Sunday, April 27, 2008

April Challenge: CheeseCake Popsapalooza!!

This months Challenge comes to us DBer's from Elle of Feeding my Enthusiasms and Deborah of Taste and Tell ,They Gave us CheeseCake Pops. How fun are these??
Of course, I was perplexed. With such an open use of creativity I had no idea what way to go with them. So many ideas were running through my head. What could I coat them in, what could I stuff them with. My gosh the things a person could do with this challenge. Well again, what do I do. Of course it took me most of the month to decide what to do, leaving me with really only 1 day to do it all in. I came home from work, and started the batch at 9pm. Figuring the next day I could scoop and roll.. freeze and then dip. I knew the Hubby wasn't going to eat them (again picky ass he is..) So to work they would go. And I thought, man 1 batch will not be enough for work, and the hell I will get from the people whom didn't get any. So the next day, I made another batch. Thats right, 2 batches. The first already set in the fridge, made exactly as the recipe states. No alterations, I just used vanilla for the base flavor. Since I did that, I figured I would play with the other batch. I divided the batter, 1 pan I added Almond extract, the other I added peppermint oil, and chopped up peppermint patties; And into the oven they went. I have to say, my biggest problem is that I let myself do far too many ideas. I ended spending so very many hours working on these today, my only day off, and I am exhausted!! But I am happy, I think they came out great and am sure work will love them tomorrow.Now, what kind are they you ask? In all I have 7 varieties. I took the first batch, filled 1/4 with pieces of chopped Peanut butter cups then coated them with peanut butter candy coating and bits of those same cups, I took another 1/4 and filled that with chopped up snickers bar coated with milk chocolate candy coating, 1/4 was rolled in Oreo cookie crumbs and drizzled with chocolate candy coating, and the last 1/4 was rolled in simple graham cracker crumbs and drizzled in chocolate. The next batch I took the peppermint pan, rolled it and dipped it in dark chocolate mint candy coating and sprinkled with chopped up peppermint patties, the other pan was divided, 1/2 was rolled plain and dipped in dark chocolate, the last 1/2 I rolled with chopped up Maraschino cherries dipped in dark chocolate then sprinkled with chopped almonds.
There you go, my Cheesecake Popsapalooza..and the name..well I never thought I would get done ha-ha!
With out further ado, the recipe:

Cheesecake Pops

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, 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.

Over all, it really was very simple, very tasty and quite fun to do. Just do not do like me and think you can make 125 cheesecake pops in 1 day, its very hard for 1 person ha-ha!

And work, they loved them!! Recipes all around and raves. What a fantastic Recipe! I loved them!!


Julia said...

Wow! I'm blown away wit how professional they look. You really out did yourself. I'm sure you're VERY popular at work!

Stupendously awesome amazing job! Bravo!!!

Deborah said...

Oh my goodness!! You really went all out on this one! I love all of the flavors you've chosen - well done!

Tempered Woman said...

My jaw is on the floor~ I can NOT freaking believe you made 2 batches of these! Holy moly girl~ are you crazy or what?!?! I thought 40 pops were excessive, you humble me. heh
Love the flavor combinations and totally wishing you worked with me right now, darn!

SweetDesigns said...

yea.. I really dont know what I smoked that day, but I tell you they were gone in like 20 min, and some still didnt get one lol..though I found out a few took more than 1 hahaha

Bumblebutton said...

What a way to fill up your only day off! Gosh you were creative--and they look terrific!

moowiesqrd said...

Wow! That's a lot of effort and a lot of great ideas. Your pops look fantastic!

Sandicita said...

Wow... you made so many variations! They all sound delicious. Nice job!

Jade Is Green! said...

Wow! 125 pops? Your a mad woman (in a good way of course, but still mad)! The PB cups one sound amazing! Yum!

Christine said...

Wow! You went above and beyond! People at work must love you! I love the assortment of pops and you had time to package them and tie the pops with a bow! Amazing and fabulous job!

Jes said...

Oh wow, awesome variety! The peanut butter cup and oreo ones sound rad!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Oh my gosh, you're ambitious A double batch? They all look splendid and I'm sure work enjoyed them all tremendously. Good job!

Cakespy said...

Lucky coworkers!!! Very nice showing--I love the different batches!! Very nice work indeed.

Elle said...

Lucky folks at work! Seven varieties, all of them wonderful sounding, and two batches! WOW! Great job.

Texana said...

Mercy! I bet those peppermint ones were to die for! What an original idea to stuff them with pieces of candy. YUM!!!

Kevin said...

Two batches, that's a lot of pops! The toppings all sound good.

Michelle said... all I have to say and a really great job!!!

Gail said...

I am in awe of how many different pops you made! I hope that your co-workers know how lucky they are ...

Allison said...

Oh, sounds like you had soooo much fun with this!
This is along the lines of what I would have done if I had had a day off in which to do it - but my cheesecake was baked late into the night, frozen in the morning before classes, and then dipped in the short break I had before more classes...
I really wanted to try filling mine with things, so I'm glad to see that you tried it and it worked for you!
I'll probably make these again and try filling them with nutella.... weeee.
Awesome job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BC said...

Two batches!!! Wow. You put my puny half batch to shame.

Kelly-Jane said...

You did really well :) I love your picture of the big tray full - great!

Dana McCauley said...

Two batches? Seven varieties!? Individual wrapping?! That is a lot of work. Definitely a 'palooza'.

Bake your cake and eat it too said...

WHOOH! You even wrapped them! Don't you love how your day off just goes by so fast, yet you have a billion things to do and you don't get to rest on your only day off? They look beautiful and I bet those peppermint patties were good!

Karen said...

You made two batches! Oh my goodess! I'd like a peanut butter cup one. Yum!

dailydelicious said...

Great job, I really love it.

Maryann said...

wow! What talent here! Not only on the DB challenge, but your whole site!
It's very nice to meet you :)

Familia Bencomo said...

My head is spinning from ALL of the pops! My goodness.... You have got some lucky co-workers! I'm luv'n the oreo cookie & choc-mint ideas you had. I just bookmarked you!

xoxox Amy

Dolores said...

Popsapalooza indeed! My second batch (to be cheesecake planets for a space-themed party this weekend) are in the oven as we speak, and I think I'm going to try your mint approach with the ones I call Jupiter. :)

Great job!

somebody said...