Betty Crocker's chocolate bourbon pumpkin cheesecake is a dynamite dessert. This cheesecake is exploding with flavor. A gingersnap crust is the base while the cheesecake batter is flavored with pureed pumpkin, warm winter spices like ginger and cinnamon, and a secret ingredient - aromatic bitters. The bitters adds a dimension of flavor that comes from no other ingredients. If this dessert wasn't indulgent enough, melted semi-sweet chocolate is swirled in the batter before baking. Chocolate bourbon pumpkin cheesecake is guaranteed to stand out among the rest.
Chocolate Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake
2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (35 to 40 cookies)
¼ cup butter or margarine, melted
4 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 ½ cups sugar
¼ cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons bourbon
½ cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 ½ teaspoons aromatic bitters
1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted
½ cup caramel topping
2 teaspoons bourbon
Dash aromatic bitters
Toasted pecans, if desired
1. Heat 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.
2. In 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.
3. Into 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.
4. To 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.
5. Turn 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.
6. Run 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.
Makes 16 servings