Greetings! It's time for yet another Daring Bakers Challenge! This month we've got the yummy and super-delicious Cheesecake Pops!! Deb from Taste and Tell and Elle from Feeding My Enthusiasms were the lovely hostesses for this month, and God bless them, they picked such a mouth-watering choice, perfect for my mom & sister's Breast Cancer 3-Day bake sale.
These turned out so well, I loved how much freedom we were given as far as decorating and stuff goes. So much fun!! Here's the recipe:
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
Instructions: 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.
My thoughts: The cheesecake recipe is AMAZING! So smooth and delicious, I fully plan on using it in the future for whenever I need to make a cheesecake (I'll probably halve the recipe, as this makes a lot of batter). However, I doubt I'll make the pops themselves again, because it's just too much of a pain the ass to roll them and dip them. I had to freeze the cheesecake, then roll the balls, after that I had to re-freeze the balls in order to get them hard enough to dip. I also went through 2 packages of white chocolate, and three packages of semi-sweet chocolate in order to coat all 46 of the pops that I had. Maybe if I had chosen to use the wafer chocolate or something, I don't know, maybe it would have streched a bit further. Oh well, they still turned out really well, very nice presentation and they sold really well at the bake sale. This recipe didn't take me nearly as long as I had expected (this IS a Daring Bakers Challenge, of course), but they certainly tasted like they took a long time!