Simply Sweet Home

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Recipe of the Week: Peanut Butter Balls

To me, no food says, "Merry Christmas" like Peanut Butter balls. When I was growing up, we used to make these every year at Christmas. It is, by far, my most favorite Christmas recipe and favorite candy recipe of all time!

I didn't actually make the ones pictured here. They came from a friend. These are a little different from the one's we always made. The biggest difference is that we covered our completely in chocolate, and these obviously are not completely covered. But they taste good either way. Some people also refer to this "not completely covered" version as Buckeyes.

Recipe for Peanut Butter Balls

3 cups peanut butter
2 boxes powdered sugar
2 tpsp vanilla
2 sticks margarine
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips (12 oz)
1/2 block paraffin wax

Mix peanut butter, sugar, vanilla, and margarine, roll into balls. Place on trays, covered in wax paper. Insert toothpicks. Chill in the refrigerator for about an hour. Use a double boiler to melt chocolate chips and wax together. (The chocolate will be a thin liquid, and will be shell-like once the balls have cooled.) Dip balls in chocolate and place on wax paper.

Tips & Suggestions:
-If you're in a hurry and/or only need a small batch of these, this recipe is easy to divide in half.
-Be sure to use semi-sweet chips. If you use milk chocolate, it won't melt in properly with the wax.
-Chilling the balls for an hour with the toothpicks already inserted will make the dipping easier. If you stick the balls at room temperature and then immediately dip them, the balls are more likely to fall off into the chocolate.
-Keep a spoon or other utensil handy, in case you have to "fish" any of the balls out of the chocolate.
-To completely cover the balls in chocolate and fill in the holes, go over all the balls with a spoon of left over chocolate at the end.
-Don't forget to stir the chocolate occasionally in the middle of the dipping process. And use a double boiler to prevent sticking.
-If you're making the large batch, be sure that you have your counter & fridge completely cleared so that you have plenty of space to lay out the balls.
-The rolling & the dipping can be a very timely process. It definitely doesn't hurt to have a partner or helpers on this one.


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