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:
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!!