This recipe… these Peanut Butter Balls are just sublime.
My sister and I have fond memories of these delicacies appearing at our house and at our grandmother’s house during the holidays. For this reason they are to me a Christmastime treat, even though the ingredients are on hand year-round.
I remember one year at Gram’s house a tall glass jar was filled with them. My sister and I ate in one sitting all but two or three of the Peanut Butter Balls in that jar! (That was when my mother caught us and made us stop.)
There are lots of recipes out there for treats like these, often under the name of Buckeyes. I am sharing here the recipe as it was given to us from our grandmother.
However, one ingredient that I did not use from the original is paraffin wax. I remember making them as a kid and melting the wax in with the chocolate, which helped the chocolate coating used to set up really quickly and gave it a lovely shine! Even though we turned out okay after eating all the wax, these days it doesn’t seem like a good idea to use it, even if it is technically food-grade. (A quick internet search revealed mixed opinions.) Instead I use a tiny bit of vegetable shortening to help the chocolate set. If you are skilled at tempering chocolate then you can skip the vegetable shortening altogether.
The Peanut Butter Balls taste heavenly whether or not they’re shiny! The recipe is below, and here are some other recipes to tempt you:
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.
- 1 lb. confectioner's sugar
- 2 cups creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup butter, unsalted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
- 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
Cream together the confectioners sugar, peanut butter, butter and vanilla. From this mixture roll 1 and 1/2-inch balls and place onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Refrigerate the balls for 3-4 hours.
In the top of a double-boiler, heat and stir the chocolate and vegetable shortening until it's melted and smooth. Use toothpicks to lower the peanut butter balls one at a time into the chocolate and coat them thoroughly. (Sometimes the balls have the annoying habit of slipping off the toothpicks. You can instead place a ball on the tines of a fork and spoon chocolate over the ball to coat it.) Place the balls back on the wax paper and leave for 1-2 hours until cooled and 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!