Monday, December 17, 2012

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls

Cookie exchanges are among us! I made these easy peanut butter balls as my contribution to cookie platters for the volunteer teachers who play with and teach LE for two hours on Thursdays. She adores them and often has to be dragged away when the two hours are up.

I found this recipe on Pinterest. Though it took a long time to patiently dip each ball, these were really easy to make and don't use the oven. The nice thing about these is that you can start and stop at any point without affecting the end product.

I imagine you could speed up the dipping process by doing it the way that the original poster does it-- get a big spoonful of chocolate and use your fingers to dip the ball. I'm not keen on using my hands all over the food I'm going to distribute, especially if it's uncooked. Even with washed hands, I feel dirty doing it. That's just me.

To get around rolling the balls in my hands, I quickly made all of the balls with a small portion scoop. Then, I dipped them one by one by balancing a ball on a fork, dipping it into the chocolate,  and scraping the bottom against the edge of the bowl or another fork to remove the excess chocolate.

(Instagram phone photo)
Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Balls
Adapted slightly from this recipe
Makes approximately 70 balls

You can easily scale this down or up depending on your needs. It's wise to have some extra chocolate chips handy in the event that you run out. I used 1 3/4 bags total.

1 jar smooth peanut butter, 18 oz (I used Simply Jif)
4 tbs butter, melted
1 lb (approx 3 cups) powdered sugar
3 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 bag milk chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli)
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli 60% Cacao)

In a large bowl, mix together (by hand with a sturdy spoon or by electric mixer) peanut butter, melted butter, and powdered sugar. Add the cereal and stir/mix until a ball. Add more peanut butter if you need more glue or powdered sugar if it's too sticky. (I didn't need to do any adjustments.)

Scoop with a small 1 1/2 tsp portion scoop the peanut butter mixture onto a lined cookie sheet or two (parchment paper, wax paper, or Silpat all work). Alternatively, roll into a ball in your hands 1 1/2 tsp of the mixture.

In a heatproof small bowl, heat together half of each type of chocolate in the microwave. Start at one minute on 50% power, stir, then 30 second 50% power increments until it's all completely melted and smooth. (Alternatively, use a double-boiler or glass bowl over a saucepan with barely simmering water).

Using a fork or your fingers, dip the balls one by one into the bowl, scrape and drip off the excess chocolate, and place on the lined cookie sheet. Continue with all the balls, reheating the chocolate as needed.

If you desire to add sprinkles, do a few at a time so that the chocolate isn't too soft (the sprinkles will slide down) or hard (they won't stick).

Refrigerate until the chocolate is completely firm then store in an airtight container in the fridge. These can be eaten at room temp or cold. These also freeze well.



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