Make something different than cookies for the holidays. Learn how I played with ready-to-eat cheesecake filling to make cheesecake lollipops. It truly dresses up the holiday table with a not-too-filling sweet finish that is festive.
President elect Obama has a fancy for Fran’s Chocolates out Seattle which is caramel, chocolate and smoked sea salt -I paid homage with some of my chocolate caramel cheesecake pops with smoked sea salt.
1 Tub Container – 24 oz Philadelphia Ready-to-Eat cheesecake filling
12 to 18 ounces – Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
12 ounces - Caramel Sundae Topping
12 ounces – White chocolate chips
8 ounces – Nutella
Assorted chopped nuts
Cookie decorations like jimmies, colored sugars
Coarse sea salt & smoked sea salt
1 glass of warm water: for dipping the melon baller between cheesecake balls
24 lollipop sticks (or cocktail stirs)
Freeze the cheesecake filling in its container or spread in a wax paper lined ¼ sheet pan (or cake pan) and put it in the freezer. You want the filling to firm up so they can be shaped in small balls. I found that a minimum of 30 minutes was needed on the ¼ sheet pan and would really leave it a full hour athe next time. If you are freezing the whole container, you might allow 1 ½ hours and check the consistency at that time and give it more time if necessary.
Once the filling is firm, use a melon baller to shape them in little balls, a full rounded tablespoon. I found I finished shaping them in my hands. So keep a damp towel handy. I also suggest you work quickly and do ½ a batch at a time because the filling will defrost quickly. Put the lollipop sticks in the cheesecake balls and replace in the freezer for 1 hour.
You can prep your coatings and toppings in the mean time. I highly suggest you go with one topping at a time i.e. chocolate, white chocolate. Now I had to keep heating up the toppings because I was working with too many. Microwave the chocolate, Nutella and caramel at 50% power for 30 seconds. If they haven’t soften enough, another 30 seconds, etc. You will need to whisk the toppings to make sure they are pliable and smooth. The white chocolate chips took longer in the microwave and set up faster. You want to heat the toppings just prior to taking the cheesecake lollipops out of the freezer.
When your pops are frozen, take out only what you can coat quickly and dip them in one coating at a time. Sprinkle on your toppings and place them back in the freezer on a wax paper lined pan. I dipped some of mine in caramel, then the chocolate and sprinkled on sea salt( the above homage to Obama). Keep your cheesecake lollipops in the freezer until 30 minutes prior to serving.
If you make the lollipops too big they will bend over on the cocktail straw, the regular lollipop sticks might hold it better. These are not hard, just time consuming as to really letting the cheesecake firm up that working with it is simple.
The finished product is in the photo. You could tie little ribbons around the pops for added color and presentation. I took a wide mouth jar, filled is the floral glass balls to hold the sticks and tied a ribbon around the neck of the jar.
I discover a couple other recipes where you make your own cheesecake filling …this is much simpler. If you make these pops, send me photos… I’m sure you can come up with some clever presentations that you can share.
I found the ready-to-eat cheesecake at Super Fresh. I didn’t check any other stores. They did not have lollipop sticks. You might check with William Sonoma or the Cake Cottage on Belair Road for those.
I shot a lot of this in video and spliced it but it didn’t upload correctly, I got the audio from the whole thing but only the last section of the video. HELP!