Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip & Dried Cherries Cookes: It’s a Pumpkin-Baking Extravaganza!

Recipe: (1) A bourbon-pumpkin cheesecake with a bourbon-sour-cream topping on a graham cracker and pecan crust (picture to come tomorrow). (2) Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies with dried cherries.

It’s been a long weekend. And I needed something fun and relaxing to do. If you know me, and I assume you do if you’re reading this blog, you know that for me, this was the perfect opportunity to bake. But not just one baked good, oh no, tonight was a double header, my friends. A delicious delicious PUMPKIN double header. The first round tonight included a bourbon pumpkin cheesecake, complete with a bourbon-infused sour cream topping. (I’d like to make a shout out here to my friend, Ravi, for adding Jack Daniels to my surprisingly large collection of alcohol [it’s all for baking, Mom. I swear!] and allowing me to make said wonderful treat). The second round tonight consisted of a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie with (surprise!) dried cherries. But more on the surprise later.

Ok first the cheesecake. I love cheesecake. I didn’t when I was little, and that was wrong, but I eventually learned the error of my ways. And when I did, my life was complete. Just like that! Voila!… Anyway. I saw a recipe for bourbon cheesecake and knew it had to happen. The cheesecake is more or less done. It still needs its sour cream topping, but I need to let it cool for another 1.5 hours before that can happen.* So I have no comments on its aesthetics or its taste, but I have high hopes! I mean, the thing has three bricks of cream cheese in it, ample amounts of pumpkin puree, numerous spices, and bourbon both in the cheesecake itself, as well as the sour-cream topping! I don’t see how this could go wrong. The only concern I have (and it is slight) is that my spring form pan doesn’t have the best seal and some of the butter from crust seems to have seeped out during baking… hopefully this doesn’t affect the moisture in the crust (fingers crossed!). I did actually add an extra tablespoon of butter to the crust when I was making it – it was super dry and I’m trying to follow my gut more when I bake – so hopefully that offsets the butter leakage.

Now onto number two – the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. I’m a little excited about this one because I made some tweeks to this recipe, albeit minor ones. I made no modifications to the pumpkin cookie base itself – that was pretty straightforward. But when I went to add the chocolate chips, I only had semi-full bags of a number of bittersweet, milk, and white chocolate chips. (I was actually quite disappointed in myself at that moment. Normally I have two or three full bags of chocolate chips on hand at all times. Not even because I normally make cookies all that often – they’re not that interesting to make – but because I often need them to melt down for other things, and I somehow end up buying a bag when I already have a bag and then I have two and, well, you get the picture). So a decision had to be made. I didn’t want to go with milk chocolate because I was afraid the cookies would be too sweet and boring. And white chocolate was automatically off the table (you’re not even really chocolate, white chocolate…). So I was left with the bittersweet. And I was ok with that. But I only had a half a cup and I needed a full cup. So what to do, you ask? Add more things! And it turned out my jam-packed baking cupboard had just such a thing that could make the cookies interesting. And experimental. (Keep in mind I’m a baker, not a cook, so I don’t normally EVER veer from recipes – this was a big step for me on my quest to original baked goods for my future bakery.) Dried cherries. Dried cherries were most definitely the answer (this was what I was saying in my head as I tried to convince myself this was a good idea). So in went a half a cup of slightly-chopped dried cherries. And badda-bing-badda-boom, I had myself a new type of cookie in my cookie-recipe repertoire!

The cookies are done and out of the oven and yes, I have in fact, had part of one. Keeping in mind my general whateverness about cookies, I would say they are exactly good. No more, no less. I would eat another one and not feel like I was wasting precious calories. I would probably not crave them. I would, however, probably get excited about making them again next fall because, hello, it’s pumpkin puree and that should be the main ingredient in every baked good in the fall. Well, pumpkin puree or apples. But I’m keeping the list to those two things! But yeah, the cookies. I like them. The texture is alright – a little on the cakey side, which is not a bad thing. I think cakey, in this case, is better than gooey. Gooey pumpkin puree cookies… ick! That just sounds unpleasant! But yes, I have high hopes that the co-workers will like them.

So that’s that. I have to put the sour-cream topping on the cheesecake and my night-o-baking is finished. Now, to complete the evening, a re-learning of the Thriller dance moves! Zombie face, on!

[* Soooo…. I just re-read the recipe, and it turns out that I was supposed to apply the sour-cream topping 5 minutes after the cheesecake came out of the oven, bake the whole thing for 5 minutes, and THEN let is chill for 3 hours. Yeah. I’m awesome. That’ll show me to be a cocky baker. Oh well, hopefully it turns out alright with the topping baked on after it’s already been chilling for three hours… *sigh*]


October 24, 2010. Cheesecake, Cherries, Chocolate, Cookie, Pumpkin.


  1. Deb replied:

    Sounds Yummy. Can’t wait to taste what you bake at Thanksgiving. Yes, I did in fact notice the mounting supply of booz on top of your frig the last time we visited but also assumed it was accumulating from the many BYOB gatherings you have had at your place. I say, go for it and enjoy it all, but I was also say that when cooking with wine and liquor, less it better. I ahve definitely overdone it a time a two. But if you are really interested in reducing the number of bottles, you can use Mr. Johnson’s all time favorite recipe instructions that always began or ended in “Now, pour a 1/2 Cup of Apricot Brandy (you can substitue) into the cook! Enjoy!

  2. Jan-Marie replied:

    I really enjoy reading your recipes, but especially the commentary… have you read a novel entitled, “The School of Essential Ingredients?” I think you would enjoy it – of course, how could you possibly have any time for reading with all this wonderful baking going on???? I started Weight Watchers a few weeks ago… low fat? high fiber? Any suggestions???

  3. Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie: Project 2 for Cleanin out the Kitchen | Exercises in Glucose Replenishment: My weekly experiments in baking replied:

    […] BBQ sauce I make. So every once-in-a-while, I like to try to use it in my baked goods as well (see Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake). Plus, I don’t know anyone who is going to be at Friendsgiving tonight except for my friend, […]

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