Daring Bakers/April – Cheesecake Pops

by Jessica on April 27, 2008

You are looking at one of the newest Daring Bakers!! 🙂 I debated long and hard about joining this group… ‘Could I keep up with all the challenges??’ ‘Would I be daring enough to try (possibly scary) new recipes and techniques??’ ‘Was I even in the same league as these marvelous bakers??’ The answers never came, but I thought what the heck… go for it!! Be daring, hornedfroggy. You can do it!! Challenge yourself and try new things!! I’ve lived my “grown-up” life by telling myself never to pass up a ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’, and I haven’t yet… my stint at Disney World, a job at NY1 News during a political convention, dinner with Nolan & Ruth Ryan, a ski trip with famous musicians and an internship with an MLB baseball team. To me, Daring Bakers is one of these opportunities.

So… without further adieu, I give you the DB recipe for April 2008 (hosted by Deborah from Taste and Tell & Elle of Feeding My Enthusiams):

Cheesecake Pops
Source: Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor
Makes 30 – 40 Pops

5 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
2 c sugar
1/4 c
all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp
salt
5 large eggs
2 egg yolks
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 c heavy cream
Boiling water, as needed
30-40 (8″) lollipop sticks
1 lb chocolate, finely chopped – you can use all one kind or half & 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 tbsp vegetable shortening*
Assorted decorations such as chopped nuts, colored jimmies, crushed peppermints, mini chocolate chips, sanding sugars, dragees) – Optional

Making the cheesecake:
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″ 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 (Mine took a little over an hour).

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.

Making the pops:
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.

*Note: White chocolate is harder to use this way, but not impossible.

Anyone for a Cheesecake pop?

Being that this was my first challenge and my very first cheesecake, you could say I was a bit nervous. 🙂 After all was said and done though, I was pleased with how they turned out.

Since my dad loves trains (and has a get-together with his train buddies every month), I decided to make some locomotive pops along with the hearts. Needless to say, they were a big hit and the boys loved them.

The locomotive is a bit hard to make out… but if you look close enough, you can make out the smokestack, compartment and little wheels. I promise!! 🙂

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Robin April 27, 2008 at 10:39 am

Beautiful! I love the shapes 🙂

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2 Aggiesgirl (Amy) April 27, 2008 at 10:48 am

Look how cute these are!!! Oh my goodness – ADORABLE! And what a clever presentation!! 🙂

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3 Chelle April 27, 2008 at 4:06 pm

These look AWESOME! You cut them out perfectly and they just look amazing! Great job!

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4 Jennyfer April 27, 2008 at 6:47 pm

Good job!!! Love the way you did them.

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5 Christine April 27, 2008 at 7:45 pm

Congrats on your first challenge! Your pops are adorable and I love the presentation!

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6 Candace April 27, 2008 at 7:49 pm

Love your little hearts! Nice first challenge!

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7 Erika April 27, 2008 at 7:55 pm

I love your hearts! They are so perfectly coated with the decorations! And your trains are cute too, my son would love them!

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8 Mrs Ergül April 27, 2008 at 7:58 pm

You’ve made a good job cutting out the shapes, didn’t you?! Nice pinky pops! This was my first challenge too 🙂

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9 Tanya April 27, 2008 at 8:26 pm

Oh, these are so cute! I love the heart shapes. These would be so perfect for Valentine’s Day. Great job!

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10 HoneyB April 27, 2008 at 8:30 pm

Great job! Congrats on your first post as a Daring Baker!

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11 Lisa April 27, 2008 at 10:44 pm

Ack – the cuteness! It’s killing me!

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12 Marq April 27, 2008 at 10:54 pm

I just love the heart shape! These are very cute! Welcome to Daring Bakers!

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13 Karen April 28, 2008 at 1:40 am

Sensational! Those hearts, oh my goodness! I can’t believe you were able to get your cheesecake into that shape. Welcome to the DB’s! Wonderful first challenge!

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14 Amber April 28, 2008 at 7:43 am

How adorable! I love the hearts and the trains. Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

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15 Ally April 28, 2008 at 8:41 am

Your pops turned out fantastic! I love the hearts, they’d be great for valentines!

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16 Sheltie Girl April 28, 2008 at 9:19 am

You did a wonderful job on your first challenge. Welcome to the Daring Bakers.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

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17 Deborah April 29, 2008 at 11:46 am

I love, love, love the heart ones, but the locomotive ones are so creative! Great job on your first DB challenge!

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18 JennyBakes April 30, 2008 at 12:06 pm

I really like the hearts – clean and elegant!

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19 Bumblebutton May 1, 2008 at 3:31 pm

How cute are your shapes! Don’t know how you did it, but they are darling! Great job on your first challenge…and congratulations on your decorating class. I took one when I was in fifth grade–everyone else was “OLD,” but I bet I’m WAY older than they were at the time.

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