Wow, is all I have to say! This was a doozy of a baking experiment. I guess I’m one of those people that like to jump into the deep end without sticking my toes in the pool first.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve done plenty of baking over my lifetime and I have made many different things, but this was a hugely, time intensive project. Of course, I happened to take it on at the same time, the same day actually, that I was making Valentine sugar cookies and decorating with royal icing for the very first time, but that is another post for another time. Back to the Cheesecake Pops.
These sweet little creations were a huge test to my type a, neat as a pin, borderline OCD personality. Between the sticky cheesecake, crumbly graham cracker, dripping chocolate, and sliding toppings I literally had my hands full. Honestly, the part where I had to just let my normal perfectionist tendencies go was the chocolate dipping, dripping, wiping with a finger, licking said finger, running said finger under hot water because others would be eating these, and then sticking the pop in the stryofoam holder in the fridge while trying not to get chocolate fingerprints and drips all over the counter, floor, fridge handle, and fridge shelves. Can you tell this was a challenge for me?
So, although it was fun to try something new, I don’t know if I’ll be making these again, or at least not anytime soon. One of the reasons, besides what I just explained in the previous paragraph, is that when I make cheesecake and it comes out of the oven it is almost finished. You let it cool, you decorate it with whatever topping you want, and voila, you get to eat it. But with these treats baking the cheesecake is just the first step in a very long process to get your end result. Yes, you can nibble on cheesecake as you scoop it into balls, but you know there are many steps left before you get to the final product. The second reason is that there is just something inherently wrong about scooping cheesecake out of a pan and rolling it into balls like cookie dough. To me, cheesecake is like the piece de resistance to a perfect evening. It is typically something formal and elegant, not something squished around in your hand and then rolled in crushed graham crackers. And yes, for those of you that noticed the curling ribbon wrapped around the lollipop sticks, that is a bit of the OCD coming through. I couldn’t very well have chocolatey fingerprints all over the sticks, now could I?
I used Bakerella’s recipe for cheesecake and followed most of her suggestions, but I also made some slight modifications based on the info here. Enjoy!UPDATED: These also taste great after freezing. I put mine in the freezer (stick and all) after wrapping in plastic wrap. They were in there for about 7 weeks before I took them out again. I set the sticks in a glass on the counter to let them thaw out. I did find that they got a little soft thawing at room temperature and they broke off the stick easily when you bit into it so I decided that I’d just go ahead and pull them off the stick for the presentation. They ended up looking like regular cheesecake balls instead of cheesecake pops but they still tasted yummy.
9×13 New York Style cheesecake with no crust:
4 – 8oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice
crushed graham crackers
melted chocolate (semi-sweet, bittersweet, white, dark, milk chocolate)
jimmies, chopped chocolate, chopped nuts for topping
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream the cream cheese, sugar, and flour with an electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy. On medium low, add eggs one at a time, mixing well with each addition. On low, add sour cream, vanilla, and lemon juice until just combined. Pour into a 9×13 cake pan (or any other cake pan that is 2 to 3 inches tall). Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. It is fully cooked if the center is still a little wobbly and the edges are firmer. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Run a knife along edges to loosen from pan. Chill in refrigerator overnight.
Scoop out a spoonful of cheesecake and shape into a ball. Roll in crushed graham cracker and set on cookie sheet lined with wax or parchment paper. Stick in lollipop stick. Repeat until all cheesecake is scooped out of pan. Make room in your freezer. Freeze for 1 to 2 hours until firm.