This easy Peanut Butter Balls recipe is a delightful blend of sweet and nutty flavors making these a perfect treat and irresistible dessert!
Peanut Butter Balls are another classic confection that we make every Christmas. They’re a little more work than some of the other things we make, but they’re totally worth the effort.
There’s just something about the peanut butter and chocolate combo, though, right? I’ve never been shy about professing my love for it, and I’m not shy about expressing my love for these things either. They’re just so good. And apparently, Jack has developed the same love because I’m constantly finding him in the kitchen stealing a few. I just wish I had that kid’s metabolism!
What is the difference between a peanut butter ball and a buckeye?
Buckeyes and peanut butter balls are very similar desserts! Both are made with peanut butter, sugar, and butter. Where these two tend to differ is in both their appearance and geographic location.
Buckeyes are basically peanut butter balls until it comes time to coat the ball in chocolate. The buckeye leaves a small bit of peanut butter peeking through the top. This is done intentionally to resemble the nut of the state tree of Ohio – the buckeye. Peanut butter balls are completely covered in chocolate.
Now speaking of Ohio, that leads to the next main difference between buckeyes and peanut butter balls. Ohio ain’t nowhere near these parts, i.e. the South. And, you don’t find many buckeye trees in the South either. Therefore, you will most likely hear about peanut butter balls in the South and buckeyes in the North, specifically the Midwest.
Tips for making the perfect peanut butter balls
Add in some graham crackers – While some folks are peanut butter ball purists and want nothing but peanut butter and powdered sugar in theirs, I like them with some crushed graham crackers mixed in. The graham crackers add a little flavor without covering up the peanut butter and improve the texture by giving the balls a little crunch and cutting through the thick peanut butter, too.
Fully coat the peanut butter balls – I have noticed that when you do not fully coat the peanut butter ball in chocolate, these delicious dessert bites tend to dry out, especially the peanut butter filling. So, be sure you get them good and coated all the way around.
Steer away from the mixer – While I’ve seen some recipes call for you to mix the peanut butter mixture together with a mixer, I find that it often adds too much air into the mixture. That creates a great texture to eat, but the lighter balls are really hard to get coated in chocolate because they’re so soft. I typically just use a thick-handled wooden spoon and then get in there with clean or gloved hands to get everything well combined.
Use almond bark or candy coating – When it comes time to coat these in chocolate, I use almond bark or candy coating, but not the candy coating wafers. Those candy coating wafers just firm up too fast for me. I follow the instructions on the package for melting the chocolate and then coat them with two forks – being sure to tap the excess chocolate off by tapping the fork on the edge of the bowl.
Try out my homemade double boiler method – To make the process a little easier, I make a double boiler of sorts by putting a bowl with the melted chocolate in it inside my slow cooker filled with water set to warm. It helps to keep the chocolate melted as it takes a little while to get the balls coated. You can see an old picture of my contraption over on my post for Martha Washington Balls.
How long are peanut butter balls good for?
How long your peanut butter balls are good for depends on how you store them. You can store your peanut butter balls at room temperature, in the refrigerator, or the freezer. Here is a quick rundown of how long your peanut butter balls will last based on where you store them:
- At room temperature, your peanut butter balls are good for about 1-2 weeks.
- In the refrigerator, peanut butter balls are good for 4-6 weeks when kept in an airtight container.
- In the freezer, peanut butter balls are good for 2-3 months if kept in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag.
Should peanut butter balls be stored in the fridge?
Where you store peanut butter balls is totally up to your preference. You absolutely can store them in the fridge. As mentioned above, peanut butter balls are best kept in an airtight container in the fridge. This helps with preventing them from drying out. When kept in an appropriate container, you can keep peanut butter balls fresh for about 4-6 weeks. Enjoy!
Peanut Butter Balls
- 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 to 2 (16 to 24-ounce) packages chocolate almond bark/candy coating
- In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, butter, powdered sugar, graham cracker crumbs, and salt. (You can use a mixer here, but I prefer a wooden spoon and clean hands. For me, using a mixer makes the texture too light which makes them hard to coat in chocolate without falling apart.)
- Make the balls by rolling about 1 tablespoon of the mixture into a tight ball. Place them on a baking sheet and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
- Melt the almond bark according to the package instructions. Use two forks to roll each ball in the chocolate and tap off the excess before placing them on a large sheet of wax or parchment paper. Work in batches, keeping the rest cool in the refrigerator until you're ready to dip. Work until all of the balls are coated.
- Store in an airtight container for a few days or in the fridge for longer.
If nutritional values are provided, they are an estimate and will vary depending on the brands used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, I recommend grabbing your favorite brands and plugging those ingredients into an online nutritional calculator.