Normally, I’m not a fan of foods made entirely from other processed foods. However, for Oreo Balls, I make an exception. I first tasted them last year when my friend Christopher made them. Since Oreo cookies are one of my vices, I deemed them nothing short of heavenly.
I wanted to make my own this year, but I decided to use the classic recipe with only three ingredients: Oreos, cream cheese, and bark coating. (Christopher’s recipe had butter in it as well, which made a firmer candy.) To put a holiday twist on my Oreo Balls, I decided to use Oreos with mint creme filling and to sprinkle the candies with peppermint powder. Here’s how I made them.
First, I piled an entire package of mint creme Oreos (17 ounces) and an 8-ounce package of softened cream cheese into the largest bowl of my food processor. I pulsed the cookies and the cream cheese until they were completely blended. (The mixture resembled a thick brownie batter.) On a baking sheet lined with wax paper, I spooned out 1/2-tablespoon scoops of the mixture, repeating the process with an additional baking sheet to accommodate all of the candies. I transferred the baking sheets to the refrigerator and chilled the candies for 1 hour.
While the candies chilled, I put Dr. O to work on the peppermint powder. He put four candy canes inside a freezer bag and then put that bag inside another freezer bag. He placed the bag of candy canes on a cutting board (to absorb the impact) and then pounded them with the flat side of our meat mallet. When he had them pretty well pulverized, he placed a fine-mesh sieve over a small bowl, dumped the crushed candies into the sieve, and then sifted out the powder.
Once the candies had chilled for an hour, I took them out of the refrigerator, used my clean hands to roll them into balls, and then tucked them back into the refrigerator. Next, I melted a package of white bark coating (24 ounces) in the microwave according to package instructions. I took the candies back out of the refrigerator, dipped one in the melted bark, spooned the bark over the top, and then lifted the coated candy out with a fork. I let the excess bark run through the fork tines for a few seconds and then transferred the candy to a sheet of wax paper. I immediately sprinkled the candy with a bit of the peppermint dust and then repeated the process for the remaining candies. Once the bark had set (about 15 minutes), I trimmed any excess bark from the base of the candies with a paring knife. (Feel free to skip this step – I’m a lunatic!) I should have counted them before we started eating them, but the recipe yields around 5 dozen with 1/2-tablespoon scoops.
If you like Oreos, you’ll find these irresistible. The chocolate center is soft like a truffle (even when chilled) and it most definitely tastes like Oreos. One thing it doesn’t taste like is cream cheese… I was surprised, but you can hardly taste the cream cheese at all. I think it functions more as a textural element to create the creamy center than it does to flavor the candy. Besides the creamy center, you get a bit of a crisp snap from the bark, and the peppermint dust on top is crunchy like sanding sugar. So. So. Yummy.
TIPS: I chose to use peppermint powder instead of peppermint candy bits because the Oreo Balls need to be stored in the refrigerator. When you put hard candy in the refrigerator, the moisture from the refrigerator causes it to soften, ruining its texture. (It’s fine to leave the Oreo Balls out for a few hours, of course, but I think the cream cheese necessitates refrigerator storage for longer periods. You can freeze them as well.)
Also, and this is kind of a biggie, I would strongly recommend putting the uncoated candy in the freezer for 15 minutes or so after you roll them into balls. That way, it’s less likely that you’ll have many cookie crumbs end up in your bark and the candy will be less likely to stick to your dipping fork. These problems weren’t major, but I’ll definitely incorporate freezer time for best results the next time I make this candy.
Recipe link: Oreo Balls