Thursday, December 22, 2011

Peanut Butter Balls

This recipe has surely been around for ages and with good reason!! They really are fabulous!! But you know me! I like to make things a little healthier, if I can, and lately, I've had to make things free of wheat, dairy and yeast.  So, I revamped an old favorite using natural peanut butter - containing no hydrogenated oils, added oils or sugar - and ingredients that do not contain dairy or wheat.

If you have made these before, you know there is actually butter mixed in with the peanut butter. Ew!! I also find that my sweet tooth likes things less sweet, so I decreased the sugar and I use a high cocoa content chocolate (60-70%) for taste and to avoid dairy.  With all these mature changes, I like to think of these as Grown Up Peanut Butter Balls! (Now I suppose if you added a splash of Bailey's, you could call them Silly Grown Up Peanut Butter Balls!!!  Somebody do that and let me know how they turn out!!) And finally, I like a good crunch, so I increased the krispies. 

So, does this mean these Grown Up PB Balls are good for you?! No, but with the lack of hydrogenated oil and butter, along with less sugar, and a purer chocolate with a higher content of antioxidants, this recipe is just as tasty and less likely to do as much damage!  

3 cups peanut butter
3 cups powdered sugar
3-4 cups krispy rice cereal
2 cups dark chocolate chips

In a large bowl, mix the peanut butter and sugar. Slowly to start so you don't whirl all the sugar out of the bowl!

Oops! I get a little sloppy! I should take my own advice!

Once combined, add the krispy rice.  I start with 2 cups and then add more to my preference. If you add too much, your mix is too dry and won't stick together! So go gently.  I find somewhere between 3 and 4 cups is nirvana! Blend slowly to prevent mashing the cereal until totally combined. 

Set aside.

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler - or if you don't have such a fancy gadget, do what I do.  Place a big bowl over a bigger pot with a few inches of water in the pot.  Set the water to boil.  As the water boils, it heats the bowl and melts the chocolate without scorching it!

Mmmmm.... melting chocolate!

While the chocolate is melting, work on making balls from the peanut butter mixture.  You can make them as big or small as you want.  I usually shoot for a ball one inch in diameter, give or take a little.

Be sure to lay down wax paper on a cookie sheet for easy release. 

They look like little soldiers all in a row!

I also looove to have help! And this is a project my kids actually like to help with!!! It's a win/win!

Just be sure they wash their hands!!! ;0)

Remember our chocolate! It should be melted by now!!
Ahhh!! A nice pool of chocolate!! Time for skinny dippin!!

As far as I know, you cannot buy a fork like this one! BUT you can create one, just like we did!! All you need is a flimsy fork and some muscle!

Once dipped, I like to roll the ball gently up the side of the bowl, catching it each time, to release some of the chocolate.  You don't want the chocolate too thick or your sweet little bonbon will have feet!  

Put the now-lightly-covered peanut butter ball back on the wax covered cookie sheet. 

Let them cool on the pan awhile or freeze them a bit before you pack them into delicious Christmas treats for family and friends!  

I know! You can't help yourself! Just give in and try one!!!


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