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Daring Bakers Challenge: Cheesecake Pops

Cheesecake, Chocolate and Graham Crackers…oh my!

The day is finally here! I couldn’t wait to post this recipe, and I almost posted at midnight last night, but I was just SO tired from spending the entire last two days with my mom and little sister in Chicago. Don’t get me wrong…it was a blast, since we saw Les Miserables and Wicked (hence the “oh my!” above)… but I’m worn out.

Now, to the challenge. I really enjoyed this one because I like cheesecake, and I love chocolate. The main attraction to this for me, though, is that it was something different than your usual pie, cake or bread. Something a little more fun.

I waited to make the pops until the day we had a 30th birthday party to go to for a friend at church. I brought more than half of the pops to the party, then served the rest to our company we had over after church the next day. They were a big hit for both occasions.

What is funny about the serving amount is that I halved the recipe, but I still ended up with quite a few! The original recipe makes 30-40 pops, and when halved, it made around 30. I didn’t get the exact count. Strange, though, right?

Many people had to bake their cheesecake for double the amount of time the recipe states. I baked mine for about 35 minutes.

The recipe also gives suggestions for dipping your chocolate covered pops in assorted decorations. I didn’t use any of the suggestions, because I thought these pops could use a “crust” as in normal cheesecakes. So, I dipped them in crushed graham crackers which worked out very well! The only problem with this choice, though, is I would suggest waiting to dip them in the chocolate and graham crackers until just before serving them. The chocolate dries fast enough, so that shouldn’t be a problem. The issue would be if you dipped them ahead of time, you need to keep them refrigerated, but I think the graham crackers would become soggy in the fridge.

I hope you give these cheesecake pops a try. There are so many variations you can make with them! Have fun!

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

The ingredients:

5 8-oz. pkgs cream cheese at room temp
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy cream
Boiling water as needed
30-40 8-inch lollipop sticks
1 lb chocolate, finely chopped – you can use all one kind or half and half of dark, milk, or white (Alternately, you can use 1 lb of favlored coatings, also known as summer coating or wafer chocolate – candy supply stores carry colors, as well as the three kinds of chocolate) I used Baker’s chocolate squares.
2 tbsp vegetable shortening
Assorted decorations such as chopped nuts, colored jimmies, crushed peppermints, mini chocolate chips, sanding sugars, dragees – optional

The Directions: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. (I just did it by hand.)

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 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. (Many people baked twice as long.)

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-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 (I skipped the shortening and it worked fine), 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 into your decorations (crushed graham crackers above). Place the pop on a clean parchment paper-lined baking sheet to set. Repeat with remaining pops, melting more chocolate as needed.

Thanks to Elle from Feeding my Enthusiasm and Deborah from Taste and Tell for picking such a fun recipe!! Check out other Daring Bakers’ variations at the Daring Bakers Blogroll.


12 Responses

  1. Yum with the graham crackers!

  2. I did graham crackers on some of mine, as well, and they were delicious! Great job on this challenge!

  3. Great idea to dip them in the graham cracker crumbs after the chocolate…true cheesecake taste that way. Your pops are so cute! Glad you liked them, too 🙂

  4. You know what? I made a full recipe divided into 2 pans, but only made pops out of half. I think I ended up with something like 487 pops. Crazy!

  5. Nice touch with the graham crackers. I like that and might try it next time.

  6. You did a great job with the pops. I love the touch of graham crackers for a real cheesecake touch.

    Natalie @ Gluten a Go Go

  7. Les Mis is my favorite play! Your pops look deelish with the graham crackers! Awesome job!

  8. those look great and I know taste wonderful (i ate enough!)wish I had done the graham cracker thing

  9. Wow, what a thorough job on your pictures and your pops look like they turned out terrific!

  10. i thought about doing the graham crackers too, but ran out of time! they look great! i think you still got 30 or so b/c yours look much smaller than 2 ounces each – they were larger than a golf ball when i weighed them out!

  11. They look fantastic! Job well done.

  12. I made the full recipe and yielded over 70, so your count sounds about right to me. Glad your guests enjoyed them. I went purist with the graham cracker coating too.

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