Last week I received a fantastic Christmas food parcel from my friend Gigi of Gigi Cakes and amongst the goodies were Reese’s peanut butter cups, a chocolaty peanut treat I have heard lots about and longed to try. These cups were extra special as they also contained a layer of banana. I eagerly unwrapped them and took a bite and.. mmmmmmmm delicious. I adore the combination of the crumbly sticky peanut butter and the smooth sweet chocolate, the banana added an extra interesting note that worked really well. They got demolished pretty quickly I can tell you. Only problem was I was left craving more. After a quick browse through some of my favourite trusty blogs, I found a recipe from Joy of Baking that looked ideal and without further ado I reached for my peanut butter.
These peanut butter balls were so quick and easy to put together. I thought at first they weren’t going to turn out right as the peanut mixture was quite dry and crumbly but the minute I started to mould the mixture into balls, the heat from my hand transformed them into smooth, soft balls. After a short rest in the fridge they were coated in dark chocolate and in just over an hour I had my own stash of peanut butter chocolaty goodness. Yay!
I handed a few out to friends and got rave reviews, so much so that I am planning on making some more and giving them out as gifts as part of the little truffles boxes I make at Christmas. If you know someone how is a fan of peanut butter and chocolate, make a batch of these for them and they will love you forever. Thank you Gigi for introducing me to these great treats.
Peanut Butter Balls
For the peanut centers
250g smooth peanut butter
½ tsp vanilla extract
125g icing sugar
For the coating
150g dark chocolate
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and set to one side.
To make the centers, place the peanut butter, butter and vanilla in a bowl and heat gently in the microwave until the butter has melted, but do not overheat.
Beat the mixture until the butter becomes absorbed and the mixture becomes smooth.
Sift in the icing sugar, about a third at a time, mixing well until it is all combined. (The mixture will turn very crumbly and stiff at this stage but this is ok.)
Using a teaspoon, take small amounts of the peanut mixture and using your fingers, squish it into a ball shape.
Use the palms of your hands to roll into a ball, about the size of a small walnut or large marble. (The mixture will become soft, smooth and more workable as you mould it.)
Place the balls on the lined baking tray and place into the fridge to firm up for 20-30 minutes.
After the peanut balls have chilled, melt the butter and chocolate together until smooth.
Drop each peanut ball into the melted chocolate and use a teaspoon to help coat it completely in the chocolate.
Remove the ball from the chocolate by scooping it up with a fork. Allow the excess chocolate to dribble off and scrape off any excess using the teaspoon.
Place the ball back onto the sheet of greaseproof and repeat with the remaining balls.
Return the peanut butter balls to the fridge to set, for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Transfer each ball into a small paper case and serve, or store in the fridge until required.
Makes around 25 peanut butter balls
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