This shop showing my football OREO Cookie Balls tutorial has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #OREOCookieBalls#CollectiveBias
Now, if you know anything about me, you know I love football. Fall is my favorite time of year just for the sheer fact that I can turn on the television pretty much at any time of the day or night, any day of the week, and find a game to watch. I even have a football manicure I rock all fall long. Couple that with my love of baking and you knew it was only a matter of time before I created football OREO Cookie Balls.
I’m actually having minor surgery later today, and I’m in charge of bringing dessert and Brussels sprouts (what a combo, I know!) to Thanksgiving dinner. The bacon roasted Brussels sprouts are easy, and I’m prepping them this morning so my husband can just follow my instructions tomorrow afternoon, though my goal is to feel well enough to do them by myself.
But making a cake? That’s not going to happen this afternoon or tomorrow, and cakes and pies should really be fresh. That is something that I need to make. Instead, I decided to make these football OREO Cookie Balls that will keep just fine in the fridge until Thanksgiving and go perfectly with our post Thanksgiving dinner football fest tradition. If I’m up for it, I may still make my traditional apple cake, but I also sort of love the idea of football OREO Cookie Balls as a new tradition.
And yes, these would be great for any football related party. Given how easy they were to make, you can bet that more of these will be popping up in my kitchen come the first weekend in February, too.
To make these football OREO Cookie Balls even more fun for everyone, I made little referee napkins to serve with them. I think they turned out so fun, and it took – literally – seconds to make each one. Of course I have to share the tutorial for those, too.
The best part is that I was able to pick up everything when I was at Walmart making my last pre-surgery run for all the necessities we’ll need over the next several days. I know better than to entrust my husband with a trip to the store – he’s like a kid in a candy store – and everything in one place made the last several somewhat hectic days a little easier. The hardest part was deciding what flavor OREOs to use in my football OREO Cookie Balls.
Seriously, did you know how many varieties of OREOs exist? I almost bought the brownie batter OREOS thinking that would be a great riff off my brownie batter truffles, and the cool mint ones jumped unexpectedly into my cart. Even birthday cake flavor was in the running for awhile, but I ended up grabbing chocolate instead. Because what goes better with chocolate than chocolate? The only other things I needed for these were white chocolate, dark chocolate, and KRAFT Philadelphia cream cheese. Even the napkins I needed were there (and $0.97 for 50!), as was the washi tape I used to create the stripes.
Football OREO Cookie Balls
Did you know there’s an official OREO Cookie Balls recipe? There is, and it couldn’t be easier. I actually followed it to a T when making my football OREO Cookie Balls, with the exception of adding white chocolate laces to the top. I did pick up a couple tips along the way to make them even easier.
When making the OREO cookie crumbs, the easiest way was for me to use my food processor. And yes, the entire OREO cookie gets used – no scraping out the filling. Rather than simply turning on my food processor, I found that pulsing was the most effective in breaking up all the cookies evenly.
Twenty pulses for about a second each, and my crumbs were ready.
The other key to making the football OREO Cookie Balls “dough” is to ensure that not only is your brick of cream cheese softened, but that you cut it into chunks. I cut mine into twelve pieces before setting it out to soften – which also helped it soften faster. Once they were soft, I added them to the food processor, which ensured that the cream cheese was more readily distributed than had I added the entire brick at once.
To mix this together, I started pulsing to get some of the cream cheese pulled down and incorporated. Once I had it a little together, I turned the machine on and let it go for about 20 or 30 seconds, until it pulled together in a ball. I’m lazy. I use my kitchen gadgets any time I can. But. You can absolutely make these football OREO Cookie Balls by hand using rolling pin to create the crumbs and mixing with a wooden spoon in a bowl.
I also get smart points when making my football OREO Cookie Balls for not only clearing a shelf in my freezer to place the shaped footballs before dipping them in chocolate but also checking the width of my cookie sheet. It was too wide for my freezer, but my sil pat alone slid in just fine, and as the footballs don’t slide around, that worked just fine.
Then the fun started. If you’re a visual learner, I made a video tutorial on how to make football OREO Cookie Balls that shows every step and includes several tips to make it easier.
Regardless, as soon as the dough is made, I started to shape my football OREO Cookie Balls. Each one was just about the size of a ping pong ball. I rolled each piece into a circle, then placed the circle onto the sil pat and patted it gently into a football shape using one hand to guide the shaping and the forefinger of my other hand to gently pat.
Since they aren’t rising in any way, you can put your football OREO Cookie Balls fairly close together on the sil pat. I ended up forming 34, though had I been slightly more careful in my sizing, I would have ended up with a round 36. Because of the shape, this makes fewer than if you are simply forming them into one inch balls. Once they’re all formed, pop them in the freezer to harden before dipping them in chocolate. This has two benefits – not only do the football OREO Cookie Balls retain their shape as you dip them, but their temperature means the chocolate hardens quickly so you can move to the next step. You can freeze for just ten minutes according to the recipe or make them ahead and continue the process the next day or when you have time. cough No comment on which method I used.
Before removing them from the freezer, melt your dark chocolate. If you are using a baking bar, chop it first so speed the melting. Regardless, melt on low heat, stirring regularly, until the chocolate is most of the way but not all the way melted. Remove from the heat at that point and let the residual heat finish it off while you stir.
One note about dipping into chocolate. I never melt all my chocolate at once for a few reasons. There are times when small pieces of whatever I’m dipping make their way into the melted chocolate. If there is too much in there, you no longer get a pretty, smooth chocolate coating. The reserved chocolate allows me the option of starting anew with clean chocolate if required. I did not need to do that with these football OREO Cookie Balls, but it’s a good habit. I also want to keep my chocolate warm, which means reheating it as I dip my footballs so that the chocolate doesn’t form too thick a coating or make swirls I didn’t intend because it’s starting to harden. Having chocolate in reserve allows me to keep warming it without the chocolate burning, as at least some of the energy is directed at melting new chocolate.
Once your chocolate is melted and ready, dip your football OREO Cookie Balls one at a time into the chocolate, shaking gently to remove all excess chocolate before replacing each football on the sil pat for the chocolate to harden. Repeat for all your football OREO Cookie Balls.
As with any dipping chocolate, there was a slight bit of excess on the bottom of a few of them. While it was just a touch for the most part, I wanted my football OREO Cookie Balls to really look like footballs, so I used my bench scraper (best kitchen tool ever) to gently remove the excess chocolate. If you don’t have one, you can use a small paring knife to do the same thing or skip that step entirely. Pro tip? Do this as soon as the chocolate starts to harden to create less of a harsh edge around your footballs rather than waiting until the chocolate is completely solid.
Once the chocolate is hardened – which is should be by the time you finish your last dipping – melt your white chocolate for the laces in the same manner you did your dark chocolate. Place the melted chocolate into a pastry bag with a #1 tip or into a zip top bag with just the smallest edge of a corner cut off to make a just larger than pinhole size opening.
Pipe the white chocolate onto your footballs creating the long horizontal line across your footballs then continuing with the cross hatches to make three laces. A football decoration doesn’t need to be more detailed than that. In fact, if you get much more detail, it actually often looks less like a football than with this simple decoration. Let the white chocolate harden, and place in the fridge for an hour to harden before serving. Any that are left over? You can store your football OREO Cookie Balls in the fridge for up to a week. If they last that long.
And when you serve them, make sure you put them on these adorable referee napkins to really drive home the fun. They were so easy to do, and I had a blast. Though you can plan ahead enough and purchase napkins that are already black and white striped, I actually found using the washi tape gave the napkin a little more structure that made cutting it cleanly easier.
Referee Napkins for Your Football OREO Cookie Balls
To make these, I used my paper cutter to give myself a clean line and also ensure I knew exactly how big each piece of tape needed to be. I measured my napkin first because the size listed doesn’t always equal the exact size. From there, I used the grid to ensure I was laying the tape flat and starting it at the right length. Each napkin I made required three strips of tape to evenly create the stripes. And while I used black napkins and white washi tape, you could easily do white napkins and black tape.
Once you have your pieces cut, carefully add them to your napkin, spacing them a tape width apart from each other. Be sure that they are vertical to the folded edge of the napkin so that when you cut it, your napkin “opens” from the bottom of the referee shirt.
Use sharp scissors to cut out a partial oval from either side to create the look of sleeves and a small oblong semi-circle from the top to create the neck.
And voila, you have an oh so fun referee napkin that adds just a touch of whimsy to your football viewing party… and is the perfect complement to your football OREO Cookie Balls.
- 36 OREO cookies, finely crushed
- 1 8 oz package KRAFT Philadelphia brick cream cheese, softened
- 4 4 oz packages semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted
- 2 oz white chocolate, melted (optional)
- Use a food processor to create crumbs from your cookies, or place them in a bag and use a rolling pin.
- Add the softened cream cheese in chunks and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
- Shape into 36 ping pong size balls and shape into footballs (or 48 one inch balls).
- Freeze ten minutes to ensure they retain their shape.
- Melt dark chocolate and remove footballs from the freezer, dipping them one by one into the chocolate and replacing them onto a waxed paper or a sil pat lined pan.
- (Optional) Melt the white chocolate and place into a bag. Using a #1 decorating tip or a very small hole, pipe laces onto the footballs. You can customize with your own ingredient additions or decorative skills.
- Refrigerate one hour until firm.
- Share and enjoy!