Easy Peanut Butter Balls
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Peanut Butter Balls (a.k.a. buckeyes or truffles) are an easy Christmas candy, made with only 6 ingredients. These creamy no-bake chocolate peanut butter balls are great for holiday gifting.
Christmas candy making doesn’t have to be hard. These no-bake, easy peanut butter balls taste like Reese’s peanut butter cups, and are super simple to make.
Peanut butter balls freeze well for several months, so you can make them ahead of time, and save all your other holiday baking for closer to Christmas. Go ahead and double this recipe to stock up!
Tips for Easy Peanut Butter Balls
Even though these peanut butter balls are incredibly easy to make, they are a bit messy. I don’t think you can avoid that when dipping things in melted chocolate, but I have some tips to help you out.
- Use creamy peanut butter like Jif or Skippy. Natural style peanut butter can cause the filling to be dry and crumbly.
- Use a small cookie scoop. I would use a #50 or #60 scoop to make these easy peanut butter balls. It will give you even sizes and make the filling easy to roll into a nice round ball.
- Chill the peanut butter balls. This is a MUST! It helps the chocolate set up quickly, keeps the peanut butter from sticking to your dipping utensil, and a cold firm ball will keep its shape after being submerged in warm chocolate.
- Use Ghirardelli Melting Wafers for the chocolate. Unless you feel like chopping up some baking chocolate (which is sold in 4oz bars in the baking aisle). These wafers can be melted straight over a double boiler or in the microwave using short 30 second bursts.
- Technically you can also use chocolate chips, but you’ll need to add two Tablespoons of shortening or coconut oil to thin the chocolate to a proper dipping consistency.
- You can even use almond bark if you want.
- Use a fork and toothpick for dipping. Simply toss a peanut butter ball into the chocolate and roll it around with a fork until it’s fully coated. Then use the fork to lift it out of the bowl. Tap the fork on the edge of the bowl to remove any excess chocolate, and use a toothpick to slide it off of the fork and onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
- If you’re feeling fancy, this set of chocolate dipping tools is fun to use.
- Re-warm the chocolate as needed. If the chocolate gets too thick while you’re dipping, just throw it back over the double boiler or nuke it in the microwave for another 30 seconds.
Peanut Butter Balls vs. Buckeyes
“Buckeyes” is another common name for these chocolate peanut butter balls.
The main difference is that these peanut butter truffles are completely coated in chocolate, instead of just 3/4 of the way.
The reason buckeye balls are only partially dipped, is so that they resemble the nut of a buckeye tree, the state tree of Ohio. Which is how the chocolate-dipped peanut butter treat got its name.
Regardless of what you call these peanut butter and chocolate treats, they are a MUST make for the holiday season.
Throw them in a cute cellophane Christmas bag and they make easy neighbor gifts too.
Peanut Butter Balls Recipe
You only need six ingredients to make these chocolate peanut butter balls.
- Peanut Butter: This is the main ingredient to flavor the filling. Use a creamy peanut butter like Jif or Skippy. Avoid natural peanut butters as they tend to dry out and crumble.
- Butter: You can use salted or unsalted butter. I like to use salted butter to help balance out the sweetness.
- Vanilla Extract: Vanilla is like the salt of desserts. It brings out flavor!
- Salt: Still use salt even if using salted butter. It won’t be too much. Salt helps offset the sweetness.
- Powdered Sugar: Powdered sugar sweetens and binds the filling together.
- Ghirardelli Melting Wafers: You could use pure baking chocolate, but then you’d have to chop it up before melting it. Save yourself some time and dishes by using these wafers.
Beat the filling ingredients together. The filling will be slightly crumbly and dry, but will come together when you roll it in your hands.
Roll into balls. Use a Tablespoon or #60 scoop to measure each ball. Then roll the filling with your hands until smooth and round. Place balls on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Chill the rolled balls for 1 hour in the refrigerator. Freezing them for 20-30 minutes works too, but if you leave them in too long, and they get too cold, the chocolate may crack after setting. Patience is a virtue if you want these peanut butter balls to look their best.
Dip in chocolate. Simply toss a peanut butter ball into the chocolate and roll it around with a fork until it’s fully coated. Then use the fork to lift it out of the bowl.
Tap the fork on the edge of the bowl to remove any excess chocolate, and use a toothpick to slide it off of the fork onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
For a chocolate drizzle: Place some of the melted chocolate in a zip-top bag make a small cut in one corner. Gently squeeze and drizzle the chocolate back-and-forth over the truffles.
Let chocolate set. Refrigerate the dipped truffles for 30-60 minutes or until the chocolate has set completely.
Once they’re ready, you can either enjoy them or transfer them to an airtight container for storing.
If dipping things in chocolate seems like too much work for you, consider these no-bake peanut butter bars. They have a bit more substance from using graham cracker crumbs, and you’d just have to pour the chocolate on top.
Storing and Freezing
These peanut butter balls keep well for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator, if you don’t eat them all before then.
To freeze these homemade peanut butter balls, first let the chocolate set. Then fill the bottom of a freezer-safe container with some peanut butter balls. Place parchment paper on top of the first layer, then stack more on top.
Repeat as needed, using parchment paper between each layer of peanut butter truffles. Freeze the candies for up to 3 months.
More Chocolate Peanut Butter Desserts
- Peanut Butter Pretzel Sandwiches
- Baked Peanut Butter Bars
- Homemade Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- No Bake Peanut Butter Pie
- Christmas Peanut Butter Cookies (Blossoms or Kiss Cookies)
- No Churn Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream
- Frozen Peanut Butter Cup Pie
- Peanut Butter Swirl Cheesecake
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter (Jif or Skippy)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 10-12 oz Ghirardelli Melting Wafers*
- Combine peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl. Beat with an electric hand mixer until light and creamy. Add powdered sugar and mix on low until combined. May seem slightly dry and crumbly, but that's ok.
- Shape into 1-inch balls using a Tablespoon measure or mini cookie scoop (#50 or #60). Roll with hands until smooth and round. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- CHILL for 1 hour in the refrigerator or 20-30 minutes in the freezer, until cold and firm. Do not leave in the freezer for too long or chocolate may crack after setting. Refrigerating is preferred.
- Melt the chocolate wafers. METHOD 1: Microwave melting wafers for short 30-second bursts, stirring between each interval. Repeat until smooth. METHOD 2: Use a double boiler by placing a heat-safe glass or metal bowl inside of a pot of water over medium-low heat on the stovetop. Do not allow the water to boil or touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir until melted. Then remove pot from heat and start dipping. (Return chocolate to microwave or stovetop if chocolate starts to get too thick while dipping.)
- Dip peanut butter balls in chocolate. Simply toss a peanut butter ball into the chocolate and roll it around with a fork until it’s fully coated. Then use the fork to lift it out of the bowl. Tap the fork on the edge of the bowl to remove any excess chocolate, and use a toothpick to slide it off of the fork and back onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat. FOR DRIZZLE: Place any extra chocolate in a zip-top bag. Make a small cut in one corner. Squeeze and drizzle the chocolate back-and-forth over the chocolate peanut butter balls.
- Allow chocolate to set completely. Refrigerate the dipped truffles for 30-60 minutes or until the chocolate has completely set. Once they’re ready, you can either enjoy them right away, or transfer them to an airtight container for storing in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks. (See notes for freezing.)
- *Chocolate Substitutions: You may substitute melting wafers with 12oz of baking bars, chopped. Baking bars are found in the baking aisle in 4oz bars, so you'll need three of them.
- If using 12oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips, melt them with 2 Tbsp of shortening or coconut oil to thin the chocolate to a proper dipping consistency.
- Can also substitute 12 oz of almond bark for the melting wafers.
- To freeze these homemade peanut butter balls, first let the chocolate set. Then fill the bottom of a freezer-safe container with some peanut butter balls. Place parchment paper on top of the first layer, then stack more on top. Repeat as needed, using parchment paper between each layer of peanut butter truffles. Freeze the candies for up to 3 months.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 32 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 165Total Fat: 9.7gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 7.5mgSodium: 79.1mgCarbohydrates: 18.3gFiber: .5gSugar: 16.1gProtein: 2g
This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix, and is an estimation only.