Chocolate-Pretzel Peanut Butter Balls
I’ve got wonderful Peanut Butter Balls – also known as Buckeyes, depending on where you live – for you today, but first….
Oh my god. If only you all could what is happening in our apartment at this moment. Adarsh is assembling an adorable wooden kitchen set that my mom bought online for Theo baby – it came in many, many numbered pieces. My husband is many, many things – but “handy” is not one of them. I’m dying over here, so funny. This is the real-time narrative:
“Where’s number 6? Number 6 isn’t here. Jenn. There’s no number 6! JENNNNNNNN! They didn’t put the number 6 in the box! Oh, nevermind, found it. Now where’s number 47? It isn’t here! JENN! I’m SERIOUS! It’s NOT HERE! Oh, found it.
How do they expect people to do this? Uh oh, that doesn’t look right… what the… Ah F*CK!!! (He stabbed himself with a screwdriver there.)
Oh my god, there’s a B and a G somewhere? Where the hell did G go? Wait, P? What the hell is P? This is the most mind baffling thing I’ve seen in my life. God. JENNNNNNN TURN DOWN THE CHRISTMAS MUSIC! Wherethe hell is G. This is a nightmare. This song is making me really angry (it’s The Christmas Song). Tell Frank Sinatra to shove those chestnuts up his… Shit, I’m bleeding.
THEOOOOOOOO I swear you’d better become a real chef from playing with this…
(Mutters under his breath) North Americans love manual labour crap like this. Indians are too smart for this.”
I actually think I’m gonna pass out from trying to contain my laughter.
Anyway, onto PEANUT BUTTER BALLS! Smooth peanut butter truffles dipped in chocolate. I serve them chilled – there’s just something about the snap of chocolate coating against a cold, creamy peanut butter centre.
I included coarsely chopped pretzels, because salty and crunchy make everything peanut butter-y better. For the coating, I combined milk and dark chocolate – because I really love milk chocolate with peanut butter, but I didn’t want them to be too sweet.
You’ll often see candy recipes that call for shortening to be melted with the chocolate – this makes a super-smooth chocolate with a perfect consistency for dipping and coating, plus it helps keep the chocolate shiny. I use coconut oil instead, because it does the same thing and has no icky stuff (even non-hydrogenated shortening is gross, in my opinion).
I melt my chocolate in the microwave, because it’s easy – but you can melt it in a heat-proof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water if you prefer. Whatever method you use, the keys are low and slow, and make sure the bowl and spoon are completely dry – high heat or water both cause chocolate to seize up.
I made these in honour of my little sister’s 25th birthday today, because chocolate and peanut butter are her favourite. And she’s sweet and kinda nutty, so it’s perfect! Hehe. Happy birthday, Katiekoo! Too bad you’re not here to help me eat them… I guess I’ll have to eat them all. It’s a sacrifice, but for you, Katie, I’d do anything. I love you! xoxo
- 12 ounces chopped chocolate
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 ¾ cups natural (unsalted, unsweetened) peanut butter
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 cups mini pretzel twists, coarsely chopped
- generous pinch of salt
Whisk peanut butter and butter together in a large bowl until smooth. Add confectioners’ sugar and beat in with a wooden spoon. Stir in the pretzel twists, and then a good pinch of salt.
Drop the peanut butter mixture by heaping tablespoonfuls (the mixture will be to soft to form nice balls) onto parchment-lined baking sheets and freeze 30 minutes. Now that it’s firm enough to work with, shape into nice balls between the palms of your hands.
Combine chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave-safe glass bowl or measuring cup. Cook on 50% power for 2 minutes, remove (only half of the chocolate will be melted), and stir until completely melted.
Using a spoon and a fork (one in each hand), dip the peanut butter balls in chocolate (dunk with the spoon, then transfer to fork and let the excess drip back into the bowl). If at any point the balls get too soft to work with just pop them back in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up. Transfer to baking sheets lined with fresh parchment and refrigerate until chocolate is set. Store refrigerated for up to 20 weeks.