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Peanut Butter Balls - Melt in your Mouth Good
So good, you can't have just one!
Baking is a part of my life. It isn't that I necessarily love to eat everything, but there is something about those compliments that taste better than the delicious treats itself.
This year as the holidays came around, I did something that surprised everybody. I announced I wasn't going to be doing my usual holiday baking, which isn't really baking much, it is more like candy making. I had thought this would be beneficial as I had put in so much time and effort to better myself with P90X, and I didn't want my willpower caving in over the holidays.
My decision, of course, did not come with support. So my husband decided to comprimise. I didn't have to do my holiday baking... but I did have to still make the Christmas Cookies, the Sweet Tooth Treats, and the Peanut Butter Balls. So, I decided it was time to check my willpower and go for it. After all, it was the holidays.
Now I am not really sure where Peanut Balls originated from, and I know there are several different recipes out there that make a similiar type treat with a few different ingredients. This is the recipe that I have used for years and is part of my family cookbook.
Not only are these little treats delicious, but they are so easy to make that it really isn't necessary to just confine these to the holidays. I have been making them for years, and with the exception of this year, I usually make an overabundance of them. So after I am done and the peanut butter balls are set, I usually bag them up and freeze them so they stay fresh for longer periods of time.
Yet this year, I apparently didn't make enough. While I usually find these peanut butter balls in my freezer come June, this year we didn't even make it to the end of January. These peanut butter balls are already gone. So, it got me thinking. Maybe I should make some more. The kids love them and honestly, they aren't the worst treat you could have for a chocolate craving.
While the calorie count will depend on the brand and the type of chocolate you use, (and of course how big your balls are) these treats are only about 100 calories per treat. I can think of many other things that are much worse. Unfortunately, you can't eat just one. So you have been warned.
Now let's get to it...
Get out a big bowl and mix everything up
The list is short for this recipe, which is nice because it means most times you will have all the stuff on hand. Or, if you do need to run to the store to pick up the ingredients, you know it isn't going to break the bank.
- 2 cups peanut butter
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (About half a package of graham crackers)
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup margarine
- Block of chocolate (dark or regular - whatever you prefer!)
In addition to the ingredients, you will aslo need a large bowl to combine the ingredients in; a gallon sized ziploc bag to crush the graham crackers into crumbs; measuring cups; wax paper to let the chocolate set; and a double broiler (to heat the chocolate with).
Dipping and Dunking
Here's how you do it...
This is an easy recipe. You can even get the kids involved in the beginning stages.
As in all baking, make sure you have all ingredients and all tools out and ready for easy reach. While there is nothing that will happen if you don't because there really isn't anything on a time limit here, it does make your life in the kitchen easier.
The first thing you are going to do is crumble those graham crackers. I place a few whole crackers in a bag at a time and then hand it off to the kids. They like crumbling up. When they are done, I take a rolling pin over the top to make sure there are no huge crumbles left over.
Now measure out your ingredients... mix the peanut butter, graham crackers, powdered sugar and margarine together. Do NOT attempt this with a spoon. It will take you forever and your arm will get tired. So get dirty with it and dig in with both hands. It will have a better consistency and be much easier on you.
Once everything is mixed, roll them into small balls. You are going to want to put a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet and place them there. After the balls are rolled, you can go straight to dipping them in the chocolate, but I prefer to set them by placing them in the refrigerator or freezer for about an hour. This will help them hold together when you start putting them in hot chocoloate.
Now it is time to prepare the chocolate. In your double broiler, place water in the bottom pan and the chocolate in the top pan. Although if you have a double broiler you probably already knew that! Melt the chocolate.
When you are ready, place a sheet of waxed paper down and start dunking your balls in the chocolate. Let them lay on the waxed paper until the chocolate is nice and set. Then you can either place them on a decorative plate for everybody to enjoy or you can bag them up in a gallon ziploc bag and put them in the refrigerator or freezer. I usually freeze mine and they can last for up to 6 months or more.
Yep - It really is that easy!
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A few extra notes
- This recipe will make about 50 to 60 different balls depending on how large you make them.
- This is a great treat to package up with other goodies as a nice, homemade gift.
- This is super easy... so get the kids involved.
- While it is good to get the kids involved, the adults should always be the ones doing the dipping in the chocolate. The chocolate and the pan is hot and could easily cause burns.
- You will get dirty. Don't dress in your Sunday best for this adventure.
- Once the balls are dipped in chocolate, plan to leave them sit out for at least an hour or two. You want to make sure it is nice and solid before you package them up.
- Feel free to change it up. While I normally just use chocolate, this year I used Dark Chocolate. The results were amazing, which is probably why they are already gone.
- These are sweet enough that having one is definately a cure for the sweet tooth.
- Don't be surpised if you make this once and suddenly people are requesting that you make it again.
- These Peanut Butter Balls are highly addictive. I DARE you to just eat one!