Peanut Butter Balls (“Buckeyes”)

Adapted from Joy of Baking
Yields: about 40 pieces (depending on size)

For Peanut Butter Balls:
♦ 2 cups (480 ml) creamy peanut butter
♦ 1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
♦ 1/4 tsp salt (optional)
♦ 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
♦ 2 – 2 1/2 cups (230 – 300 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar

For Chocolate Coating
♦ 9 ounces (260 grams) semi sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
♦ 1 tbsp (15 grams) shortening

To make peanut butter balls: Line two baking sheets with parchment or wax paper.

Place the peanut butter, unsalted butter, and salt in a microwaveable bowl, and heat in the microwave for about one minute or until just soft (check and stir the ingredients every 20-30 seconds). Stir in the vanilla extract and confectioners sugar and mix until it has the consistency of a stiff dough (add more sugar if necessary).

Roll the dough into 1 inch (2.5 cm) round balls. Place on the cookie sheets and refrigerate until firm (several hours or even overnight). You can also place the peanut butter balls in the freezer and freeze until firm (I find this makes it easier to dip them in the melted chocolate).

To make chocolate coating: Melt the chocolate and shortening in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Dip the balls, one at a time, in the melted chocolate, making sure the entire ball is coated with chocolate. Then, with two spoons or a dipping fork, remove the peanut butter ball from the melted chocolate, allowing any excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl. Place the chocolate covered balls back on the baking sheet. If desired, sprinkle the balls with finely chopped peanuts. When all the balls have been dipped in the chocolate, place in the refrigerator until the chocolate has set. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. They can also be frozen.

To serve: place in small fluted candy cups.

Read more about these cookies and my musical pairing by clicking HERE.

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