Saturday, November 30, 2013

Peanut Butter "Truffles"

Ooooh do I have a recipe for you today. I have loved peanut butter balls, or "buckeyes" ever since I was a little kid. My earliest memory of them is at a family friend's house when I was probably 5 or 6, watching Stand By Me with a a troop of kids, then wandering through the kitchen for a bathroom break at some point and stumbling upon my mom's friend making a big batch of them as a surprise for all of us little ones. She brought out a big bowl of them for us all to snack on during the movie and I died. My love for chocolate and peanut butter was born.

Last Monday we had an office potluck Thanksgiving lunch, and I signed up to bring a dessert. I had originally planned to bring something fall flavored, like pumpkin bars or apple crisp, but I just couldn't get peanut butter balls out of my head.

These take a bit of time to make, but they are super easy. Just mix the filling, shape into balls and throw in the fridge. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate - it helps to use a little shortening so the chocolate chips don't seize up and get hard.

I take any chance I can get to use my double boiler. Love that thing! But the microwave or a glass bowl over a pot of water will work just fine.

Then dip and dip away.

And if you're feeling festive, top with some pretty little garnish like sprinkles, colored sugar or mini sugar shapes. I chose gold sugar crystals since it screamed holiday to me.

Put them back in the fridge and let them harden for about an hour. Or less if you can't wait to taste them and don't mind a little melty chocolate fingers.

Clearly that's not a problem in our house.

I made a batch of traditional balls and then a batch with Rice Krispies for something different (I used this recipe from my Pinterest Sweet Treats Board). The crispy ones were definitely good, but I'm more of a peanut butter purist and prefer the simple creamy version.

I will definitely be adding these to my annual Christmas cookie list. Yummmm.

Peanut Butter "Truffles"

Makes 30 balls or "truffles"

1 cup creamy peanut butter
6 Tbsp. melted butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups milk chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. vegetable shortening
Colored sprinkles

Mix together peanut butter and melted butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar and mix until combined well (you might need to use your hands here). Roll into balls and set on a cookie tray lined with wax or parchment paper; place in the fridge for about 30 minutes, until hardened.

In a double boiler over simmering (not boiling) water, melt chocolate chips and shortening together. Once the chocolate chips turn shiny and begin to melt, stir them together and remove from the heat. (If you don't have a double boiler, use a glass bowl over a pot or microwave according to the package directions. If microwaving, it might be best to melt the chocolate chips 1 cup at a time).

Drop the peanut butter balls one by one into the melted chocolate; roll around and remove with a fork. Place back on the cookie tray.

Return to the fridge for at least one hour, until chocolate is fully set. Store in plastic containers either in the fridge or at room temperature.

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