Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
Chocolate peanut butter balls are THE cornerstone of my family’s annual holiday gatherings (we get together A LOT). These are my favorite cookies, and have been since I was a small child. Every year we make these, and every year they are gone within hours! The recipe that we have used in my family is a lot different than most recipes out there. We use milk and butter in ours, which produces a richer, and creamier center. Chocolate peanut butter balls are naturally gluten-free, and can also be made dairy-free and vegan (see recipe notes). These cookies also freeze really well, in case you want to make them in advance and can resist the temptation to eat them! Chocolate peanut butter balls are super easy to make, and I am sure you are going to love them just as much as my family has all of these years!
How do you make peanut butter and chocolate balls?
Peanut butter and chocolate balls (or rather, chocolate peanut butter balls) are one of the easiest cookies to make. You simply mix the confectioner’s sugar, butter, milk, granulated sugar, vanilla, and peanut butter together. Form the mixture into 3/4 sized balls and place them on a wax paper lined baking sheet. Put the baking sheet into the refrigerator, or until firm. Melt chocolate and shortening in the microwave, and then dip each ball to coat. Cover with sprinkles if desired. Then pop the balls back into the refrigerator to harden. The complete recipe can be found below!
How long do chocolate covered peanut butter balls last?
In the refrigerator, they will last two weeks. In the freezer, they will last three months. However, these chocolate covered peanut butter balls will likely not make it past two or three days :).
How do you make peanut butter balls without chocolate?
If you are not into chocolate, you can simply not coat the peanut butter balls. To be honest, I have made many batches of these and just eaten the balls as is, without the chocolate, and they still taste phenomenal. There is also the option of adding in mini chocolate chips into the peanut butter mixture, forming the balls, and then not coating them as well.
How to Make Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
1. In a medium sized bowl, mix confectioner’s sugar, butter, milk, granulated sugar, vanilla extract with your hands until blended.
2. Mix in peanut butter with your hands.
3. Form mixture into 3/4″ balls and place on a wax paper lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least an hour, or until firm.
4. Melt chocolate chips and shortening in a small glass cup in the microwave according to package directions. For the chocolate chips I was using, this was 45s. I did this in 3 15s increments, checking on the chocolate chips after each 15s. After 45s, the chips and shortening were just starting to melt. After a several stirs, I ended up with a nice melted chocolate. It’s important to note here, that both the glass cup and the spoon need to be perfectly dry. If any water makes it into the chocolate, it will seize (hardens) and you won’t be able to use it. The chocolate can also seize if you heat it too much.
5. Remove balls from refrigerator. Spear balls with a toothpick, and dip into melted chocolate. Lift out and let excess chocolate drip off. Return balls to lined baking sheet. Before chocolate sets, top with sprinkles if desired. A few notes on this step. I found it easiest to spear the peanut butter ball and then hold it in the air while I used the spoon to drizzle and smooth out the chocolate over the ball (the photo below is an inaccurate representation of what I was doing, because I needed to take a photo and I only have two hands :)). I also coated only 2-3 balls at a time, so that I could decorate them before the chocolate hardened. The sprinkles I used are a combination of Walmart brand, Harry & David, and Wilton.
6. After balls are coated, return balls to refrigerator for 15-20 minutes, or until chocolate is set. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or in the freezer for 3 months.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
These chocolate peanut butter balls are my family's favorite! Super easy to make, and easy to customize for any holiday.
Peanut Butter Balls
- 2 cups confectioner's sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon milk of your choice
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon shortening
In a medium sized bowl, mix confectioner's sugar, butter, milk, granulated sugar, vanilla extract with your hands until blended.
Mix in peanut butter with your hands.
Form mixture into 3/4" balls and place on a wax paper lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least an hour, or until firm.
Melt chocolate chips and shortening in a small glass cup in the microwave according to package directions.
Remove balls from refrigerator. Spear balls with a toothpick, and dip into melted chocolate. Lift out and let excess chocolate drip off. Return balls to lined baking sheet. Before chocolate sets, top with sprinkles if desired.
After balls are coated, return balls to refrigerator for 15-20 minutes, or until chocolate is set. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or in the freezer for 3 months.
Dairy-free option: Substitute 1:1 margarine or any other dairy-free butter in place of butter. Substitute 1:1 any non-dairy milk in place of milk. I would suggest unsweetened almond milk. Substitute 1:1 chocolate chips with any dairy-free version, such as Enjoy Life or my homemade chocolate (this will give it a slight coconut flavor).
Vegan option: Make the substitutions in the dairy-free option above, and make sure both the confectioner's sugar and the granulated sugar are vegan.
Credit: My grandmother
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