Sunday, April 27, 2008

Daring Bakers-Cheesecake Pops

I am soo excited! This is my first post as a Daring Baker and it was so fun to do this challenge. Thanks to Elle over at Feeding My Enthusiasms and Deborah of Taste and Tell, for choosing Cheesecake Pops from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O'Conner.

I have made cheesecake before, so I wasn't really intimidated by the water bath or the cheesecake.

It did take a 10-20 minutes longer than the recipe stated to get the cheesecake firm and slightly browned on top.

I used a variety of dippers- milk, dark, and white chocolate, candy coating and all kinds of sprinkles for dipping, as well as toffee bits, chopped pecans, chopped Andes mints, and graham cracker crumbs. I guess you could say I went for it all!

At first I was confused as to why this recipe was included in a cookbook with such a title, but when I started to dip the batter out, it all became clear. These were indeed Sticky, Messy, and Gooey.

I made 120 of these because after I scooped the batter for the pops out of the top of the pan of cheesecake, there was so much batter left that I decided to put it in a bowl, stir it up, and pipe it into little balls, so that none of it would go to waste.

Luckily, I had two events that I needed to make refreshments for, so we didn't end up eating all of them!

Cheesecake Pops

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. 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.


chriesi said...

Nice job!

Pixie said...

You did a wonderful job, well done!

The Irreverent Cook said...

Welcome to the daring bakers! Looks like a whole lot of fun, with so many dippers! =D

Sarah said...

Welcome to the group! :) And great job on your first have so many varieties...very impressive!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Wow! These look just terrific! Great job - and 120? Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

Mary said...

Yours look so pretty! Terrific job on your first challenge!

Half Baked said...

Welcome to the Daring Bakers! Nice job on the first challenge! I like all the different ways you decorated your pops!

Bumblebutton said...

Bet the recipients were thrilled! Nice job!

Christine said...

Congrats on your first DB challenge! You did an awesome job!

maybelles mom said...

cute. I particularly love the green ones.

Katie B. said...

Wonderful first challenge!! I love all your pop variety!

Lunch Buckets said...

Beautiful, I love the little ribbons :)

Gigi said...

beautiful pops! i love all the ribbons and the sprinkles you used.

April said...

Great job on your first DB challenge!! Your pops look really cute!

Jerry said...

Congrats on completing your first challenge! Good Luck on the next one!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Congratulations on your first challenge! You did a super job. I love all the variations you came up with. So cute!

Deborah said...

Your pops look so great! And I'm glad you found something to do with all 120 of them - I probably would have ended up eating too many and then having to spend a lot of extra time at thy gym!!

Barbara said...

Your pops turned out great!

Jenny said...

The ribbons really make these over the top, and your pops look great!

Dolores said...

A belated welcome and congratulations on your first daring baker challenge... what a fun one with which to start!