7 degrees, dark and clear
My wife grew up making peanut butter balls every holiday season. She remembers mixing together the butter, peanut butter, and powdered sugar until it forms a dough that can be rolled into bite-sized balls. She recalls swirling them in melted chocolate using two forks, which inevitably leave fork marks in the chocolate long after it has firmed up. And she recalls keeping the peanut butter balls in the refrigerator, always enjoying them most when cold.
We make them every year now and the kids expect them to show up in December. You can make quick work of this recipe if you have one person rolling the balls and another person standing by dipping them in chocolate. The afternoon we made them this year, I caught our daughter closing the refrigerator with a fistful of three peanut butter balls, trying to sneak away undetected. “You can have one,” I told her with a sideways glance, “Give the other two to your brothers.” I’m the oddball in the house who enjoys hers room temperature, so my wife always sets a special container of them aside for me on the countertop. Try them both ways and let me know if you’re on the room temperature team with me.
Peanut Butter Balls
Makes 2-3 dozen.
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 12 ounces chocolate almond bark
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and peanut butter on medium high speed until smooth. Turn off the mixer and add the powdered sugar. Turning it on low, gradually begin incorporating the powdered sugar, then increase speed until the dough comes together and the mixture can be formed into a ball.
Line a large rimmed sheet pan with parchment or wax paper. Using a tablespoon, scoop out the dough and roll it into a ball between your palms (you can make the balls small or larger according to your preference). Place it onto the lined sheet pan and repeat the process with the remaining dough.
When all of the balls have been formed, melt the chocolate almond bark according to the package directions. Using two forks, place a peanut butter ball into the melted chocolate, and turn to coat. Lift the peanut butter ball up out of the chocolate, allowing the excess to drip off between the tines of the fork. Transfer the coated ball to the lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining balls. When the chocolate has firmed up completely, place the peanut butter balls into a sealed container and store at room temperature or in the refrigerator, according to your preference.