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
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! Nevertheless, I figure it’s best not to do that anymore even if it is technically food-grade.
The Peanut Butter Balls taste heavenly whether or not they’re shiny, so don’t get too worried about it!
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.
The recipe is below, and here are some other recipes to tempt you:
>>Have you made these Peanut Butter Balls? Scroll down to let me know what you think, and please leave a star rating!
Peanut Butter Balls
- 1 pound confectioner’s sugar (about 4 cups)
- 2 cups creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup butter, unsalted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (a tad more than 2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
- Have ready a large baking sheet lined with wax or parchment paper.
- Cream together the confectioners sugar, peanut butter, butter and vanilla.
- Use your hands to roll 1-1/2 – 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.
- 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.
- 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 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. Regular peanut butter has a consistent, stable emulsion. Natural peanut butter however has a less stable emulsion and the oil is 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. Therefore, I recommend using regular peanut butter for this recipe.
Originally published in 2015. Updated 12/11/2019.