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!
They’re referred to as buckeyes when you don’t coat the entire peanut butter ball with chocolate and leave a little peanut butter peeking through the top because they resemble the nut of the state tree of Ohio – the buckeye. My version has you coat the entire peanut butter ball with chocolate. I love the look of the buckeye, but find that leaving the peanut butter filling exposed often lets them dry out quickly. This recipe will work either way.
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.
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.
When it comes time to coat these in chocolate, I use almond bark or the candy coating, but not the candy coating wafers. 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.
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 crock filled with warm 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.
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.