This weekend’s project was dedicated to those lovely cheesecake pops I had been obsessing over since coming across said tidbits of awesomeness on Mimi on the Move [sadly I cannot remember from what source I even learned of Mimi…I hop around A LOT of blogs during the day] on a Daring Baker’s challenge back in April.
Mine didn’t come out as prettily as the Daring Bakers’ but they were still very delicious. Instead of using the regular cheesecake recipe that was suggested for the challenge, I opted for a pumpkin cheesecake to go with our Thanksgiving themed get together. After combing through a lot of different recipes, I settled on one from Paula Deen and went to work.
These are all my ingredients. It’s a really straightforward recipe, which was great since this was my first attempt ever at making a cheesecake and I was kind of nervous [what if it cracks? It doesn’t matter silly, you’re scooping them into balls anyway] but went ahead since, how hard could it be? Especially since I was only making the filling and not the crust?
It was hardly worth the worry. The most important thing though is to make sure the cream cheese is completely at room temperature. Mine was kind of close but I went ahead and started since I couldn’t stand to wait another 20 minutes or so.
In went the cream cheese, pureed pumpkin pie mix, sugar, flour, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and because I love pumpkin pie, a bit of pumpkin pie spice [this was my own addition and I just poured so I don’t know how much I actually put in but it wasn’t that much...probably about 1/8 or ¼ teaspoon? Maybe?]
Then into the oven for an hour. Even though some folks in the reviews said it wasn’t necessary, I plopped my pan into a water bath for some extra insurance, even though I knew it wouldn’t matter if it cracked.
Waiting was the hardest part…
But then I had cheesecake! With no cracks! I turned off the oven and let it sit in there for another 20 – 30 minutes while I watched The Office with the bf and then into the fridge for about 3 hours [of course, I took it out a few times in between to test the firmness but I recommend letting it sit overnight just in case. I did not have the time for that unfortunately].
After some trial and error [it does help to wet your hands a bit before rolling each ball] I eventually started using the two-spoon method of fancy pants chefs since I didn’t have a handy scoop [though looking back, I wonder if a melon baller would have worked. Hmm] but eventually it all worked out and I ended up with 37 awesome pop wonders.
You can see a bit of the cream cheese in some of the pops. Next time I’ll let the cream cheese come up to temperature and make sure to really mix it well.
I left them in the freezer overnight so I could at least sleep and then started again the next day. In lieu of a crust, I thought a topping of ginger snaps would be a great add so I crushed up a baggie of cookies and set them aside.
I had grabbed two bags of Ghirardelli white chocolate chips [I should have grabbed a third one] and melted one bag at a time with a homemade double boiler. My sister said I could have tempered it in the microwave but the last time I tried that I had burnt my chocolate so I was a bit wary of attempting that again so I opted for the tried and true way.
Then came the fun part, dipping the balls in the chocolate bath and then into the gingersnap cookie for a fun topper. I also dipped some in cinnamon sugar as an alternative in case someone didn’t like gingersnaps. Of course I ran out of chocolate before I ran out of pops so instead of running out to get more chocolate, I just made due and dipped the very tops of the remaining pops. Not the best solution but they were still delicious.
Verdict? Like I said, I’d definitely make these again, this time using the given cheesecake recipe though you can use whatever you like. I’d also make sure I give the cheesecake and myself enough time to properly do its thing.