Easy Christmas Candy–Peanut Butter Balls

I was supposed to be posting how to make Southern Pralines today, but had a disaster with them!  Instead of pralines, I wound up with fudge.  If you want that story, I’m posting, with pictures, on Monday  “How Not to Make Southern Pralines”

Instead of making pralines I’m showing how to make Peanut Butter Balls instead.  Peanut Butter Balls are easy-peasy to make.  They are smooth, melt in your mouth, and taste delicious. What more can you ask from a candy?

Peanut Butter Balls

Put 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan and melt the butter.  Don’t let it brown. Turn off the heat.

Melt the butter

Stir in the 4 tablespoons milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/8 teaspoon salt.  Mix.

Add 3 cups of sifted powdered sugar and stir it into the milk mixture.

Add 3 cups powdered sugar. Mix well.

Add 2 tablespoons of corn syrup and 2 cups of smooth peanut butter.   Even if you like chunky peanut butter, for these, please use smooth.  I prefer to use the natural kind for more peanut flavor.

Dump the peanut butter and syrup on top of the mixed in powdered sugar.

Mix the peanut butter and syrup into the powered sugar until it is mixed well.  I find it is easiest to use my hands and squish the mixture together.  At first it will be very sticky, but as you work the peanut butter in, it will become smoother and easier to handle.

Sticky at first, but getting there. Almost mixed.

Take another cup of powdered sugar.  Sprinkle a little on a counter or chopping block.  Knead the ball of candy on the powered sugar.

Use powered sugar to knead the dough.

Add more sugar as needed if the ball is still sticky.  This is a very forgiving dough.  If it gets too dry and begins to crumble apart, you’ve worked too much sugar into it and need to add a little more milk.  The dough should be firm and hold together in a ball without crumbling apart, but not be sticky at all.

I worked in a little too much powdered sugar and will have to add 2 teaspoons of milk.

Pinch off a piece about the size of a walnut.  If too large, put some back.  Too small?  Add a bit to your piece.

About the size of a walnut

Roll the dough between your hands to make a smooth ball.

It doesn't have to be perfect, just a ball shape.

Place the ball on a cookie sheet.  Make more.  Fill up the sheet.  I use two cookie sheets with this recipe (unless I double the recipe).

The balls can be placed closer than you would put cookies. They aren't going to spread.

I have about half the dough left after filling up one sheet.

About half done.

When you have finished with making balls from all the dough, melt 2 tablespoons of shortening in a small pan over low heat and add a bag of chocolate chips.  Stir until the chips are melted and the chocolate is smooth.

Melted chocolate chips

Pick up one ball in your fingers and dip the ball halfway into the melted chocolate.

Don't worry. The chocolate is warm, but not too hot.

Take the dipped ball out of the chocolate and place it back on the cookie sheet, chocolate side up.

One down, 49 to go!

Continue with the rest of the ball, dipping them into the chocolate, then placing them back onto the sheet.  Don’t worry if you get drips on the sheet.

Ready to chill.

After you have a sheet finished, place them into the refrigerator to chill for the chocolate to harden while you are dipping the second sheet.  Then chill the second sheet.  Use a cookie spatula to loosen the ball from the sheet, if necessary.  Put them in tins and store in a cool place.  Unless you are placing these in Christmas stockings, you don’t need to wrap them individually.

Don’t tell anyone how easy these are and they will think you are a brilliant cook.  😉

Click here for the recipe for Peanut Butter Balls.

Don’t forget to tune in here Monday for my saga of what to do when you mess up your Southern Praline recipe!

And by the way, if you like to read a good book, you might want to check out my book.  A Singular Gift.

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Filed under Baking, Christmas, Christmas Candy, Christmas Traditions

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