Friday, May 02, 2008

April Daring Bakers Challenge - Cheesecake Pops

This month's challenge was hosted Elle from Feeding My Enthusiasms and Deborah from Taste and Tell. The recipe comes from the book Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey: Desserts for the Serious Sweet Tooth by Jill O'Conner. I'm a little late posting for this challenge. I waited until the last week of the month and then things got busy. I finally finished it and I thought they turned out pretty good. Once again, I lay no claim to being a good decorator (or photographer) but I did my best.

I really like the cheesecake recipe that was used to make these pops. I think I will use it again next time I make a cheesecake. The flavor was good and it was relatively easy. I did make the mistake of only cooling the cheesecake to room temperature before trying to form them into balls and rectangles. It was pretty much impossible which explains the unique shapes of my pops. If I were to make these again, I would definitely chill the cheesecake in the fridge overnight before trying to mold the shapes.

Once I sort of got some molded shapes, I stuck cut up wood skewers (I was too lazy to drive to Provo to buy sucker sticks) in them and laid them on a cookies sheet and put them in the freezer. Once they were frozen solid, I dipped them in milk chocolate and topped some with graham cracker crumbs (what's cheesecake without graham crackers?), some with sprinkles and some I just drizzled with white chocolate.

My husband and I each tried one and thought they were pretty darn tasty. I think these would be fun for a cute baby or wedding shower if you are good at decorating and could make them look a lot cuter than mine. :) I'll post the recipe below the next picture if anyone wants to give them a try. Don't forget to check the Daring Baker's Blogroll to see how everyone else's Cheesecake Pops turned out.

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 yolks2 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.Refrigerate the pops for up to 24 hours, until ready to serve.
(I also forgot to add that I halved this recipe and it worked wonderfully. I knew there was no way Matt and I would eat 30-40 Cheesecake Pops. Yikes! We still won't eat them all but I won't feel so guilty throwing away half as many.)


Angie Penrose said...

Wow STeff! Those look yummy. Another recipe I'm going to have to try. :)

Thomas Family said...

I was wondering when you were going to post your challenge of the month. I was checking out the pickypalate's blog entry on this. They look like fun. Maybe a cute centerpiece for Relief Society enrichment. It doubles as a decoration and dessert. Thanks for sharing.

Merri said...

Woah those look awesome!!!

Nat said...

Very very impressive steff! Matt was wrong when he said you couldn't cook! J/K :) Really though, those look so good. Where do you find the time?

Mike and Adrianne said...

These look so good! You are awesome about joining the Daring Bakers club. I just enjoy checking out all the food blogs and drooling but I'm not brave enough to actually try most of the recipes.

Shawn and Lily said...

Oohh, those are way cute! Looks yummt!

Mardi & Jeremey said...

Those are so cute! I may have to try these! Those Oreo cheesecake balls you gave us were really good.

Tricia said...

Those look awesome. Wish I could have sampled and added my two cents :) You are so good. I am very impressed.

Brian and Elizabeth Shelley said...

HOLY COW STEFF!!! You can make these for me anytime! :)

Shane & Michelle said...

I'm impressed. They look like chocolates out of See's Candy or some other fancy chocolate store. I bet they taste just as good or better! Nice!!

Tyler said...

MMMMMMMMMMMM....chocolate and cheesecake!! One of the many easy ways to a mans heart! I'm not to sure about the cute thing, buy they sure look good!! (HINT TO NAT....MAKE THESE FOR FATHERS DAY!!)

Tammy said...

when do we get a taste test of these!! Yummy! They look sooo good. Too bad I probably will never get around to making it. Dang! We need to have ya'll over for dessert night.

kat said...

I love the ones with the polka dots!

Cammi said...

YUMMERS! I can't wait to try these. we should get together and bake :)