Peanut Butter Balls, also known as ‘Buckeyes’, are sweet treats that are made with creamy peanut butter and coated with a layer of melted, semi-sweet chocolate. Try my Buttercream Candies and Oreo Truffles for a couple more chocolate-coated treats.
Peanut Butter Balls
There is actually a scientific reason that people love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate. It’s called Dynamic Sensory Contrast. It has to do with our taste buds loving contrasting textures. But, I don’t need a scientific explanation as to why I love this combination so much. I just do! I can’t say no to candy with this perfect combination.
Peanut Butter Balls Ingredients
Room Temperature Ingredients: Using room temperature butter will help you get the best results when making these candies. Butter is at room temperature at 65°F. Don’t put it in the microwave to soften it; simply cut it up into small pieces and let it sit out if you forgot to take it out of the refrigerator.
Peanut Butter: I prefer using creamy peanut butter in these candies. But, you could get away with crunchy if that is what you have on hand.
Chocolate: Look for baking chocolate to use as the coating on these candies. I prefer semi-sweet chocolate for just enough sweetness. Stay away from chocolate chips; they don’t melt and coat as well.
Nuts: Chopped peanuts are optional to add right after you coat the peanut butter in chocolate. This gives the treat a little crunch.
Chocolate Melting Methods
There are a couple of ways you can melt chocolate while the peanut butter balls are in the freezer. You can melt it in the microwave or use the double boiler method.
Melting Chocolate in the Microwave
To melt the chocolate in the microwave, add the chopped chocolate and oil into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat the chocolate in 20-second increments, stirring after every 20 seconds, until melted. Once melted and smooth, let the chocolate sit for about 5 minutes before dipping the peanut butter balls.
Double Boiler Method for Melting Chocolate
Using the double boiler method helps ensure that the chocolate is not burned and the gently melted chocolate will be smooth and shiny. And, you don’t need any fancy kitchen gadgets to use this method.
To melt the chocolate, fill a pot about halfway full of water. Bring it to a simmer over low heat. Find a heat-safe bowl (glass or stainless steel) that can be set into the pot. Make sure the bottom of the pot is not touching the water. The steam is what will melt the chocolate.
Add the chocolate and oil to the heat-safe bowl. With the heat on low, use a rubber spatula to stir the chocolate until it is melted and smooth. Again, once melted, let the chocolate cool for a few minutes before dipping the peanut butter balls into it.
How to Store
Store the candies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Freeze them for up to 3 months. If freezing the candies, be sure to label and date the freezer-safe container. When ready to eat, let them thaw in the refrigerator.
Peanut Butter Balls
PEANUT BUTTER FILLING
- 1 cup (258 g) creamy peanut butter
- 6 tablespoons (¾ stick / 85 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups (250 g) confectioners' sugar
- 4 bars (4 ounces each) semi-sweet baking chocolate, chopped
- 1-3 teaspoons vegetable oil, as needed for thinning chocolate
- crushed or finely chopped peanuts, for topping (optional)
PEANUT BUTTER FILLING
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer), beat the peanut butter and butter until creamy (about 2 minutes).
- Working 1/2 cup at a time, add the confectioners’ sugar. Beat on low for about a minute and then increase to high until smooth and creamy (about 3 minutes).
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place the peanut butter mixture in the refrigerator to chill for one hour, up to 24 hours.
- When ready, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and remove the chilled peanut butter mixture from the refrigerator.
- Scoop out the peanut butter mixture with a one tablespoon scoop and roll it into a ball. Place it on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining peanut butter mixture.
- Place the peanut butter balls in the freezer to chill while you prepare the chocolate coating.
- While the peanut butter balls are in the freezer, melt the chocolate. Add the chocolate pieces and oil to a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 20-second increments, stirring after every 20 seconds, until the chocolate is melted and creamy. Let it sit for about 5 minutes to cool before dipping the peanut butter balls.
- Remove the peanut butter from the freezer. (It's helpful to only remove a few peanut butter balls at a time to prevent melting.) Working one at a time, gently drop the balls into the melted chocolate, making sure they are completely covered in chocolate.
- Using a fork, lift out the chocolate-covered peanut butter balls. Use a toothpick or another fork to slide the peanut butter balls onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. (You may need to reheat the chocolate to keep it a thin mixture.) Add the nuts at this point, if using.
- Place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, or until the chocolate has set.
- Store candies in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
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