Sunday, April 27, 2008

Daring Bakers: Cheesecake Pops

I am so excited to be part of the April class of Daring Bakers. My first challenge was a mixture of old and new. I've made cheesecakes before, but it's been a while. I have a smashing lemon cheesecake recipe that was a hit during '06-'07, but I made it so often that I tired of it and stopped. I haven't made it in over a year, so my cheesecake skills are a little rusty. On the "new" side, I don't have a lot of experience with chocolate, so working with tempered chocolate is good practice for me.

Like Sharon's recent project, I made a mistake that proved to be quite fortuitous. Before I elaborate, here's the original recipe:

Cheesecake Pops (from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O'Connor)

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 (can use various mixtures of dark, milk, white or use confectionary coatings), finely chopped

2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

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 (low speed on a mixer) together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and salt until smooth. Add the whole eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and cream. Keep the speed low.

Grease a 10-inch cake pan, and pour the batter into it. 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 the chocolate and shortening, stirring often, until completely smooth. 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. Roll the pops quickly in decorations, if using. 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.

What did I do wrong? I lost my patience and accidentally overbaked. Note that the baking time is supposed to take 35-40 minutes. From a lot of reports from other DBs who had finished the challenge, the baking was taking much longer. I baked it for 45 minutes, only to find a creamy soup. I left it for another 30 minutes to find it firming, but still very loose. I glared at it, then set the timer for 30 more minutes and went to take a shower.

Yes, I know that's a mistake.

However, it did work out in my favor as the overbaking resulted in a firm consistency that required almost no refrigeration before scooping. It also didn't seem to affect the final product, as the cake was still quite creamy. So, I started scooping, put it in the fridge for 15 minutes after I reached the middle of the cake, and was able to freeze the pops right away.

The rules required that we follow the cheesecake recipe (exemption for allergies and dietary restrictions), but we could use whatever dip/decoration we wanted. As previously mentioned, I have a weakness for Cheesecake Factory's Adam's Peanut Butter Fudge Ripple. To recreate the flavors, I mixed peanut butter into the melted chocolate and dipped the pop in crushed Butterfingers.

Mixing the peanut butter was a bit of a gamble as I wasn't sure whether the chocolate would still harden into shells. I started with a half portion of the dip. Using my kitchen scale, I weighed out 5 oz. dark chocolate, then brought it up to 8 oz. with peanut butter. Add 1 tbsp. of shortening and melt the whole mixture in a bowl placed over a pot of simmering water. Luckily, it turned out beautifully.

The other change I made was the sticks. Instead of using lollipop sticks, I decided to use Pocky sticks. They're edible and fun. Hehe.

Two downsides: chocolate melting on the fingers and the sticks not being too strong. I have a lot of shortened sticks.

The sticks taste a lot like the Adam's Peanut Butter Fudge Ripple and are really rich and decadent. I loved them and they'll make a great party treat. Right now, however, I need help with the 50+ pops. Anyone want some?

37 bites:

Unknown said...

I'd like one, please. :) These look delicious, and I think that's about how much time I ended up baking my cheesecake too, and it was deliberate!

Bumblebutton said...

Your flavor combo, and the pocky sticks, were inspired!! Gosh it sounds so delicious!!

Anonymous said...

The edible stick idea was great! Nothing to throw away, and more yum!

Anonymous said...

GREAT idea with the pocky sticks - love it!

Kim in the Kitchen said...

I was lucky enough to have one and they were delicious! Can you believe Brett likes them too?! He said they were a little chocolatey for him, but not so much that he wouldn't eat it :) Great job!

Kristen said...

Htey look so dleish, I love the pocky in place of lollipop sticks. The peanut butter and chocolate combo sounds amazing, please send me one in the mail..:)

Sharon said...

Yes I would like one! The pocky sticks are an ingenious idea. It's amazing you had to bake them that much longer than the original recipe, but seems like it was meant to be. Your pics look great. Thanks for the link too :)

Meandering Eats said...

Everyone, thanks for dropping by!

Jenny- Can you believe the recipe was so far off? Is it a lack of recipe testing? Location? Equipment? Just a typo? I wonder the author had 35-40 minutes.

Bumblebutton- Thanks! Yours are gorgeous, too! Great pic at the beginning of your post.

PCs- I was thinking eco-friendly, b/c I didn't want to buy the sticks just for this project and throw them away.

Chez US- Thanks!

Kim- Tell Brett that I'm honored to hear that he likes the pops. ;) Did the peanut butter/Butterfinger outweigh the chocolate?

Kristen- Hehe! I'd mail you one, but with the weather here, they're barely staying cohesive on my countertop. The Pocky sticks' coating was melting at the mere touch of my hands.

Sharon- We missed you at the mixer! Hopefully we'll have a chance to meet up soon! Yes, the recipe was so off that I suspect a typo.

Big Boys Oven said...

I like the way you use those eadible sticks! amazing!

Deborah said...

Oh my goodness - your version sounds absolutely delicious! Wonderful job on this challenge!

Lunch Buckets said...

Those look lovely! Welcome to the group :)

T’s Treats said...

Fantastic!! I love your sticks. they look great!! My gosh..actually they sound amazing lol

Anonymous said...

biscuits as lollipops sticks :) it's so great !!!!!!! what a good idea !!!!!
well done ;)

Meandering Eats said...

Wow, more comments! Thank you!

BBO- Thank you! And kudos to the lovely cakes on your blog!

Deborah- Thank you for hosting the challenge! It was a lot of fun!

LB- Thanks! Glad to be a part of it.

SD- Thanks! I love Pocky sticks.

Marion- Thank you! I appreciate it!

Neko- Indeed! Thank you! :)

Alice Q. Foodie said...

ooooh I bet those were great. Nice idea to use the Pocky sticks too!

Aurelia said...

Fantastic idea! very creative and looks extremely delicious!

Mrsdebbieb1023 said...

Can't wait to try these-with the crushed Butterfingers...sound even better!!

Joannie said...

Got this pinned to me. I can't wait to try them.

bighair said...

Where do I find the edible six.

Marie said...

If there's an Asian grocery store where you live, that's your best bet. Otherwise, some of the major American grocery chains might carry them or you can order them online.

Granny Enchanted said...

I highlighted your recipe on my blog today. Thank you.

Jim Schimdt said...

They look so tasty! Adding this to the list of recipes and my pinboard on

Cynthia Boehler-Walsh said...

why not use a firm pretzel stick?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone tried this recipie in a cake pop machine?

Cherise Richardson said...

meeeeeee meeeee mmeeeee! i want sommeee!

Cecilia said...

Delicioso y decorativo pero paso porque estoy a dieta sin azĂșcar ni grasas buaaaaa!

Adrienne Harvill Stanley said...

My local Super Walmart carries them.

Marie said...

For those of you who are visiting this post via Pinterest... thank you for stopping by! Please keep in mind that this post is four years old and the blog was quite different back then. I will continue to approve comments here, but if you have any specific questions, please email me. An update for the pops is coming soon!

Marie said...

Why not? You can use whatever you think will taste good with cheesecake. I chose Pocky sticks because I like them. I've also done this with inedible lollipop sticks.

Leonn Fuhrmann said...

uuh, such a wonderful and creative idea, beautiful snack!

B larsen said...

I made these today but i dipped them in cherry sauce and then chocolat then grahnm crackers.

Donna Forest said...

Just an awesome dessert......looking forward to making it with my grandaughter and will post outcome...Happy Turkey Day froom Mass.

Marie said...

Thank you, Donna! Happy Turkey Day to you, too! Looking forward to your update.

Marianne said...

looks very tasty, I will try

Kate Pop said...

I'm a little late to the party on this one, but they look HEAVENLY! Hat tip at my blog :)

Heavenly and Healthy said...

Oh my gosh.................loosen one notch on my belt loop right now 'cause I just found my new fave!! THANK YOU!!

MrSweetSurprise said...

Marie what is your email?

37 bites