Peanut Butter Balls

Peanut Butter Balls 1

Good morning!  Can you even believe that Christmas is 1 week away?  I haven’t finished my shopping yet, my house is a bit of a disaster, and I really need to figure out what we’ll be eating for Christmas morning breakfast, but other than that I’m doing OK.  Truthfully, I haven’t been this behind in my Christmas prep in years, but I will get it together, even if I have to be out finishing up my shopping this weekend with all the other procrastinators. 

One thing that I did accomplish was Cookie Baking Extravaganza 2012! 

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What is Cookie Baking Extravaganza, you ask?  Well, every year, I pick a bunch of cookie and treat recipes to make, and then I give the sweet results out as gifts to my co-workers and friends.  I normally choose a weekend and spend the whole time in the kitchen baking 20 or so dozen cookies and rolling Peanut Butter Balls and truffles.

These Peanut Butter Balls are a new tradition for me.  The recipe comes from my husband’s family, and my mother-in-law makes them every year, as did my husband’s grandmother and great-aunt.  Chris and I met during the month of November, so I wasn’t introduced to these delightful little treats until the following Christmas when my mother-in-law invited me over to help her make them.  I have to tell you, I was super nervous that I would mess something up, or they just wouldn’t be as good.  I mean, this is a big tradition we are talking about, so there was a lot of pressure! 

Luckily, the Peanut Butter Balls turned out great, and my mother-in-law didn’t regret sharing this “secret family recipe” with me.  (Don’t worry, she said it was OK if I shared it with you guys!) 

This weekend, we got together and made 4 BATCHES of Peanut Butter Balls.  Our arms were tired after all that rolling, and this was just the beginning of the baking for the day!

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 Begin by combining a stick of butter and a 16 oz. jar of peanut butter.

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 Mix it together until it looks like this.  Obviously, we used chunky peanut butter, but you can use smooth, if you prefer.

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Dump in a pound of powdered sugar, and mix until combined.

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The mixture will be crumbly, and look almost too dry, but it isn’t.

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 Set up a double boiler to begin to melt your chocolate and paraffin wax.  A couple of things here:

1) I don’t have an actual double boiler, so I just used a bowl on top of a pot of water.

2) I will never, ever, ever use a glass bowl for this technique again.  Last year, I tried and the bowl shattered.  Yes, it was Pyrex.  No, I have no idea why it shattered.  So, I’m sticking with stainless from here on out.  (Or maybe I will just get a real double boiler…)

3) The paraffin wax is optional, but recommended.  I know some people are weird about it, but it really helps the chocolate set up, and it is so smooth and shiny because of the wax.  You can also use Crisco, but really…just us the wax.

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So, melt the chocolate and the wax together until they are smooth. (There is a whole block of wax here because we made 4 batches-for one batch, use only 1/4 block.)

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See?  Smooth and shiny chocolate!

While the chocolate is melting, you want to roll the peanut butter mixture into balls.  The easiest way to do this (because remember the mixture is pretty crumbly) is to squeeze the dough very tightly in your hand to help it come together.  Then, roll it into smooth round balls.

{I had a picture of the rolled balls, but I don’t know where it is…Just imagine a big plate of peanut butter balls here}

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When the chocolate is all melted, and the balls are all rolled out, it is time to dip!  Using a fork, dip each ball into the chocolate and roll it around until it is completely covered.  Remove the dipped peanut butter ball from the chocolate and let t he excess drip off.  It helps to move the up and down to shake some of the extra chocolate off.  Place the dipped peanut butter balls onto a wax paper lined baking sheet and allow the chocolate to set.

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These little treats are so rich and creamy.  You can really be satisfied with just one (or maybe two).  Unless you are my husband, who loves them so much, he eats them by the handful.

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 Peanut Butter Balls

Makes 5 dozen*

Print this recipe!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 16 oz jar or peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
  • 1 lb package powdered sugar
  • 1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 block paraffin wax (or 1/4 cup Crisco, but the wax is better)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix the butter and peanut butter together until smooth.  
  2. Add in the powdered sugar and mix until it is combined.  (The best way to do this is with your hands. The mixture will be crumbly.)
  3. Begin melting the chocolate and the wax together in a double boiler. 
  4. Meanwhile, roll the peanut butter mixture into small balls, probably a little less than 1 inch.  The best way to do this is to squeeze the mixture tightly together a few times, and then roll and shape into a round ball.  Set rolled balls aside for dipping.
  5. When all the balls are formed, dip them into the melted chocolate using a fork.  Set on a wax paper lined cooking sheet and place in the fridge or freezer to set. 

*I have never gotten 5 dozen from this recipe.  I make them too big, so make them smaller if you really want 5 dozen.  

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4 comments to Peanut Butter Balls

  • donna johnston

    I find that there is one problem when you share these goodies with neighbors, friends etc. EVERYONE wants more next year! (just kidding!) It’s great to see the smile on their faces when I deliver them…makes my heart feel good to share a little of me with all the people I love. I am so Blessed to have a wonderful daughter (in law) who wants to share traditions and to help make new ones!!

  • jodi

    Becky these were amazingly delicious! John brought a few to work and they never made it home to my kids as I had intended:). About how long is the process making them? Have a blessed holiday!

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