Peanut Butter Balls

This recipe comes to me from my grandmother, who used to make these all the time as a treat for the grandkids when we'd go over to her house. I've modified it very slightly to make it vegan, but otherwise it's the same recipe she used.

First, you mix together two cups of peanut butter (smooth), 1/4 pound (1/2 cup or 2 sticks) of Earth Balance (or butter), and one pound (one box) of powdered sugar. Probably the hardest part of the whole thing is wrangling two cups of peanut butter out of the jar and into a bowl, as peanut butter does not like to be measured. I suppose this is one of those things where the easiest way to do it is to throw it into a measuring cup filled with water and measure the displacement, but then you get soggy peanut butter.

Anyhow, mix the three ingredients together by hand. In the end, you should have a nice, not-very-stick batter, like so:


Now line a baking sheet with wax paper. Roll the batter into little balls, perhaps an inch in diameter, and lay out on the baking sheet, like so:


You'll note that some of the balls I have are quite smooth, while others are more rough. This is because I got lazy. Small amounts of the batter will stick to your hand as you are making it. As you get more detritus on them, it becomes harder to make a smooth ball. This means you have to periodically wash your hands to keep everything smooth. I did not, so my balls are pointy.

Stick a toothpick in each ball, then place everything in the freezer, like so:


Let them freeze a couple of hours. When they're getting about done-ish, melt yourself some chocolate chips. Use a double boiler, or make your own. Just take two pots, one slightly larger than the other. Put an inch or two of water in the larger pot, then put the smaller pot inside of it. Voila! Double boiler. Put the chips in (use whatever type of chocolate you like, though I used Guittard semi-sweet chocolate)
and heat at medium heat. The double boiler configuration gives you a bit more leeway in terms of heat; generally you wouldn't want to heat chocolate any higher than low or you'd risk burning it. It should all look something like this:


Now comes the second-hardest part. You need to do this part relatively fast. Don't rush it or anything, but be aware that you can't goldbrick while doing this. Your goal is to get the balls out of the freezer, dip them in chocolate, then freeze them again. The problem is that you'll be holding the balls by the toothpicks, the balls will slide off if they get too warm, and you'll be dipping them in warm chocolate. If you move too slowly, the later balls will have thawed enough that they'll fall off into the chocolate when you dip them. So, with all deliberate speed, take each ball by turn, dip it in the chocololate, swirl it so that it's between half and two-thirds coated, then put it back on the wax paper. You can either take the toothpicks out now or wait until later. They'll slide out more easily now, but your chances of destroying a ball in the course of removing the toothpick are somewhat elevated.

Now your balls should look like this:


Freeze them again, clean up the mess, take them out, remove any toothpicks that you may have left, and there you go! Peanut Butter Balls!


Note that the decrease in the number of balls is due to my getting hungry and eating some, and also packing up a few (store in plastic bags in the refrigerator) before remembering to take a picture.

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This page contains a single entry by Zach published on August 11, 2006 11:36 PM.

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