I'm kind-of a cheesecake freak. I like almost anything to do with cheesecake. You may recall that I am not a fan of pie, so every year at Thanksgiving time, I make a pumpkin cheesecake. Well, this year I will be in Connecticut for Thanksgiving, so I decided to bake my cheesecake early and make it into these cute little treats! This is my Aunt Vicki's pumpkin cheesecake recipe, and it is SO big and dense and creamy and good. But, the dense part is what makes it work well in these cute little pumpkin cheesecake pops!
2 lbs (4 packages) Cream Cheese at room temperature (NO lite cream cheese!)
1 ½ C sugar
¼ C flour
2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 15 oz can Libby’s Canned Pumpkin (I always use Libby's because it is consistently the same
color and flavor, while other brands are not)
Set out cream cheese and eggs a few hours before you are going to make the cheesecake. You want everything at room temperature to avoid lumps! Wrap the bottom (the outside of the pan) of a 9 inch spring form pan with foil. Because this cheesecake doesn't have a crust, some filling may leak out the bottom of your pan. Preheat oven to 350. Whip cream cheese until fluffy, then add sugar and eggs, one at a time. Beat well, and then gradually add flour and pumpkin pie spice. Mix in pumpkin and pour into pan (no need to grease). Bake for 1 hour and 30-45 minutes, or until center is firm. You want to avoid browning the cheesecake too much because the creamy center part makes the best pops, so try not to over bake it. It's fine if it's still a little wiggily in the middle, but definitely not really wiggily or liquidy. Cool cheesecake and chill in the refrigerator over night.
Once the cheesecake centers are frozen, you can dip them in white or milk chocolate. Refer to my Chocolate 101 tips for melting and dipping info! Because the pops are frozen, the chocolate will set really quick, so I would suggest making sure that your chocolate is pretty melty. If it starts to thicken up, it will coat the pops too thick, and then the chocolate may crack. So, every now and then, pop your chocolate back into the microwave for a few seconds to keep it nice and smooth. Also, if you're going to use cute sprinkles, you need to work quickly before the coating is set up. I rolled the white chocolate pops in these cute little sprinkles, but I wouldn't suggest doing this. It made that part of the pop really crunchy, so if you want to decorate them with sprinkles, just sprinkle them on.
These pops are so fun and SO delicious. I love that you can make the cheesecake a few days ahead of time and get the pops to a frozen stage, and then just dip 'em when you have a minute. It really is a very easy process, and not too time consuming if you spread it over a couple of days. I made 24 pops using my small cookie scoop, then I used some of the rest of the cheesecake to make pumpkin cheesecake milkshakes (and I wonder why I gained 5 lbs in the past 2 weeks! ) So, you could probably get more like 30 out of this recipe. Kids and adults can't resist these! Make them for a fun Thanksgiving day treat!