There’s just no dancing around it – balls.
Now that that’s over, what these should really be called are Heavenly Morsels of OMG. They’re like truffles, but truffles times fifty. I’m a major candy truffle lover, and these chocolate cherry cookie things are absolutely to die for better. Normally I save the fangirlish endorsements for the last paragraph, but this recipe deserves it immediately.
The recipe says you should get about 40 cookie balls out of it, but we got closer to 30. Eh – mileage varies when you make it yourself, true?
If you have a food processor, lug it out and onto your counter. It makes this part of the recipe much easier. Mine is an 11-cup capacity, and I’d say it’s best to do half the cookies and half the cream cheese by themselves first, pulsing and processing until the mixture resembles a very thick, thick chocolate pudding. Place that in a bowl and repeat with the second half. If your processor holds more than 11 cups, you might be able to process it all at once.
This part takes a little time, even with the cream cheese softened. My processor had a little bit of a tough time getting the cookies, with filling, yes, and the cream cheese to fully combine. It kept getting hung up on the cream cheese.
If you don’t have a processor, the best thing you can probably do is place the cookies in a ziplock style bag, close it and beat the stew out of them with a rolling pin until the cookies and filling are as one as two items can be. Mix in the softened cream cheese after. It might not get as pulverized and blended as a processor would get it, but it’s probably fine.
We refrigerated the filling a little before taking enough in hand to make a one-inch or so size ball. Roll that into a ball first.
Take one of the maraschino cherries and press it slightly into the center of your now-flattened filling round.
Pinch the filling up and around the cherry, until it looks like some weird scifi creature, seal it in and round it out again into a ball. Freeze the balls at this point for about ten before coating them with chocolate. We put ours on two separate plates, working with one plate at a time after that.
Melt your chocolate bar (the more you use of the amount called for, the easier it will be to fully submerge the balls at one time; expect some leftover chocolate) and dip the candy. We used our fingertips but you can use two forks, balancing the candy between them. Good luck with that. I’m too klutzy for such fanciness.
The chocolate coating starts to set up pretty quickly. If you have some gaps in your chocolate, you can dab some on to repair them. Into the fridge they go at this point. You’ll want to keep them chilled since there’s cream cheese in them. Trust me, they taste SO good right out of the fridge.
These are so amazingly good. Everyone I shared them with later was blown away at how good they were, and none of them were particularly candy crazy people. The cookies and cream cheese filing stays just a bit softer than a Godiva truffle filling, and the cherry is, of course, an awesome complement for it. The Baker’s brand chocolate was really tasty, but you could use another brand. We do strongly rec semi-sweet chocolate. It’s a nice balance to the slightly darker chocolate taste of the filling. This candy has one layer of tastiness after another, all of them perfect for one another. Messy to make – but worth it!
Chocolate-Cherry Cookie Balls
from Kraft Family Foods magazine, Holiday 2012
- 1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
- 36 OREO Cookies, finely crushed
- 40 maraschino cherries, patted dry
- 12 oz. BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted
Mix cream cheese and cookie crumbs until blended.
Shape into 40 (1-1/4-inch) balls; press to flatten. Top each with cherry; wrap cream cheese mixture around cherry to completely enclose cherry. Re-roll into balls. Freeze 10 min.
Dip balls in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
Yes, indeed, these are very messy to make, but fun and YES, very worth it. If you refrigerate your cookie/cream cheese filling for about thirty minutes, it’ll be easier to work with from there. The chilling of that, the balls and then again after dipping them is what puts the time into this recipe, but the work is very easy.
I’ve had a few leftovers for about four days in the fridge and so far they still taste incredible.
On melting the chocolate – follow the instructions on your package. If there are none, generally the rule is to chop your chocolate a little, small chunks will do, then microwave in a microwave-safe bowl for about 30 seconds, stir, microwave again for thirty seconds, stir and then microwave after that for 10 second intervals, stirring every time between until it’s melted. If your chocolate is too thick, thin it with a little shortening, such as Crisco, melting it along with the chocolate in the microwave, stirring till it’s fully combined. You’ll need about one tablespoon for the entire 12 ounces of chocolate, less of course if you don’t use it all.
If you have leftover chocolate from dipping, put it in a covered container and store it in the fridge. Follow the package instructions to re-melt it again for topping ice cream or other such goodness.