Thanks to Joy of Baking, I have a new obsession: peanut butter balls. Just the sound of their name makes my mouth water...
The best part (besides how delicious they are) is that they're pretty easy to make! Although they're pretty easy, they do take awhile. For some reason I thought I could make some for everyone in my family as a Christmas present, and boy was that a mistake! I ended up making at least 125-150 before I gave up and decided that they would have to share. Ha!
I've made these twice now and the first time I followed the directions. They were delicious, but a little too sweet for me. You can find the original directions and ingredients list at the above link but I'll list mine for you here.
For Peanut Butter Balls
2 cups creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup (half a stick) of unsalted butter at room temperature
a pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 -2 cups confectioners sugar - It says to 2 cups, but I only used 1 1/2 because 2 was too sweet for me
For Chocolate Covering
About a bag or a bag and a half of semi-sweet chocolate chips - it's better to buy more than you need then not have enough
optional: 1 tablespoon shortening - to make the chocolate shiny
First things first, put the peanut butter, butter, and salt in a microwavable bowl and heat in 20 second increments (very important!!!), and stir in-between. Do this for about a minute, or until soft. Next, add the vanilla extract and confectioners sugar. Start mixing until it becomes dough-like.
Now this is where I have a useful tip. When I was making them the first time (I watched the video from the link), the lady said to just roll the peanut butter into balls with your hands. Well, mine WOULD NOT roll. They turned into cement on my hands and would not come off. After becoming very frustrated, I just plopped some somewhat ball-shaped clumps on the cookie sheet (covered in wax paper), stuck 'em in the freezer, and called it a day.
After about 15 minutes, I went to gaze at them in hunger.. And then I thought, I should try rolling them into balls now that they're a little harder and will maintain their shape better! After I was done rolling all of them into a more ball-like shape I stuck them back in to the freezer for another 15-20 minutes and prepared the chocolate coating.
I used exactly 1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Another tip, get the mini ones at Kroger. They're cheaper. I decided to use the shortening just so it would make the chocolate last longer. Heat the chocolate 30 seconds at a time until melted. Don't forget to stir in-between. I used a spoon to roll the peanut butter balls around in the chocolate and place them back on the tray.
Once the chocolates on, put them back in the freezer for 10-15 minutes so the chocolate will harden. Once hardened, you can store them in a container in the fridge!
They turned out great! The original recipe said it yielded about 60. Mine came out to about 45, but I made mine a little bigger. Either way, they won't last long!
Looking for some last minute gift ideas or some Christmas crafts! Check out my tutorial for these cute cupcake ornaments here! They're easy and adorable!