Sunday, April 27, 2008

Cheesecake POPS!!

The Daring Bakers Challenge for April was Cheesecake Pops from the cookbook Sticky, Gooey, Messy, Chewy By Jill O'Connor, picked with care by our hosts, Elle from Feeding My Enthusiasm and Deborah – Taste and Tell. This is something I never would have thought of, but now I am a believer! They are just the right size!
The cheesecake itself was easy to make, made even easier by my brand spankin' new Kitchenaid Commercial 475 mixer! Yay! I never thought I needed one because my trusty Cuisianart 7 speed hand mixer has plowed through whatever I have asked of it. But the Kitchenaid was such a great deal, with an extra $35 off at Costco, that Mark talked me into it. So nice to not have to stop the mixer to add something.
Anyway, The cake was easy, but took much longer to bake, partly because I used a 9" springform because I didn't have a 10" pan and it is my deepest pan. Also, reading other posts prepared me for a longer bake. I baked for almost 1 1/2 hours, then cooled and refrigerated overnight. Rolling the balls was kinda messy. We all had fun with the balls- reminiscent of this great SNL skit. Mmmm, balls. Fun and games. And yes, my balls are mis-shapen. I ended up using an ice cream scoop and kinda shaping them. I guess I'll buy a smaller cookie scoop, since I'm sure I'd use it anyway. At the end I just cut some in random shapes, which worked real well, and sent them to the freezer to firm.

I used Mercken's milk chocolate wafers to coat some, and while I was at the cake store, I bought some Mercken's butterscotch, which I had never used before. I wasn't going to use them for this recipe, but Mark and Lacey are big bscotch fans so I decided to make a few butterscotch ones. Mark liked the butterscotch better, so I ended up making 1/2 of each flavor. (Note-blogger doesn't like that picture!!!)
The dipping went pretty well, but on the end of my first chocolate batch the chocolate started seizing, so maybe it was too hot, or maybe the cheesecake started to melt a little. I was working by the stove under the halogen lights, so for the rest of the batches I microwaved the chocolate or butterscotch and kept the balls in the freezer until I need more. After that adjustment, coating worked fine.
Mine are certainly not the prettiest- due entirely to my inpatience about anything- but they are really quite tasty!

Cheesecake Pops
Makes 30 – 40 Pops
5 8-oz. packages cream cheese at room
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.
Refrigerate the pops for up to 24 hours, until ready to serve.
By the way, if you haven't checked out the Daring Bakers, founded by Ivonne and Lis, visit our website for more info!


Christine said...

I love my kitchenaid! Your pops look great and I love the shapes!

Jerry said...

I love the reference to the SNL skit! Great job!

marye said...

great job!

Susan said...

Very nice, I think the butterscotch would taste great with the cheesecake (not that I didn't like the chocolate)!

Robyn said...

Butterscotch sounds like it would taste great!

Half Baked said...

congrats on the new kitchen-aid! couldn't live without mine. Great job on the challenge! mmm butterscotch.

kimberleyblue said...

My Kitchenaid mixer is the best kitchen thing I ever bought. Welcome to the club!

Your pops look great - delicious!

Dagmar - A Cat in the Kitchen said...

Well done and congrats on your kitchenaid!

Jenny said...

Yay, new Kitchenaid! I love the little square candies that help to balance out the round pops.

Fran Z said...

Christine, Thanks! Glad I made that purchase!
Jerry, Thanks, that skit is so funny!
Marye, Thank you!
Susan and Robyn, I wasnt sure how the bscotch would taste with the ccake, but we liked it better than the chocolate!
Half Baked, Thanks!
Kimberleyblue, Thanks, glad to be a member! ; )
Dagmar, Thanks!
Jenny, The square ones looked so much neater in the end!

Dana McCauley said...

Hey - we have the exact same mixer - model, colour, everything! The only dif is that I've lost the hub cover where additional attachments go.

YOu are going to love this machine. Mine is a total work horse that no hand mixer could ever challenge.

Nice work on the lollies, BTW.

Erika said...

I think your pops look great, and let's be honest, mine ended up be eaten so quick, the appearance barely mattered!

Deborah said...

The butterscotch sounds delicious! Great job on this month's challenge!

Anonymous said...

Oooo, butterschotch! Great thinking! And I am so envious of your professional kitchen aid. Such a fun toy!

L Vanel said...

Your photo above is excellent! I bet they were all delicious!

Big Boys Oven said...

such a great effort, well done!

Heather said...

Great job! They look wonderful!

Fran Z said...

Dana- I love my KA!Thanks!
Erika- Thanks! Yep- they are going fast.
Deborah- we loved the bscotch- definitely would go that route again. THank you!
dobetter- Thanks, It IS fun!

L- Thanks- gotta get a camera!
BBOven- Thank you!
Heather- Thanks for stopping by!

Lunch Buckets said...

I finally broke down tonight and ordered a new paddle. I've been using the whisk for everything for nearly 6 years! I just new this one would break down and I'd need to buy a new one. Of course it probably will break tomorrow!

L Vanel said...

Great looking pops!