Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Peanut Butter Balls
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 - 2 1/2 cups confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar
9 ounces semi sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon shortening
Line two baking sheets with parchment or wax paper.
Place the peanut butter, unsalted butter, and salt in a microwaveable bowl, and heat in the microwave for about one minute or until just soft (check and stir the ingredients every 20-30 seconds). Stir in the vanilla extract and confectioners sugar and mix until it has the consistency of a stiff dough (add more sugar if necessary).
Roll the dough into 1 inch (2.5 cm) round balls. Place on the cookie sheets and refrigerate until firm (several hours or even overnight). You can also place the peanut butter balls in the freezer and freeze until firm (I find this makes it easier to dip them in the melted chocolate).
Melt the chocolate and shortening in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Dip the balls, one at a time, in the melted chocolate, making sure the entire ball is coated with chocolate. Then, with two spoons or a dipping fork, remove the peanut butter ball from the melted chocolate, allowing any excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl. Place the chocolate covered balls back on the baking sheet. If desired, sprinkle the balls with finely chopped peanuts. When all the balls have been dipped in the chocolate, place in the refrigerator until the chocolate has set. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. They can also be frozen. To serve: place in small fluted candy cups.
Makes about 60 pieces, depending on size. Preparation time 30 minutes.