The end of another month has arrived and, if you’re a regular reader of food blogs, you’ve probably already noticed the flood of cheesecake pops at every turn. You know what that means… it’s Daring Baker time again!
This month’s Daring Baker Challenge – Cheesecake Pops – was chosen by our lovely co-hosts, Elle at Feeding My Enthusiasms and Deborah at Taste and Tell. These are girls after my own heart… I was drooling with anticipation!
For as excited as I was about this challenge (and I was VERY excited, since I’ve been meaning to make cheesecake pops for a while now)… I certainly did my fair share of procrastinating. The five (yes, five!) blocks of cream cheese sat in our fridge for weeks. And then, last weekend, I finally took the plunge. I made the cheesecake… and then… I ran out of time again and it sat in the fridge for another week.
Now, this presented a bit of a problem. Cheesecake in our fridge just cannot go untouched for a full week. Not possible. Nope… so spoonfulls kept disappearing (did you know that cheesecake is perfect for self-medicating after a bad day at work?)… and, by the time the weekend rolled around again, there was only half a cheesecake left. (What can I say? It was a particularly rough week for both of us.)
The procrastination trend continued and yesterday got away from me, too. So, here it is the afternoon evening of reveal day, and I’ve just finished dipping my little orbs of cheesecake into chocolate. Nothing like waiting until the very last minute! Whew! Someone remind me never to push it this far again.
Luckily, this recipe made a big cheesecake. So, even with half of it gone, we still came away with more pops than any two people need access to. I’m going to have some happy co-workers tomorrow!
I initially had big plans of dipping my finished pops into all manner of things… graham crackers, jimmies, caramel, nuts, etc… but – in the eleventh hour – and after trying to roll cheesecake into balls and ending up with cheesecake all over me… and a good part of my kitchen (there are worse things in life) – I opted to go with something simple… Taza shaved chocolate. There’s just no such thing as too much chocolate!
This recipe makes a wonderful, thick cheesecake. And, as was the experience of many of the other DB’ers, mine took longer than the recommended 35-45 minutes… about 20 minutes longer, as a matter of fact. No matter, though, this one’s worth every extra minute.
My husband agrees! I’ll definitely be making this again – both in pop form and in a more classic form (I’m already thinking about how great it would be with a chocolate crust). To see how the other DB’ers felt about cheesecake in the form of lollipops, check out the Daring Baker Blogroll.
(from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor)
5 8-oz. packages cream cheese at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 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
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.
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.
(Makes 30 – 40 Pops)