With the popularity of both my Lemon Cookie Balls and Homemade Circus Animal Cookies, I wanted to make another fun mashup of the two. This Circus Cookie Ball Recipe is so yummy. I haven’t met anyone who isn’t immediately charmed by these tasty little treats.
While testing out this recipe, I tried both Golden Oreos and packaged pink and white cookies. I decided that the ones made with Golden Oreos were by far more superior in flavor and texture.
How do you crush cookies for cookie balls?
The best method for crushing sandwich or packaged cookies is with either a food processor or blender. Sandwich cookies can be crushed by hand with a rolling pin instead, but the size of the crushed cookie crumbs won’t be as uniform.
Do cookie balls need to be refrigerated?
It’s a good idea to refrigerate cookie balls because they contain cream cheese. However, they can sit out for a while when being served. Storing the cookie balls in the fridge or freezer will keep them the freshest for the longest. I recommend storing them in airtight containers or resealable freezer bags.
How far in advance can I make cookie balls?
Cookie balls can be definitely be made in advance. The truffles can be assembled completely or in stages depending on preference or need.
The centers can be made and frozen for as long as several weeks store in an airtight container or bag and dipped while frozen. Or they can be made and refrigerated for up to 3-4 days.
The cookie balls can be made and dipped, then frozen for up to several weeks or months in a freezer-safe container or bag. However, because there will be condensation from the freezer, the color on the sprinkles may start to run a bit. But it won’t affect the taste. They’re actually really good right out of the freezer!
What do I use for dipping cookie balls?
For this particular recipe, I use candy melts because they are very easy to work with and come in the perfect pink color. White chocolate, almond bark, and other candy wafers can be used. Real white chocolate, which contains cacao butter, is a little tricky to work with in comparison to the other options which do not. White chocolate chips or vanilla chips are a great option too.
Adding food coloring to candy wafers and the other options may not work unless an oil-based food coloring is used. If a water-based food coloring is used, the chocolate or candy may separate or harden (seize). Sometimes the smooth, creamy texture can be brought back by adding a little vegetable oil, shortening, or butter, but not always. And that is why I love the candy melts that are already the color I want them to be.
How do I thin candy melts for a thinner coating?
Adding shortening or another fat to the melted candy melts will help thin them out for a thinner shell. Wilton brand EZ Thin or paramount crystals contain the same fats as the candy melts and works very well at thinning. I use a teaspoon or two of melted vegetable shortening. This also helps the candy melts stay liquid for a bit longer too.
Circus Cookie Balls
- 1 package Golden Oreos 14.3 ounces, not double-stuffed
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 2 teaspoons rainbow nonpareils plus more for sprinkling
- 1 package white candy melts
- 1 package pink candy melts
- 2 teaspoons vegetable shortening
- Place Golden Oreos or circus cookies into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the "S" chopping blade. Pulse a few times to break up the cookies, then process for 15-30 seconds until the cookie crumbs look like sand and no larger pieces remain.
- Add the cream cheese to the food processor and pulse again a few times, then process until the mixture is well-combined. It will be fairly wet and sticky at first, but will thicken up as it sits.
- Using a mini ice cream scoop, portion out the "dough" and roll each into a 3/4-inch ball. Place on a plate or tray lined with waxed paper and place in freezer for at least 30 minutes, or up to several days in advance.
- To dip cookie balls - line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Place each bag of candy melts into a separate bowl or glass measuring cup. Microwave on 50% power for one minute, then for 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until smooth and creamy. Stir 1 teaspoon vegetable shortening into each bowl or cup. Add more if needed, until candy melts are at the desired consistency.
- Working one or two at a time, drop each chilled cookie ball into the candy melts and gently press down with a fork so they are completely coated. Lift each one out of the coating and gently rap the fork on the rim of the bowl or cup to allow the excess to fall back in with the rest. Transfer each truffle to the waxed paper and sprinkle with some of the nonpareils. Allow to set up completely in a cool place, like the refrigerator. Once set, transfer the truffles to an airtight container or resealable bag and store in the fridge or freezer until ready to eat. Will keep well for about a week in the fridge, or several months in the freezer.