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01 May 2008

Daring Bakers: Cheesecake Pops

So, I'm a bit late with this Daring Bakers post. But I did make the cheesecake pops. They were amazing. I dipped them in chocolate then sprinkled nuts on some, cute little round cupcake sprinkles on others, and a few I left just plain. Those were my favorites. Then I forgot to take them to church, where I had planned to feed those babies to my Sunday School class. This recipe is not for the faint of heart: there's 5 blocks of cream cheese in there kids! But I think that it's the best cheesecake that I've ever eaten, and the whole dipping thing, well, it shouldn't be done in a rush. Make sure your pops are nice and hard or they'll mess up the chocolate. (That is, the chocolate will cease to be good for dipping. Make no mistake, it's still good for eating!) It's crazy good. I think I'll offer to make these for my Mom for her birthday: she loves cheesecake.

The careful observer may note that my picture is not actually a picture of Cheesecake Pops, rather I have a picture of a very tiny remnant of cheesecake and an incriminating spoon. This is because I was in a rush to get to church, so I forgot the Cheesecake Pops. Then I was lamenting this fact to a friend who kindly offered to eat them for me. So they came and took them away. Whereupon I realized that I hadn't yet taken pictures. Not a problem, there was still more than half of the cheesecake remaining, and surely I could take pictures later. Only this requires that I make more Pops, rather than just eat the cheesecake out of the pan. As the astute have noted, this did not happen.

This is dangerously good stuff, folks.

One question: how did you guys get the cheesecake to ball up into such nice little packages? Even after chilling overnight mine wouldn't ball. I had more of cheesecake globs. Not that I'm complaining. Balls and globs taste about the same. But it'd be nice to know where I went wrong.

Cheesecake Pops From "Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey" by Jill O’Connor. Got it from the library: the whole thing looks dangerous. YUM.

Makes 30 – 40 Pops

5 8-oz. packages cream cheese at room temperature
2 cups sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¼ cup heavy cream
Boiling water as needed

Thirty to forty 8-inch lollipop sticks

1 pound chocolate, finely chopped – you can use all one kind or half and half of dark, milk, or white (Alternately, you can use 1 pound of flavored coatings, also known as summer coating, confectionary coating or wafer chocolate – candy supply stores carry colors, as well as the three kinds of chocolate.)

2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

(Note: White chocolate is harder to use this way, but not impossible)

Assorted decorations such as chopped nuts, colored jimmies, crushed peppermints, mini chocolate chips, sanding sugars, dragees) - Optional

Position oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Set some water to boil.

In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and salt until smooth. If using a mixer, mix on low speed. Add the whole eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well (but still at low speed) after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and cream.

Grease a 10-inch cake pan (not a springform pan), and pour the batter into the cake pan. Place the pan in a larger roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with the boiling water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake until the cheesecake is firm and slightly golden on top, 35 to 45 minutes. (Or more. Mine took longer, and it was pretty soft when I took it out, but the color was right. It set up nicely in the refrigerator, but didn't ball well.)

Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and cool to room temperature. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold, at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

When the cheesecake is cold and very firm, scoop the cheesecake into 2-ounce balls and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Carefully insert a lollipop stick into each cheesecake ball. Freeze the cheesecake pops, uncovered, until very hard, at least 1 – 2 hours.

When the cheesecake pops are frozen and ready for dipping, prepare the chocolate. In the top of a double boiler, set over simmering water, or in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, heat half the chocolate and half the shortening, stirring often, until chocolate is melted and chocolate and shortening are combined. Stir until completely smooth. Do not heat the chocolate too much or your chocolate will lose it’s shine after it has dried. Save the rest of the chocolate and shortening for later dipping, or use another type of chocolate for variety.

Alternately, you can microwave the same amount of chocolate coating pieces on high at 30 second intervals, stirring until smooth.

Quickly dip a frozen cheesecake pop in the melted chocolate, swirling quickly to coat it completely. Shake off any excess into the melted chocolate. If you like, you can now roll the pops quickly in optional decorations. You can also drizzle them with a contrasting color of melted chocolate (dark chocolate drizzled over milk chocolate or white chocolate over dark chocolate, etc.) Place the pop on a clean parchment paper-lined baking sheet to set. Repeat with remaining pops, melting more chocolate and shortening (or confectionary chocolate pieces) as needed.

Refrigerate the pops for up to 24 hours, until ready to serve.


Dolores said...

Crazy good... that phrase sums up the April challenge perfectly!

seamaiden said...

Hi! Thanks for coming by my pops! haha. They were tasty treats, for sure. Thanks for sharing the link!

I think cutting mine out into shapes helped keep them whole and solid- less stress than if I'd spooned out balls of the stuff. :)


Sandie said...

The cheesecake was really good, with or without the coating :) I had to let mine cook for over an hour to get firm in the center, I think that helped keep them together.

Keeley said...

Oh my good gravy, these sound AMAZING.

Ritsumei said...

They are. And the cheesecake itself is also very (dangerously) easy. And if you got the pops good and frozen before you tried dipping them (I was in a hurry) then I'll bet it'd be a great project for you & your helpers to attack. Just have someone lined up to give some of them to. These things will not be appearing on any "lite" menus. Ever.

dailydelicious said...

Hi, many people late for this challenge, include me.
But I think the key is we happy with the result (esp. when eating it).

chou said...

I'm still puzzling over the runny center--I cook cheesecake regularly for ~45 minute (although NOT in a water bath) and have lovely results. The addition of flour should have made up for the small bit of cream, yet goop was the fun result. Glad you found someone to eat yours!


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