Recipe from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor
These little babies won me first place in a charity baking contest yesterday. I was happy and quite frankly surprised to have won. I was surprised because these cheesecake pops almost didn't make it out of my house. I was plagued with problems all through the baking process - time being my biggest problem. There is a lot of refrigeration/freezer time involved and I was impatient. In my rush, I dropped several of the pops on the floor, others were too soft to work with and the chocolate wouldn't melt properly to coat them.
At one point I wanted to give up completely and sit this contest out. Then I received some wise advice from an even wiser friend. I believe his words were... "Are you freakin' kidding me?!? If they are too soft to stand up right, just serve them upside down. No one will care as long as they taste good, Dumbass."
Have I told you he's a motivational speaker? Enjoy!
makes 30-35 pops
5 8-oz 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 tsps pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup heavy cream
boiling water as needed
30-35 8-inch lollipop sticks
1 lb chocolate, finely chopped
2 tbsp vegetable shortening
assorted decorations: chopped nuts, colored jimmies, crushed peppermints, mini chocolate chips, sanding sugars, dragees (optional)
1. 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, 40 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 3 hours.
2. 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.
3.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.
4. Refrigerate the pops for up to 24 hours, until ready to serve.