon ground cinnamon1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg1 teaspoon vanilla3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted

Toppings

1/2 cup caramel topping2 teaspoons bourbonDash aromatic bittersToasted pecans, if desired

Steps

  • 1Heat oven to 300°F. Grease 9-inch springform pan with shortening or cooking spray. Wrap outside bottom and side of pan with foil to prevent leaking. In small bowl, mix Crust ingredients. Press mixture in bottom and 1 inch up side of pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Cool 5 minutes.
  • 2In large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed just until smooth and creamy; do not overbeat. On low speed, gradually beat in sugar, then flour, then eggs one at a time, just until blended. Remove half of the cream cheese mixture (about 3 cups) into another large bowl; reserve.
  • 3Into remaining cream cheese mixture, stir 2 tablespoons of the bourbon, the pumpkin, 1 1/2 teaspoons bitters, the ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg with whisk until smooth. Spoon over crust in pan. Into reserved 3 cups filling, stir 2 tablespoons bourbon, the vanilla and melted chocolate; pour over pumpkin layer directly in middle of pan. This will create layers so that each slice includes some of each flavor.
  • 4To minimize cracking, place shallow pan half full of hot water on lower oven rack. Bake cheesecake 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes or until edges are set but center of cheesecake still jiggles slightly when moved.
  • 5Turn oven off; open oven door at least 4 inches. Leave cheesecake in oven 30 minutes longer. Remove from oven; place on cooling rack. Without releasing side of pan, run knife around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake. Cool in pan on cooling rack 30 minutes. Cover loosely; refrigerate at least 6 hours but no longer than 24 hours.
  • 6Run knife around side of pan to loosen cheesecake again; carefully remove side of pan. Place cheesecake on serving plate. Stir together caramel topping, 2 teaspoons bourbon and dash bitters. To serve, drizzle with caramel and sprinkle with pecans. Cover and refrigerate any remaining cheesecake.

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