Okay, be honest. How many of you saw this coming? After last week’s cheesecake success, It was finally the perfect opportunity to give these little treats a try. The first time I remember seeing them was April, a year ago. I remember because I had not been home long after showing Martha how to make Cupcake Pops. I was looking at some of my favorite blogs and everywhere I looked, I started seeing chocolate covered balls on sticks. I mean everywhere. I was like, holy cow, Martha really has some heavy mojo. Then, I laughed at myself when I realized, Martha and I had nothing to do with it. The pops I was seeing were part of a Daring Bakers Challenge where tons of bloggers tackle a new dessert each month and that month they had coincidentally picked cheesecake pops inspired by the book Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey. Well, I finally saw this book a couple of weeks ago in the bookstore, and I had to immediately have it. Let me just tell you, it is a feast for your sugar-loving eyes. When I flipped through it again last weekend, I was reminded of all those beautiful cheesecake pops and it seemed only natural for me to finally give them a go.
And, it didn’t hurt any that I had half a plain jane cheesecake sitting in the refrigerator waiting to be experimented on.
I used a small ice cream scoop and scooped up as many balls as I could, trying not to scrape the graham cracker crust into it. I didn’t want it to look ugly, you know. I guess, if I was going to make these on purpose, I would bake my cheesecake in a regular 2-3″ high cake pan and not use a crust at all.
I got 12 easy, from half of the cheesecake. I could have probably squeaked out a couple more, but I might have eaten a few sections of cheesecake along the way. Maybe.
I didn’t really roll these, but I did kind of shape them a little to make them more round.
And, then because they were lumpier than I am used to with the cake pops, I dropped each one in a small bowl filled with graham cracker crumbs and rolled it around to coat. This helped to shape them better as well.
Then, I popped them in the freezer for a few minutes to firm up. (Maybe about 20-30 min. for these.)
While they were chilling. I heated up some chocolate candy melts in the microwave (30 sec intervals, stirring in between) and got my sticks and decorations ready.
I went with teeny tiny hearts in red, white and pink. A hearts and jimmies mix in red, white pink and brown … and also just some dark chocolate that I chopped up in a mini food processor.
Note: I’m pretty sure a few of you are going to want to know where those baking cups came from. Check out www.confectioneryhouse.com
So, after the balls became firm, I dipped one end of my lollipop stick in some of the melted candy coating and then inserted it into the cheesecake ball. I immediately dunked the pop in a deep bowl of melted candy coating and then sprinkled to decorate. Each one was then placed in a styrofoam block to completely dry. Then, they went in the refrigerator to await their fate.
Note: It will really help if you use a bowl that is deep enough to completely submerge the pop in chocolate and remove in one motion. It also helps if your chocolate is on the thinner side. (You can melt a little shortening in it to thin it out some.) Once, you remove it, carefully tap the excess off while balancing the pop on the stick. You may need to rotate your hand so that gravity keeps the pop in place long enough for the chocolate to start to set around the base. Add the decorations before it sets too much also or they won’t stick to the surface. These were slightly harder to manage than the cake pops. One… they were larger and heavier because of using the scooper. Two… the cheesecake texture wasn’t as sticky as the cake pop mixture.
But… I think they turned out beautifully.
Let’s take a closer look…
A little closer.
Whoops, just couldn’t resist. YUM-O-RAMA!
So, you say you don’t want to do a balancing act to make all these on sticks. Here’s another way you can do it. And it’s easier.
Take your graham cracker-coated cheesecake ball and drop it in the bowl of melted candy coating.
Don’t stir it. Just spoon some chocolate over the top until it is covered. Then, scoop it out with a spoon and tap off some of the excess by tapping the spoon on the side of the bowl. Then, just let it slide right off onto some wax paper. Insert your stick and add any decorations. Told you this was easier. I didn’t tap these as much as I do regular cake balls because I was going for the Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey look that Jill O’Connor shows in her book.
Messy looks good, too, don’t you think?
If you want to make some Cheesecake Pops … you will need:
Cheesecake (Buy one if you want to get straight to the fun stuff. Shhh… I won’t tell. You can also use this recipe.)
Mini ice cream scoop
Chocolate candy melts
Dark chocolate, chopped
Graham cracker crumbs
Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey if you want to feast your eyes on more messy yumminess.
You can also check the Google results for the Daring Baker’s Cheesecake Pop Challenge and see tons more versions to drool over.