DB#4 real: The incredible shrinking pOp!
I’m late! I’m late… for a very important date!
Apologies to my fellow daring bakers for my cheesecake pop tardiness. But hopefully I have a good enough reason so you all will forgive me and partake in commenting about my pops nonetheless! teehee.
Saturday was my FSIL’s bridal shower 7 days after the DB deadline and being the attentive bridesmaid, I wanted to do something special and I thought these bite size mini dairy-desserts would be uber cute for the occasion. I figure its better for my waistline to serve them to friends and family than gorging on 30-40 cheesecake pops myself! Trust me. I could do it too.
Now I know some DBers aren’t cheesecake fans but me…? I *adore* cheesecake the vanilla bean cheesecake from TGIF is to die for! and making them portable is just genius. You can do make it for any occasion by changing up the decor – drizzled dark and white chocolate for klassy occasions, multicolor sprinkles for fun occasions etc etc.
The advantage of posting late is seeing many different DBers get creative and stealing imitating their ideas to create my own pops. I love the contrast of the dark chocolate with the white chocolate. Eventually my admiration of different shapes besides the namesake “pop” and the “wedding” aspect of the event inspired me with creating mine.
Recipe taken from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor
makes 30–40 pops
5-8oz pkgs cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
5 large eggs
2 egg yolks
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy cream
boiling water as needed
30-40- 8 inch lollipop sticks (I used skewers instead)
1 lb chocolate, finely chopped
2 tbsp vegetable shortening
assorted decorations: chopped nuts, colored jimmies, crushed peppermints, mini chocolate chips, sanding sugars, dragees (optional) (I used various sprinkles and crushed graham crackers)
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.
[NOTES: I baked mine for about 55 minutes in a 9×13 cake pan so it would have the right depth to accommodate using cookie cutters. ]
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.
[NOTES: Since my good friend and fellow DBer, Nina, is a good little baker and made her pops on time, she recommended that I freeze the cheesecake overnight so it would be firm enough to shape into pops for the next step and it worked fabulous! It was still sticky but I think it was much easier than if had I refrigerated for only 3 hours.]
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.
[NOTES: I halved the recipe and used a heart and square cookie cutter to create different shapes and made 1oz balls instead of 2oz balls to still get about 40 pops. Since I used skewers I inserted the non-pointy end into the cheesecake which made it easier for me after dipping in chocolate to stick the pointy end into the styrofoam and let it hardened standing upright. Before I served the pops I snipped off the pointy end with heavy duty scissors.]
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.
[NOTES: I used the microwave method. This might be a “duh?!” moment but I figured I’d share anyways. I had a heck of a time dipping the chocolate in a bowl and I realized after a couple cheesecake dipping fatalities; to cover the cheesecake pop completely in chocolate with one fluid “dip” motion, I needed more depth so I put the chocolate in a cup and it worked SO much better!]
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 confectionery chocolate pieces) as needed.
Refrigerate the pops for up to 24 hours, until ready to serve.
[NOTES: I didn’t have the cutesy cellophane bags to wrap the pops in so I improvised with ziplock bags. I cut the “zip” top off and cut the bag in 1/2 to wrap 2 pops. Then I secured the bags with various colorful ribbon.]
More decoration ideas:
I like personalized anything so I used a Wilton 1 round tip to write their wedding date, initials and draw a “groom” tux on some of the cheesecake heart pops. I am bummed I ran out of white chocolate b/c I would have made some “bride” ones too. Poo.
Husband rating: A
He’s not a big cheesecake fan but he thought they were really good. I think he was more surprised that I made them by myself than anything!
Wifey rating: A+
I love cheesecake and this is a yummy recipe. I think they turned out amazing but are very time consuming so I wouldn’t make this all the time. But I would definitely make this again for an event or special occasion.
Other rating: A+
These were such a HUGE hit at the bridal shower. All the guests were so surprised that they were homemade and not done by a professional or bakery. Only one guest ate one (everyone else said they were too cute to eat. haha) and she said it was sinfully yummy! But at the end of the shower, everyone wanted to take one (or more) home as a favor b/c they wanted to show their family and friends.
Congratulations A & W!
The wedding will be here before you know it!
Entry filed under: Daring Bakers.