I love Thanksgiving. I love that we have a holiday to focus on being grateful. (Just don’t get me started on people who are already camped out for Black Friday.)

In addition to the company of family and friends, one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is baking my favorite cheesecake. I’ve been a huge cheesecake fan ever since I was a kid, so when I stumbled on this recipe early on in our marriage, I fell in love with it!

It’s seriously one of the best cheesecake’s I’ve ever tasted. And yes, that even includes the infamous Cheesecake Factory (shhh…don’t tell them I said that. They are #2 on the list.)

So, without further adieu, here is the recipe. I posted this a few years ago, but I since I had to search to find it, I figured I would just make it easier on all of us and repost it. I prefer to have easy access to my recipes on my computer. It usually sits open next to me while I cook. In fact, as I type this post, I’ve got chicken enchiladas on the stove next to me. This is when I find “downtime” to blog. Haha.

If you want to try it, just follow the directions exactly and you’ll be good to go.

It’s fantastic!

Woman’s Day 2004

Serves: 12
Active: 45 min
Total: 2 1/2 hr (plus 1 hr cooling in oven and at least 4 1/2 hr chilling)

Planning Tip: Cake can be completed up to 1 week ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

1 1/2 cups purchased chocolate cookie crumbs
1/2 stick (4 Tbsp) butter, melted

3 bricks (8 oz each) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), softened
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
3 large eggs
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (6 oz) milk-chocolate chips, melted and cooled
1 cup canned 100% pure pumpkin
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup (6 oz) semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled

Chocolate Glaze
3 oz bittersweet baking chocolate
2 Tbsp stick butter
1 Tbsp light corn syrup

Heat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-in. springform pan with nonstick spray. Have ready a roasting pan larger than the springform pan.

Crust: Put crumbs in a small bowl; stir in butter until evenly moistened. Press firmly over bottom of pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until set. Cool on rack. Wrap outside of pan with heavy-duty foil. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.

Filling: Beat cream cheese, sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl with mixer on medium speed until smooth, scraping sides of bowl several times with a rubber spatula. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, just until blended. Beat in sour cream and vanilla to combine. Divide batter evenly between 3 medium bowls. Stir melted milk chocolate into 1 bowl; pour into crust in an even layer. Whisk pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice into another bowl. Carefully spoon over chocolate layer to cover, then gently smooth into an even layer with an offset spatula (take care batters don’t run together). Stir semisweet chocolate into remaining batter. Carefully spoon over pumpkin layer; spread carefully as above.

Set springform pan in center of roasting pan. Place roasting pan in oven rack and add boiling water to come halfway up sides of springform pan.

Bake 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours until set, but center still jiggles slightly when shaken.

Turn off oven (leave door closed); let cake cool in oven 1 hour (if cake hasn’t pulled away from sides of pan, carefully run a thin knife around edge of pan to release cake). Remove foil. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack. Cover; refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Chocolate Glaze: Stir ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat; cool slightly.

Remove pan sides; place cake on serving plate. Spread glaze over top to edge (some may drip down side of cake). Refrigerate until glaze sets.