Who wants to join my family?

So normally I have a rule about sharing family recipes. I'm just not comfortable with it but this time I'm willing to make an exception because I wouldn't mind it if other people knew how to make these and then I wouldn't have to worry about it. 

The nickname for this treat is among my friends Christmas Slave Labor because that's exactly what it feels like. We've been making these as far back as my memory goes and year after year I've recruited and bribed friends to come help. No one has to be bribed the first year because they don't know what they're in for, it's getting them to ever speak to you again that's the hard part. 

I debated all night about actually sharing this with you and I really wasn't going to so I have no pictures, for this I am sorry. Just imagine me looking disgruntled and covered in peanut butter.

I've elected to give you the one batch version of this recipe, usually we do 4 at a time in one sitting because the demand for this delicious treat is so high. There are always multiple sittings.

Seriously do yourself a favor and read this entire thing before you make any decisions about trying make this yourself. 

OK so here we go, my mothers modified recipe for peanut butter balls:

1 stick of softened butter
2 cups of peanut butter
1lb confectionary sugar
3 cups rice krispies

Mix all of it together in a giant bowl using your hands. This takes a long time and you'll probably get carpal tunnel from it. You really need to make sure it's totally mixed though. When you're done you'll be left with a slightly sticky, greasy dough like substance with rice krispies in it. 

What you do next is take a hand full of dough out of the bowl, lay it down on some wax paper and flatten it out. Some people put wax paper on top of it and use a rolling pin, others use their fists (me), or finger tips (my mother), or a bowl (the beef), or the palms of their hands (my father) whatever works for you. Just get it out in a thin layer with the rice krispies mashed up. (This is important because too many completely whole rice krispies will make them nearly impossible to dip without breaking. 

The next step is rolling them into balls. You're aiming for balls that are as small as a dime here. That's the big secret. Small balls. Everyone gets lazy and goes with bouncy ball sized or even bigger but that gives you a crappy peanut butter to chocolate ratio. 

Trust me, I've been doing this since I've had hand eye coordination, I know what I'm talking about. Because of this one batch yields about a million balls which of course takes forever to roll. I do not recommend doing this yourself no matter how much of a bad ass you are. You'll eventually lose your sanity. Even with 4 people this step takes more than an hour. Slave labor indeed.

When the balls are rolled you should place them on wax paper that is also on a cookie sheet. When the cookie sheet or baking pan is filled put it in the fridge over night. I don't know what size your cooking sheets are but one batch takes up 3 of mine. I usually borrow sheets from my mother if I'm doing more than one batch. Also make sure you haven't gone grocery shopping in a while because this takes up a lot of room in your fridge. 

When this step is done I recommend taking a very long shower because I promise you smell like peanut butter and it's going to make you feel sick. It doesn't matter how much you like peanut butter after soaking in it it's not fun anymore.

Typically rolling balls is an after dinner event for my family, we watch Christmas movies and as I  get increasingly agitated by the slave labor I point out what's wrong with the movies much to my mother's horror. (That's a blog post all it's own.)  Then bright and early the next morning the dipping starts. I suggest doing this before the coffee kicks in so that it takes a while for your brain to realized you're being tortured again so soon.

The absolute worst part about dipping is that only 2 people can do it. Unless you have more than one stove it's not going to work. We just use both front burners and even then it gets kind of crowded. This will depend on how your kitchen is set up. This year I tried something new and made use of my babycakes chocolatier . The jury is still out on this one. Typically it's just a little sauce pan on the stove and every once in a while you turn the stove on to warm the chocolate but turn it off before it burns, it's a balancing act. 

The problem with my little chocolate melting crock pot is that only one person can use it, there is no temp setting, it's just one temp, it took about an hour for the chocolate to melt and I had to keep covering it and walking about so the chocolate would heat up (my kitchen was really cold when I was doing this).   There was absolutely no risk of burning the chocolate though, and anyone who has burned chocolate can tell you what a gigant cluster-eff that can be.  So that's a huge mark in the plus column.

For dipping balls we use 6oz of semi sweet chocolate morsels & 8oz of hershey's chocolate bar.

Buy extra. I made one batch yesterday and ended up using twice that much. This is because at the request of The Beef I left the 1/2 cake of parafin wax out of the chocolate dip. He feels like he can taste it. I feel like it thins out the chocolate and lets it set better. 

If I ever find the courage to brave these balls again I might try 1/4 cake of wax to see if we can find a balance. 

As far as dipping goes, once the chocolate is melted remove one tray of balls from the fridge, stab the ball with a toothpick and dip it into the chocolate. Repeat until tray is done and you're half mad with boredom and shoulder pain. Then go back with a spoon and put little drops of chocolate over the top part of the ball where the hole is from the tooth pick.

Repeat forever until you are done.

This year I experimented with a spiral spoon and while it eliminated the need for going back with a spoon to top the balls off I felt like it just took so much more time which is the absolute last thing this recipe needs. 

When you are done I strongly recommend taking a long hot shower because you smell like chocolate and it's gross. 

If done correctly the pay off is worth it because they are delicious. Though it personally takes me about a week after making them to even entertain the idea of eating one. But I strongly advise against making these and sharing them with your friends. I feel like I'm not allowed at any holiday function without these in hand now. I'm pretty sure the only reason I get invited anywhere is because of my balls. 

I like to put them in mason jars with decorative lids and hand them out as presents because I am crafty and insane.

So there you go, reader beware. If anyone wants to swing by and make some more with me I'll be happy to teach you because I can always use an extra hand. I've got 20+ years experience with these bad boys, which really is a curse.



  1. Good lord that's a lot of work haha. They sound really good though! I'd come over and help if you lived near me. :)

    1. Welcome back to the blogging world, you've been missed!

  2. Also I am loving the holiday festiveness over here!