Posted by: familiabencomo | Sunday, April 27, 2008

Daring Bakers’ April Challenge

This month was quite the challenge! However, I think the biggest challenge was managing my time. In fact, I just looked at the DB message board and saw that we are suppose to post today…. oops! So, here I am at the last minute trying to put this together.

This month’s challenge was hosted by Elle, Feeding My Enthusiasms, & Deborah, Taste & Tell. They chose Cheesecake Pops from Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey by Jill O’Connor for all 1,000 Daring Bakers to prepare. I immediately ran out to buy the book because I had just been perusing it at the bookstore the day before (weird, huh?!?!). I had the chance to flip though the book several times while hanging out at the pool during spring break & I felt I had a mastery of the recipe (huge mistake). I was confident with my visions of perfectly sized spheres with an even coating of chocolate & a delicate dusting of crushed pecans and pink sprinkles.

WARNING: My Cheesecake Pops are not very pretty. They are not round. They are “interesting.”

imagine me still in my bathrobe 2 minutes ago running the the backyard

THE JOURNEY: Despite the complains I have with the way they look, I will tell you that they are YUMMY! They are fun to eat even though I made them too big & you have to shove the whole thing in your mouth or it breaks apart. They are perfect for sharing with friends. And, they were a joy to make.

The joy came from sharing this month’s challenge with my daughter. I normally have a DO NOT ENTER sign up when I’m in the kitchen, but I’m trying to get over that. I keep reading on other blogs about how they have fond memories of cooking with their mothers or grandmothers. Because this baking project was so darn cute, I had to allow my daughter to help. She was thrilled by the opportunity! And, I am forever grateful that I had this chance to share a counter top to discuss pink sprinkles, unicorns & princesses.

Thank you Elle & Deborah for such a fun challenge! To see some SPECTACULAR Cheesecake Pops, please check out the other Daring Bakers.

ADDENDUM:   Hi, it’s Monday morning (back in my bathrobe) & I wanted to add a follow-up to my original post.  Thank you to all who left the sweetest comments – you were right, I was too hard on myself.  I had about 35 of these Pops in my fridge when I made the decision that they were too good to keep at home (read:  10 lbs doesn’t lose itself!).  First, I packaged a plateful for my friend Michelle who loaned us money at a swim meet so we could buy hot dogs on Saturday!  (We were NOT expecting to be at the meet for 8 hours!!!)  Thank you, Michelle!  The rest I took on a tray to the cabana to share with our neighborhood friends.  Everyone LOVED them.  The best part was when I was gathering my things to leave and I walked out of the office with the remaining Pops about 10 kids ran up to me knowing my intentions (how do they do that?  yet, you ask them everyday to put their dirty clothes in the hamper & they look at you like you’re crazy).  Happily, everyone walked away with the last of my tasty Pops.  I call that a success!

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.



  1. […] sisters in christ wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptThe joy came from sharing this month’s challenge with my daughter. I normally have a DO NOT ENTER sign up when I’m in the kitchen, but I’m trying to get over that. I keep reading on other blogs about how they have fond memories of … […]

  2. Amy, You’re being much too critical with yourself!
    I actually love your how you did the chocolate on an angle half and half. They look great, and the best part was you and your daughter did it together!!

  3. Amy, cute pops:)) You did a great job! Mine look sloppy but funny:))

  4. ahaahahahahaha! I love a Daring Baker who would run out to the yard in her bathrobe just to get the perfect shot of her pops! 😀

    And, personally, I love the way they look.. they look like marble! Delicious creamy marble! hee!

    Beautiful job, sweets!


  5. Oh, these are pretty! I think you did a fine job and I especially like the pink sprinkles. Besides, this was not an easy recipe to follow. I had a hard time with it too. I don’t think I’ve ever furrowed my brow so much due to utter frustration.

    A big gold star to you and your daughter for a job well done. 🙂

  6. Amy dear; I think are really so nice and yummy!!!! (I never make things how this!) xxxxLooks so nice!!! Gloria

  7. I love your “interesting” pops. I think they are beautiful

  8. I think they look wonderful, and what a great opportunity to bake with your daughter!

  9. So glad you enjoyed making these with your daughter! Beautiful pops, I must say (no matter how much you attach the ‘interesting’ tag to them).

  10. YAY Amy dahling…way to go!! Tch tch; we are DBs;don’t be so hard on yourself. I did try & peek around the pic to catch the PJs!! Darn…technology will get there too one day! Am glad the Do Not Enter sign was gotten rid of. It’s always tough the first time & then you get used to it slowly. Your pops look great & look pretty lying amongst the petunias(???)…Am glad we share so much including the mysterious disappearnce of stuff overnight (including non-livng objects)!! Tanti baci xoxoxo

  11. Love it! Glad you did different shapes!

  12. Love that you ran out to the yard in your robe to take the pic! Way to be a daring baker!! nice job on the challenge!

  13. I bet your daughter had a blast and they look mighty pretty from here!

  14. Such darling pops! You take “daring” to a new level! lol! Glad you had such a great time baking with G and I am sure she will cherish the memories. Sounds like a yummy treat!

  15. I think yours look delicious! Nothing better than cheesecake. And I think you are being too hard on yourself. They are very cute.

  16. These look like great fun. If I can translate it in to English (we get confused with the ‘cup’ thing) I’m going to try making them with my daughters and have a little melted chocolate and sprinkles mayhem around here. Ciao

  17. I am now feeling like my challenge wasn’t as good of an experience because I had neither unicorns nor pink sprinkles. 🙂

  18. Your pops look great- the ribbon is a nice touch!

  19. Delicious

  20. Perfect is boring anyway 😉

  21. You’re so funny! At least you have the constructive excuse of time getting away from you. I, on the other hand, plan my procrastination. And I’ll take “interesting” as far as food goes any old day! I like how your squares have the stick on the wide side. I’m thinking we liked these semi-frozen. That solves the falling apart thing. And way cool that your daughter was able to help. She’ll have lots of nice memories.

  22. I think your pops are very pretty especially with the ribbons!

  23. Those are actually really lovely cheesecake pops. It’s all that pink. I thought that the worst part was trying to roll those things into balls. Also, I wish I knew a recipe for a chocolate covering that was very light, like a dipped cone at DQ.

    Sitting by the pool! We’re still hoping spring will come. It’s about a month and a half late.

  24. I agree – I love your pops! I like the shape, and your presentation is great!

    I’m also laughing at your running around in your bathrobe and the children who have radar for food but look all cockeyed at the mention of household chores! I know that all too well (and strangely…hubby seems to do that, too)! LOL

  25. Your pops look terrific, and your comment about running out to take a photo in your bathrobe is just too funny! Great job!

  26. They are pretty and look delicous too,the running in bathrobe part is really funny.I am glad that you know what I talk about when I say the weather here is very hot

  27. Oh I think they look great! I’m using to seeing them round…I like them this way and they’re yummy…can’t wait to try your recipe!

  28. Amy, Your pops look lovely! A lot of people made different shapes, including me. The important thing is that you rose to the challenge, and made a great memory for your daughter to cherish.

  29. Hi Amy,

    Thanks for stopping by and I think your pops look more than ‘interesting’ 🙂 they turned out great and how wonderful for your daughter to be helping out in the kitchen!


  30. I prefer “interesting” then perfect. 😉 Well done!

  31. I concur with you that my challenge here was time management also! I didn’t even start on these babies until the posting day. Oops! By the way, I love your touch of crushed pecans and pink sprinkles! How girly 😀

  32. Aaaaw! Thank you, everyone, for the more than kind words. I really feel embraced by each of you. The funny part about my “interesting” comment is that, besides my family, no one knew they were suppose to be round – they were all impressed! Also, I’m glad you all saw the humor with me running in the backyard in my bathrobe…. Growing up in Texas made this strictly taboo, but I had to “cross the line” to complete my DB mission.

    hugs & kisses to all!

  33. I like them a lot! They have that artsy, rustic, home-made look to them. Definitely worth trying 🙂

  34. Hi! I guess that shows how much I know about baking… I think those squares are really pretty! And my thing is taste over prettiness. They look good to me.

    and i’d be honored to be on your blogroll! Thank you so, so much.

    amy @ we are never full

  35. Hey … rule #1 of being a DB … no being overly self-critical! Your pops are lovely!

  36. I hope you make these for me when I come next!!! And, let’s get Gabriella to help–three generations in the kitchen at the same time….

  37. And the best part is now that your daughter will have that lovely memory of baking with her mom. Trust me, Amy, those memories are so valuable. I have lived away from home over 10 years now, and though I am well past elementary school age, there are still days I wish I was a kid back in the kitchen baking with my mom. Thanks for the delightful pops; I love ’em!

  38. I love the shape of your pops!! I think they look awesome…and woohoo for some fun time with your daughter, you will both remember your time making these adorable pops =)

  39. I concur–your pops look great–and they taste wonderful, so just accept the compliments and know you are a Daring Baker!

  40. […] as another step (I have baked with her one other time, after all!) to transition myself to the idea of our kitchen my daughter had a playdate. I really […]

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