Nothing tastes like Christmas quite like my Aunt Kathy’s beloved peanut butter balls. These salty sweet treats are a staple around our holiday dinner table, and our entire family eagerly waits for her to pass out her tins of candy each December. Although I have consumed more than my fair share of these over the years, I wasn’t aware they contained bits of chopped dates and walnuts until she emailed me her secret recipe nearly a decade ago.
She’s no longer here to make these for us, so I channel her to my kitchen every Christmas season and prepare a batch for my own friends and family. They can be made in advance and tucked into the freezer until needed, which is what I plan on doing this weekend. I really can’t imagine a holiday party, dinner, or dessert tray without them featured on the menu.
Peanut Butter Balls
Makes 40 pieces
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup chopped dried dates (preferably Medjool)
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 cups peanut butter
- 3 Tbsp butter, softened
- 16 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate
- 1 Tbsp solid coconut oil or vegetable shortening
Prep and Cook:
- In a large bowl combine the powdered sugar, dates, walnuts, peanut butter and butter; mix well.
- Using your hands, roll the mixture into 1-inch balls. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill for at least one hour.
- Fill a small saucepan with two inches of water. Place the chocolate and coconut oil in a heatproof bowl and set over the pot. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and warm the chocolate. When half of it has melted, remove the bowl from the heat, and stir until completely smooth.
- Using a fork, dip the peanut butter balls into the chocolate shaking the excess off onto the side of the bowl. Return the balls to the parchment lined baking sheet and place them in the freezer for 3-4 minutes, or long enough for the chocolate to firm up. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Alternatively, they can also be frozen. To serve, place the balls in mini cupcake liners.
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