Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Teddy Bars (Happy Birthday to Me)

Twenty years ago, Katie and I were both in college and working in the university's library. During our breaks, we would often dash next door to the campus bookstore for a quick treat. This is when we made an amazing, fantastic discovery. There they were right in the middle of the ice cream freezer—the Teddy Bars, frozen slices of cheesecake on popsicle sticks dipped in chocolate.

Oh... My... Goodness.  Now, that's my kind of popsicle—perfect for a hot summer day!

This was back in the days when I could eat practically anything and not gain a pound, so I enjoyed, relished, savored, and devoured many a Teddy Bar.

After that summer, they quit selling Teddy Bars in the bookstore, and I haven't seen them anywhere since.* Over the years, I've often thought longingly of my favorite college days treat. 

Well, if you've read much of this blog, you know that I quite often bring treats for birthdays at work. Yesterday was a birthday I wasn't going to miss. Mine.

Now, I can hear many of you thinking, "What! Make your own birthday cake?" And I say, "You betcha." Baking for me is fun, and this way I assure I get what I want.

I wanted to bring something that would completely astound the crowd so that they would fall over backward in their chairs. What could induce such a reaction? The Teddy Bars! But, could I recreate them? Why not!

I made what I consider to be the ultimate New York style cheese cake leaving off the topping. And, Cheesecake Karma must have been with me because the cheesecake turned out absolutely beautiful without a single crack.** And, assembly wasn't too difficult.

The reaction at work? Well, no one fell out of their chairs because they were all standing. However, it was total shock and ooh aah.

 Perfect. Just say no to crack.

I would venture to say these are even better than the original.

*After doing a little Internet research, I found a company in Texas, Lawler Foods, makes the Teddy Bar. I'll have to ask my sister in Texas if she's ever heard of them. But, I think I will still put a note in the comment box at the bookstore asking to please bring them back.

**Helpful hints for making a crack-free cheesecake:
  1. Have ingredients at room temperature.
  2. Do not over beat the batter. Mix well, but slow and steady does the trick.
  3. Don't over-bake your cheesecake. The cake should be firm with the middle slightly wobbly.
  4. Grease your springform pan well. The cheesecake will shrink as it cools.
  5. If your cheesecake does develop a crack. Cover it with a topping, or tell your guests it's a true sign the cheesecake is homemade with love.

P.S. Speaking (or writing) of cracks, here is a video that totally cracked me up. It was produced by the BYU Library where Katie and I worked. It's based on the popular Old Spice commercial. Makes me proud to be an alumnus. Go Cougars!

Teddy Bars (Cheesecake Popsicles)

  • One New York style cheesecake (I do not add the topping.)
  • 1 ½ lbs. semisweet chocolate
  • 3 Tbsps. shortening or 3 oz. paraffin wax
  • Popsicle sticks
Cut cheesecake into small slices. I find this is easiest when the cheesecake is frozen and using a very sharp knife that I run under hot water. Insert popsicle sticks into cheesecake slices at least half way into the cheesecake. I found it was easiest to insert a knife and then insert the popsicle stick into the slit. Place wedges on to a baking sheet lined with wax paper and return to freezer for 1-2 hours.

Heat chocolate in a double boiler or a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water (bowl should not touch water). Once chocolate is melted stir in shortening or paraffin wax. This will make the chocolate runnier and easier to work with.

Place a baking sheet, lined with waxed paper or parchment, next to melted chocolate. Holding by the stick, pour chocolate over the cake and let excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. I used a ½ cup measuring cup to do this. Place on wax paper. Garnish with nuts or sprinkles if desired. Let chocolate set before garnishing with drizzled white chocolate.

Return to freezer. If not eating right away, wrap in plastic wrap.

Retrieve cheesecake slices from freezer. Holding by the stick, dip each slice/ball into the chocolate, letting the extra coating drip off. Place dipped cheesecake on lined baking sheet. Sprinkle nuts or other garnish on slice right after placing dipped cheesecake onto parchment. Let chocolate coating set before drizzling if garnishing with chocolate drizzled over slices.

New York Style Cheesecake


  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter

  • 4 8-oz. packages cream cheese (not low fat) at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsps. flour
  • 5 large eggs at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 1 cup sour cream (not low fat)
  • 2 Tbsps. white sugar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
Grease a 9-in. springform pan.

In a medium sized bowl combine graham crackers, sugar, and butter. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and about 1 in. up the sides of the springform pan. Refrigerate while making the filling.

With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, and flour until smooth (about 2 minutes). Add the eggs one at a time beating well (about 30 seconds) after each addition. Add the whipping cream, lemon zest, vanilla extract, and beat until incorporated. Pour filling into crust. Place cheesecake onto a larger pan in case of leakage on the middle rack of a preheated 350° oven.

Bake for 15 minutes, and then lower the oven temperature to 250°. Continue baking for an additional 1 ½ hours. Cheesecake should be firm and just a little wobbly in the center. Remove from oven place on a wire rack.

In a small bowl, combine sour cream, sugar, and vanilla. Spread topping over the warm cheesecake, and return to oven to bake for 15 more minutes. Remove from oven and carefully run a knife around inside edge of pan to loosen the cheesecake.

Let cool completely before refrigerating. This cheesecake is best after being refrigerated for at least a day. It also freezes well.


  1. These look beautiful, Curtis! And I'm not into cheesecake that much. But I'd definitely eat these. Hope you had a great birthday.


  2. I'm gonna have to look into this Texas connection...

  3. That looks so yummy, I just might die from eating it. And oh, that video's great, too.

  4. Mission accomplished. The crowd was astounded. New York style cheese cake on a stick, covered in chocolate? Does it GET any better?

    I vote no.


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