Monday, August 15, 2011

Peanut Butter Balls

Cheap Eat Challenge, Part 2: Watch as our family of 6 eats on less than $10/day.

My mother made these for us when we were kids. Happy sigh. I believe they're still a favorite treat of my littlest brother, but then maybe I just have the poor man frozen forever in childhood.

In addition to being hopelessly nostalgic, these are a quick dessert staple around here. In fact, if you have a look at my food journal often enough, you'll notice them popping up quite frequently. They're the perfect treat when your kids come in at 7:00, needing to get ready for bed, but telling me they're starving and begging for dessert. I also like that they give a little calorie/protein punch in the evening. This is not the type of thing middle aged women need, but kids who eat at 5:00 and then play for a couple hours are sometimes getting hungry just before bed.

So why the heck haven't I posted the recipe before? Recipe? Who said anything about a recipe? I throw some peanut butter in a bowl, add some chocolate chips, then some powdered sugar. Oh, and I rarely actually roll them into balls (though I'm pretty sure my apparently-more-loving-than-I mother did). I just plop them down, a la raw cookie blob.

For you, Savannah and I rolled them up nice and neat. Oh, and I measured out the ingredients too.

Want to get fancy? 
-Add some cream cheese to the peanut butter. This will give them a more grown up flavor. (Have a look here for an idea of how much.)
-Dip them, entirely or halfway, in melting chocolate.
-Include white chocolate chips.
-Add nuts, raw or lightly toasted.
-Add coconut. Yeah, I love it in everything. You can also add dried cranberries or raisins to good effect.
-Add a dusting of confectioner's sugar or cinnamon on top.

Peanut Butter Balls
Makes about 20 small balls
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cost: $.75
(PB: .30, sugar: .25, chocolate chips: .20)

1/3 C peanut butter
2/3-1 C powdered sugar (I try to keep these healthier--not healthy mind you, but healthier--by adding less sugar. Of course this results in a much looser ball, one you might even be inclined to refer to as a blob. My kids don't care. However, if you want them to look neat, pretty, and to roll easily, you'll need more sugar.)
3-6 Tbsp chocolate chips (depending on how very generous you are; I'm stingy)

Put peanut butter in a bowl. Add chocolate chips and mix. Add sugar. Start with the smaller amount and continue adding more as needed to get it to a consistency you consider firm enough. Roll into balls if you're a proactive person. Whether you're proactive or not, make sure the toddler doesn't shove them all into her mouth at once and choke.



  1. We had these at your house many moons ago :) My kids still talk about them! I did make them once... Way back when I was in Brownies we made a similar peanut butter ball for snack one time. We used powdered milk in them which probably meant less sugar. Just a thought. Of course, that wouldn't help us at our house with our no-dairy Hannah.

  2. Brooke we've made these [with obvious substitution] and used powdered milk and just a tiny bit of powdered sugar. Thanks for the reminder Jean. I will have to remember this next time I hear a whining child say, "Are we having dessert tonight?"

  3. I've heard of the ones done with powdered milk. It seems like a great idea for healthifying them a bit.

  4. Oh my heavens! I have all that stuff in my pantry! I bought a big package of powdered sugar last week in hopes of making something tasty! And peanutbutter has protien! Thats a GOOD thingM

  5. I remember now. We did the powdered milk ones and made them small and egg-shaped, and then made a 'next' of chow mein noodles. It was in a unit on spring or birds or something.

  6. Just made some of these thanks to the links at the bottom of your main post. And thanks tk your comment about being stingy with the chocolate chips I not only made these but I have enough chips for cookies too! Of course Emma already ate the two that looked like they had the most chips. But the joke is on her because I actually like them best with just one or two. Infact, next time i will make them without chips and press a couple of chips on top. That will stop the "trying to find the ones with the most chips". But then they will just pull out my little scale an try to get the biggets one... Thanks! These hit the sweet spot!

  7. Glad you liked them, Leian. They're simple and sweet--two things we sometimes just want.



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