Sweet Treats

Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Balls-Easy No-Bake Recipe

By August 8, 2020February 17th, 2021No Comments

A No-Bake Recipe for Peanut Butter Balls

traditional no-bake peanut butter ball recipe

A traditional treat popular during the holidays, peanut butter balls are a favorite of peanut butter lovers. This unique no-bake recipe delivers the classic peanut butter-chocolate combo with a soft and smooth textured filling surrounded by a chocolate candy coating. Learn how to make these one of a kind peanut butter balls that are sure to wow your family and friends!!!

A Classic Holiday Treat & Crowd Pleaser All Year Round

Certain foods are strongly associated with a particular holiday or season.  The most highly anticipated and sought after treat at our holiday gatherings was our Grandma Monty’s peanut butter balls-hands down. She made them (by the tons) every Christmas and Easter. Everyone loved them and they were the first treat to disappear.

Wanting to ensure that this family recipe lived on, Tammy got with Grandma and learned her process, which Grandma was very particular about. She taught Tammy every little secret and Tammy has these babies down. (She also mastered Grandma’s chicken fried steak, but that’s a story for another day).

Need more holiday recipes?  Check out our Christmas sugar cookies and classic sugar cookies

peanut butter balls made with Wheaties, natural peanut butter and almond bark

What’s in These Peanut Butter Balls?

The key to a great peanut butter ball is most definitely the filling. This is
also the variable ingredient in most peanut butter ball recipes out there.
Depending on what you use, the finished texture may range from
crunchy and crumbly to smooth and creamy. Rice crispies, graham
crackers, and crunchy peanut butter can all be used to achieve differing
textures for the filling.

So where do these peanut butter balls land on the texture scale?

I’d say they’re somewhere in the middle, right around soft and smooth.  They’re definitely not like a mouthful of creamy peanut butter, but they also hold together without crunchiness or crumbling. This is because of the Wheaties cereal. The flakes are blended into fine sand, which produces the softness in every bite combined with the smoothness of the creamy peanut butter.

easy peanut butter ball recipe

Can any ol’ flaky cereal be used in this recipe?

Good question!!! We’ve never made these with anything other than
Wheaties, so we’re not sure. Wheaties are made from whole grain flakes, so Cheerios or Crispix may work if you’re in search of a gluten-free option.  We plan on experimenting with this in the future and will update with our results!!! Stay tuned…

Tammy’s Tip:

● Use butter, not margarine, and natural peanut butter. These two ingredients really enhance the texture and flavor of the filling.

What is Almond Bark? Is it the Same as Chocolate?

The chocolate coating that encases the peanut butter ball actually isn’t chocolate, it’s almond bark. And what the heck is that? eHow has a simple article that explains the difference between chocolate and almond bark.

The short and sweet answer: almond bark is made with vegetable fats rather than cocoa powder, so it’s NOT chocolate.

almond bark is a great chocolate coating for peanut butter balls

It is, however, a coating that melts easily and works great for covering all kinds of foods, from peanut butter balls to nuts to fruits. It hardens to a smooth firmness that won’t melt too quickly in your hands. It also has a wonderful chocolatey flavor. Besides being sold in a brick form, it is also available as candy melts or wafers.

Almond bark works like a dream in this recipe. It melts up quickly in the microwave and makes a delicious chocolatey coating that nicely complements the peanut butter filling.

What You’ll Need:

Ingredients:

(Yield-about 60)

● A box of General Mills Wheaties
● 1 1⁄2 cups salted butter (room temperature)
● 18 oz all-natural peanut butter
● 1 lb powdered sugar
● 1-24 oz package of Almond Bark

this easy peanut butter ball recipe uses just 5 ingredients

Supplies:

  • Blender
  • Large container with an air-tight lid
  • Sifter
  • Food Gloves
  • Deep Microwavable bowl
  • Tongs or Toothpicks
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Wax Paper

How to Prepare the Peanut Butter Filling

The key to smooth peanut butter balls is blending the Wheaties into a very fine consistency. Fill a blender (yes a blender!) about 3⁄4 full with Wheaties and blend until the cereal has a sandy texture.

Pour the sandy cereal into a sifter and shake to get the fine cereal into a bowl with an air-tight lid. Some bigger pieces of Wheaties may remain in the sifter, so simply put them back in the blender for another round. Repeat this process until you have a bowl full of sandy cereal bits.

some Wheaties cereal bits will be left in the sifter

Add the powdered sugar to the Wheaties and mix with a spoon until
combined.

combine the powdered sugar with the blended Wheaties; the mixture will have a fine sandy texture

Add the peanut butter and the butter. It works better to slice the butter into smaller pieces first rather than adding the whole stick.

This next step is messy, so grab a pair of food gloves! Combine these ingredients together with your hands, turning it over, making sure to incorporate the dry ingredients that stick to the bottom of the bowl.  Combine until the mixture has a soft clay-like consistency.

the peanut butter ball filling will have a soft clay-like texture

Cover the bowl with the lid and leave it on the counter for a day or two. This time may vary depending on the climate where you live. Dryer climates may require a couple of days, humid climates may require only a couple of hours.

the peanut butter ball filling is ready for rolling when it holds together with little crumble

Ready to Roll

How do you know when the mixture is ready? Here’s a simple test: try to form a ball with a small amount of the mixture. If it sticks together easily with no cracks, it is ready to be rolled into balls. Roll the peanut butter balls, about an inch and a half in diameter, and place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.

roll the filling into balls about an inch and a half in diameter

Refrigerate for at least an hour. You want them chilled thoroughly so they won’t fall apart while dipping them. They can also be left in the refrigerator overnight.

How to Coat Peanut Butter Balls

Now you’re ready to coat the balls in almond bark. You will want to use a deep microwaveable bowl that you can completely dunk the balls in. Break off about 6 pieces of the almond bark and place into a bowl. Microwave according to the directions on the package.

Once the almond bark is melted, grab some peanut butter balls from the fridge. You will want to work with the balls in small groups, no more than about 6 at a time. As they set out, they will start to warm and then break apart during the dunking process, so keep them in the fridge up until it’s time to coat.

dunk the peanut butter ball into the melted chocolate with a set of tongs

Grab a peanut butter ball with a pair of tongs and dunk it into the chocolate.  Make sure it is completely submerged, then simply remove and transfer it to a piece of wax paper to harden.

Lollipop sticks or toothpicks can also be used for dunking instead of tongs.  Lollipop sticks are a crowd-friendly way to serve these treats.

If you use toothpicks, insert about a third of the way into the peanut butter ball before dunking. The toothpicks can be removed before the chocolate coating hardens, but it will leave a little hole in the peanut butter ball, which may or may not matter to you. 😉

how to make old fashioned peanut butter balls

How Should Peanut Butter Balls be Stored?

Once the peanut butter balls have hardened, they’re good on the counter in a container for a few days- if they last that long! If you prefer them chilled (like Tammy’s family) keep them in the fridge for a couple of weeks.  Peanut butter balls can also be frozen in an air-tight container for 3 months.

Our Grandma used to give these as gifts during the holidays. She had a novel container idea that worked like a charm! She would wash out Pringles chips canisters, wrap them in holiday paper, and put a bow on the lid. And Wah-lah: a cute inexpensive and delicious gift!!!

Have you made peanut butter balls with a different recipe?  Have you tried a gluten-free option?  Let us know in the comments below!

how to make old fashioned peanut butter balls

Peanut Butter Balls

Yields ~60

Equipment

  • Blender
  • Large Container w/Air-Tight Lid
  • Sifter
  • Food Gloves
  • Microwave Safe Bowl
  • Tongs or Toothpicks
  • baking sheet
  • wax paper

Ingredients
  

  • 1 box General Mills Wheaties
  • 1 1/2 C salted butter room temperature
  • 18 oz all-natural peanut butter
  • 1 lb powdered sugar
  • 24 oz almond bark

Instructions
 

Prepare the Filling

  • Fill a blender about 3⁄4 full with Wheaties and blend until the cereal has a sandy texture. Pour the sandy cereal into a sifter and shake to get the fine cereal into a bowl with an air-tight lid. Some bigger pieces of Wheaties may remain in the sifter, so simply put them back in the blender for another round. Repeat this process until you have a bowl full of sandy cereal bits.
  • Add the powdered sugar to the Wheaties and mix with a spoon until combined.
  • Add the peanut butter and the butter. 
  • Use a pair of food gloves to combine these ingredients with your hands, turning it over, making sure to incorporate the dry ingredients that stick to the bottom of the bowl.  Combine until the mixture has a soft clay-like consistency.
  • Cover the bowl with the lid and leave it on the counter for a day or two. This time may vary depending on the climate where you live. Dryer climates may require a couple of days, humid climates may require only a couple of hours.
  • Try to form a ball with a small amount of the mixture. If it sticks together easily with no cracks, it is ready to be rolled into balls. Roll the peanut butter balls, about an inch and a half in diameter, and place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
  • Refrigerate for at least an hour. Mixture can be refrigerated as long as overnight.

How to Coat Peanut Butter Balls

  • Break off about 6 pieces of the almond bark and place into a bowl. Microwave according to the directions on the package.
  • You will want to work with the balls in small groups, no more than about 6 at a time. As they set out, they will start to warm and then break apart during the dunking process, so keep them in the fridge up until it’s time to coat.
  • Grab a peanut butter ball with a pair of tongs and dunk it into the chocolate.  Make sure it is completely submerged, then simply remove and transfer it to a piece of wax paper to harden.
  • Lollipop sticks or toothpicks can also be used for dunking instead of tongs.  If you use toothpicks, insert about a third of the way into the peanut butter ball before dunking. The toothpicks can be removed before the chocolate coating hardens.

Notes

Once the peanut butter balls have hardened, they’re good on the counter in a container for a few days. If you prefer them chilled keep them in the fridge for a couple of weeks.  Peanut butter balls can also be frozen in an air-tight container for 3 months.

Questions or comments? Get in touch with us in the comments below!

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Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Balls-Easy No-Bake Recipe

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