Peanut Butter Balls have only 4 ingredients and are super easy to make, albeit a bit time-consuming. If you like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, you’ll love these peanut butter balls! They are the ultimate peanut butter and chocolate treat, and a perfect candy to make for the holidays!
Peanut Butter Balls versus Buckeyes
For whatever reason, a lot of people decide not to fully coat the peanut butter balls with chocolate, and rather call them buckeyes. Maybe it’s easier that way.
From my perspective, however, I want to ensure that the candy is fully coated in chocolate. A lot of people also tend to make them too big. I like mine to be truly bite-sized, no more than 1-inch in diameter.
Ingredients: Here’s What You’ll Need
I actually got my recipe for peanut butter balls from a candy-making class that Susan and I took years ago. In that class, we made peanut butter cups. I thought that the peanut butter mixture had the perfect mix of the three key ingredients: Extra crunchy peanut butter, confectioners’ sugar, and unsalted butter.
The final ingredient is a chocolate candy coating. For the coating, I use Ghiradelli Dark Melting Wafers. You could also use semi-sweet chocolate chips melted with a bit of shortening.
Here’s How I Make the Peanut Butter Balls
- As a first step, I beat room temperature unsalted butter with the peanut butter until the mixture was smooth. I like the crunch of peanuts, so I always use Jif Extra Crunchy peanut butter, but you could just as easily use creamy peanut butter.
- Then, I added the confectioner’s sugar to the peanut butter mixture.
- At first, I used the electric mixer to combine the ingredients, and then I used my hands to knead the mixture. A word of caution – the mixture is very crumbly.
- It’s important to me when I make the peanut butter balls that I keep the balls on the small side to make them more bite-sized. Therefore, I used my smallest ice cream scoop to partition the crumbly mixture. Then, I kneaded the crumbly mixture before rolling it into a small ball.
I actually weighed the mixture. Each ball weighed between 9 and 10 grams and was about the size of a quarter – less than 1-inch in diameter.
- After rolling each ball, I placed it on parchment-lined baking sheets. I’ll admit that this is a bit tedious, but it’s totally worth the effort.
Final Step – Dipping in Chocolate
Next comes the really tedious part – dipping each ball in the chocolate coating which has been melted in a double boiler set over simmering water. It’s important here that the bottom of the pan does not touch the water, and that the water does not actually boil.
I’ve found through the years that the best way to dip the peanut butter balls is to use a toothpick, with another toothpick handy to help remove the dipped peanut butter ball.
I don’t worry too much at this point about ensuring that the candy is fully coated. The reason is that it’s easy enough to drizzle a bit more chocolate on the top to fully coat the peanut butter ball.
I placed each dipped piece of candy on parchment-lined baking sheets to allow the chocolate to fully set.
The result is around 80 absolutely delicious peanut butter balls. I like to roll the individual peanut butter balls in colored foil when I give them as gifts.
They are one of the most requested candies that I make for the holidays. If you’d like to make a delicious cookie using the peanut butter mixture, check out my recipe for Ultimate Tagalongs. Yum!
Frequently Asked Questions
If stored in an airtight container, the peanut butter balls should last several weeks.
I’ve been making these peanut butter balls for as long as I can remember and have never refrigerated them.
I would recommend against using chocolate chips because they don’t harden the same way as candy melts.
- If you’ve looked at many of my recipes, you’ve probably noticed that I typically include ingredient weights. This recipe is no exception related to the confectioners’ sugar. In order to achieve the proper consistency of the peanut butter balls time after time, weigh the ingredients.
- Through the years, I’ve tried a number of different techniques to dip the peanut butter balls in the melted chocolate coating. I’ve found that toothpicks work the best, at least for me. Generally, after dipping a peanut butter ball using a toothpick, there is a hole at the top and sometimes the top isn’t completely covered. I take the next dipped peanut butter ball and dab it on top of the previous peanut butter ball to completely cover the hole.
- This is Susan’s absolute favorite Christmas candy. Every year before I make the peanut butter balls, I’ll ask whether I should try some variation like adding Rice Krispies or using creamy peanut butter. The resounding answer is no – they’re perfect as is.
- In my opinion, the biggest mistake that people make when preparing peanut butter balls is forming the balls too large. I like my peanut butter balls to be one-bite confections.
- To be honest, I’ve not experimented with using different brands of peanut butter and don’t intend to. The Jif Extra Crunchy peanut butter is perfect for this recipe.
Other Christmas Edible Treats
If you’re looking for edible treats that you can give as Christmas gifts, look no further. Here are some of my favorites.
If you liked the recipe for Peanut Butter Balls, please consider rating it and leaving a comment. I’d love to know how you liked it!
✯ Thank you so much for visiting Pudge Factor. I hope you’ll come back! ✯
Peanut Butter Balls
- 16 ounce jar crunchy or creamy peanut butter (See Tip 1)
- ½ cup (1 stick, 4-ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 ½ cups (14-ounces) confectioners' sugar
- 3 cups chocolate melting wafers, melted (See Tip 2)
- Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or waxed paper. Set aside.
- Beat peanut butter and butter in a medium bowl with electric mixture until smooth. Add confectioners sugar. Beat on low to begin to combine the ingredients. Finish by kneading by hand until thoroughly mixed. Mixture will be crumbly. Roll into balls about the size of a quarter; place balls on prepared pan.
- Meanwhile, melt chocolate wafers in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water; stir until smooth. Insert a toothpick in top of peanut butter balls and dip into chocolate. Let excess chocolate drip off. Place the coated balls on prepared pan; drizzle a small amount of chocolate on top of balls to cover the hole made by the toothpick. Let cool completely.
- Store in airtight container. Yield: 80 peanut butter balls.
- The original recipe called for an 18-ounce jar of peanut butter. The manufacturer has reduced the size of the jar to 16-ounces. The recipe has been modified to accommodate the smaller jar of peanut butter.
- May use 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips melted with 1-½ teaspoons shortening in place of chocolate candy coating.
This was first posted on December 22, 2014. At that time, a jar of peanut butter contained 18 ounces. Therefore, the recipe at that time was based on an 18 ounce jar of peanut butter. Now, the peanut butter comes in 16 ounce jars. The recipe below has been modified for the smaller jar of peanut butter.