Creamy and sweet peanut butter balls in a smooth, chocolate shell! They are a delicious candy popular at the holidays but wonderful any time of the year.
Holy Peanut Butter Balls, Batman: these sweet, chocolate-covered treats are delectable!
My sister and I have fond memories of peanut butter balls making an appearance at the start of every Christmas season. So to me, they are a holiday treat even though the ingredients are on hand year-round.
At our grandparent's house, a tall glass jar would be filled with them. Once my sister and I ate all but two or three! (We stopped when we were caught, literally with our hands in the peanut butter ball jar.)
There are other recipes out there for treats like these (often under the name of Buckeyes) but in my opinion our family recipe is THE BEST, and that's the recipe I share here.
With one exception: one ingredient that I don't use from the original recipe is paraffin wax. I remember making peanut butter balls as a kid and dropping pieces of wax in the melting chocolate. It's a quick way to get dipping chocolate that sets up quickly and with some shine — something normally achieved by tempering chocolate.
So yes... the kids in my family ate a fair amount of wax at Christmastime. But hey — we turned out okay! But Peanut Butter Balls taste heavenly whether or not they're shiny, so I'm okay leaving out the wax!
Why you'll love this recipe
These Peanut Butter Balls are fun and pretty easy to make. I loved making them as a kid, and you should get the kids in your house in on this action, too!
The centers are a sweet and creamy peanut confection, dipped in chocolate and allowed to set until firm.
Make these candies for your own candy jar, for cookie exchanges, to send to loved ones, and even for bake sales!
🔪 How to make this recipe
Step 1: Make the peanut butter filling
Cream together the sugar, peanut butter, butter and vanilla. Scoop and gently shape the filling into small balls. Place them on a lined baking sheet and refrigerate them until they're firm.
Step 2: Melt the chocolate
Place the chocolate and vegetable shortening in the top of a double boiler with simmering water in the bottom pan. Stir the chocolate until it's melted and smooth.
Step 3: Dip the balls into chocolate
Lower the peanut butter balls into the melted chocolate using a toothpick or the tines of a fork. Once the ball is thoroughly coated, place it on a wax paper-lined sheet or work surface. Coat all of the peanut butter balls. Allow them to cool and set for about 2 hours.
A stand or hand mixer
2 baking sheets
Wax or parchment paper
A fridge for chilling
Double-boiler or heat-proof bowl to set over a pan
Toothpicks for dipping.
Regular peanut butter has a consistent, stable emulsion. In natural peanut butter, the emulsion is less stable and the oil often separates - which means these peanut butter balls will be sticky and may not hold their shape. I recommend using regular peanut butter for this recipe.
Ready for a delicious candy that you will find irresistibly sweet and delicious?
The recipe is below, and here are some other chocolaty treats to tempt you:
💬 Have you made these Peanut Butter Balls? What do you think? Scroll down to leave a comment, and a star rating!
Peanut Butter Balls
- A stand or hand mixer
- 2 baking sheets
- Wax or parchment paper
- A fridge for chilling
- Double-boiler, or heat-proof bowl to set over a pan
- Toothpicks or a fork for dipping.
- 1 pound confectioner's sugar (about 4 cups)
- 2 cups creamy peanut butter
- ½ cup butter, unsalted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (a tad more than 2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
Make the peanut butter filling:
- Have ready a large baking sheet lined with wax or parchment paper.
- Cream together the confectioners sugar, peanut butter, butter and vanilla.
Roll the balls:
- Use your hands to roll 1 ½-inch balls from this mixture, placing them onto the prepared baking sheet. (You can also use a tablespoon-sized cookie scoop, and then roll the ball quickly in your hands to smooth it.)
- Refrigerate the balls for 3-4 hours until they are very firm.
Melt the chocolate:
- In the top of a double-boiler, heat and stir the chocolate and the vegetable shortening until they're melted and smooth.
- Have another sheet of wax or parchment paper ready on a baking sheet where you will place the chocolate-coated balls.
Dip the peanut butter balls:
- Spear a chilled peanut butter ball with a toothpick, or place it on the tines of a fork, and lower it into the melted chocolate. Coat it thoroughly, using a spoon if necessary. to get the entire surface covered.
- Place the ball on the wax paper. Repeat these steps with all of the peanut butter balls.
- Allow them to cool for 1-2 hours until the chocolate is set.
- Store the balls in an airtight container at room temperature. They will last for up to 1 week - if by some remarkable chance they do not all get eaten in the first 24 hours!
- Some people have asked if natural peanut butter can be used in this recipe - I recommend using regular peanut butter. Regular peanut butter has a consistent, stable emulsion whereas natural peanut butter has a less stable emulsion, and the oil has usually separated. Using natural peanut butter in this recipe will yield a sticky result that may not hold the shape or hold up to dipping.
Originally published in 2015. Updated 12/01/2020.