If you love Reeses or Justin’s peanut butter cups, then you will want to make these bite size chocolate peanut butter balls. They are simply fabulous. I usually make them for my closest friends and family during the holidays but my daughter really wanted some early this year. Everyone keeps asking her about her chocolate post so I think she wanted to share this recipe with her friends.
Since so many kids have peanut allergies, I tried to make some with almond butter. I used freshly ground almond butter and it is not smooth enough and does not have enough oil to create a creamy center. You can see the difference between the creamy peanut butter on the left and the crumbly almond butter on the right. I highly recommend using a smooth nut butter. The texture will be off if you don’t.
I know some schools allow sunflower seed butter and if you try it in these treats, please let me know how they taste.
My mother used creamy Jiff and Nestle Toll House milk semi-sweet chocolate chips to make these. They work very well. I tried the Santa Cruz creamy peanut butter this time and it was really good. They do not use any hydrogenated oils, sugar or artificial flavors so it is a healthier option.
The original recipe calls for paraffin but I am not a fan of eating wax so I use unsalted or pasture butter instead of paraffin. You can also use vegetable shortening to create a smooth chocolate coating. If you know what ingredients gourmet chocolate companies use to create their chocolates, please share!
1) Let the butter soften at room temperature. Add 1 stick of pasture or unsalted butter to your processor, 1.5 cups of creamy nut butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste and mix until very smooth. Gradually add 1 pound of confectioners powdered sugar until the mixture is not sticky when rolled between your palms.
2) Use a melon ball scooper or a spoon to scoop out some of the mixture and roll into a ball using the palms of your hands. The balls should be about 1 inch in diameter. Place in the refrigerator to harden while you melt the chocolate.
3) Boil water in a medium sauce pan. Turn to simmer or remove from heat. Add 1 stick of unsalted butter and one bag of 12 ounce semi-sweet chocolate chips to a double boiler and place over boiled water. Melt butter and chips. Mix in 1 teaspoon of vanilla, if using. The chocolate should be velvety smooth. If it is too thick, add more butter or organic vegetable shortening.
Note: If you do not have a double boiler, use a medium size sauce pan and a metal or pyrex bowl that fits on top of the saucepan.
4) Dip a toothpick or skewer in the chocolate and then pierce one of the balls. This creates the “buckeye.” Then, dip the ball into the chocolate and partially cover. You can coat the entire ball in chocolate and sprinkle with Hand Harvested Fleur de sel or Rosemary french grey for a more gourmet treat. Set the dipped balls on wax paper and place in the refrigerator to harden.
These last in the refrigerator for up to two weeks if you do not eat them first! You can also freeze them for later. Enjoy!
**Original recipe from Barbara Ender (Mrs. Steven) Watkinsville, Georgia in the Puttin’ On The Peachtree Dining In Atlanta Style Junior League Cookbook of Dekalb County, Georgia