It was Thanksgiving night last week, and while most American’s were in a turkey and pie coma, Scott and I were curled up on the couch with these sweet chocolate-covered-bites-of-heaven watching the Christmas movie, Elf, having recovered from our meal earlier like champs. Since before I was born, these chocolate covered crunchy peanut butter balls have graced my family’s freezer this time of year. I can remember sitting on the counter, rolling the sticky peanut butter mixture into balls with my momma, and slipping into a state of sweet euphoria as I licked my fingers upon completing the messy task. I remember watching Scott eat his first one during Christmas together while dating, and witnessing the moment of sheer amazement pass over his face and his eyes widen (they can’t get very wide, but he tries – so I knew it was legit) as he slipped into that euphoric state, reminding me of my childhood. I’m sure most people can recount a similar story with a family recipe they look forward to each Christmas, and I’m sure there are many variations of this very one out there on the world wide inter-webs. But this one is ours, and in my opinion, it’s the best.
Now before you get your Santa suit in a bundle and remind me of my last post where I mentioned eating less processed sugar and focusing on a more intentional, nutritious Christmas – I would like to highlight another statement of mine in that post about seeking a balance between decadence and nutrients. This is one of the few recipes containing processed sugar that I will eat this time of year, and I really want to emphasize using quality ingredients despite it falling under the decadence category. Such as purchasing quality, organic, fair trade powdered sugar, natural peanut butter sans added sugar and hydrogenated oils, and organic, non-GMO crisped rice cereal. I cannot tell you how much of a difference this makes in the final product. Not to mention how I feel after consuming my fair share (which is quite fan-flipping-tastic). It is better for your body, your taste buds, and the planet. Don’t cheat yourself out of a quality treat.
Tid-Bits: The natural, runny peanut butter is essential for the consistency to come out right in this recipe. Use your favorite, best tasting one to you (mine is the roasted salted peanut butter from Trader Joe’s). If it is not salted, be sure to add a 1/4 teaspoon of fine grain salt to the recipe when mixing.
2 cups natural, runny peanut butter
2 cups powder sugar
3 cups crisped rice cereal
8 ounces dark chocolate
Combine the peanut butter, powder sugar, and crisped rice cereal in a large mixing bowl. Mix together initially with a wooden spoon, then get your hands in there and really work to get it into one cohesive ball (pictured above). Using a cookie scoop or spoon, roll tablespoon sized balls and place onto parchment lined plates. Freeze for 20 minutes. While freezing, melt chocolate in a double boiler on the stove. Remove the peanut butter balls from the freezer and roll in chocolate using two spoons to coat evenly. Place back onto the parchment lined plates, and return to the freezer to set. Once chocolate is fully set, transfer the chocolate covered crunchy peanut butter balls to an airtight container and keep in the freezer until ready to serve.
Makes around 27 chocolate covered crunchy peanut butter balls.