But for those who aren't too stuffed (with stuffing) after the main course, here's a sweet way to cap off the holiday.
This Betty Crocker recipe is a triple threat – that is, it combines chocolate, bourbon and pumpkin all in one flavor-packed cheesecake. Try it yourself with the recipe below, or find another seasonal favorite to impress your dinner guests at www.BettyCrocker.com/redhot.
Chocolate Bourbon Pumpkin CheesecakeCrust
2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (35 to 40 cookies)
¼ cup butter or margarine, melted
4 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1½ cups sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
4 tbsp. bourbon
½ cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1½ tsp. aromatic bitters
1½ tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla
¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted
½ cup caramel topping
2 tsp. bourbon
Dash aromatic bitters
Toasted pecans (optional)
Heat oven to 300ºF. Grease a 9-in. springform pan with shortening or cooking spray. Wrap outside bottom and the side of the pan with foil to prevent leaking. In a small bowl, mix the crust ingredients. Press the mixture into the bottom and one inch up the side of the pan. Bake eight to 10 minutes or until set. Cool for five minutes.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until it's smooth and creamy; do not overbeat. On low speed, gradually beat in the sugar, then the flour and then the eggs (one at a time), just until blended. Remove half of the cream cheese mixture (about 3 cups) into another large bowl; reserve.
Into the remaining cream cheese mixture, stir 2 tbsp. of the bourbon, the pumpkin, 1 ½ tsp. bitters, the ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg with a whisk until it's smooth. Spoon over crust into the pan. Into the reserved 3 cups of filling, stir 2 tbsp. of bourbon, the vanilla and the melted chocolate. Pour the mixture over the pumpkin layer directly in the middle of the pan. (This will create layers so that each slice includes some of each flavor.)
To minimize cracking, place a shallow pan half-full of hot water on the lower oven rack. Bake the cheesecake 80 to 90 minutes minutes, or until the edges are set but the center of the cheesecake still jiggles slightly when moved.
Turn the oven off, and open the oven door at least four inches. Leave the cheesecake in the oven 30 minutes longer. Remove from the oven; place on a cooling rack. Without releasing the side of the pan, run your knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cheesecake. Cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 30 minutes. Cover loosely; refrigerate at least six hours but no longer than 24 hours.
Run your knife around the side of the pan to loosen the cheesecake again; carefully remove side of the pan. Place cheesecake on a serving plate. Stir together caramel topping, 2 tsp. bourbon and a dash of bitters. To serve, drizzle with caramel and sprinkle with pecans. Cover and refrigerate any remaining cheesecake.