Want to make a last minute Christmas gift for someone – or just a treat for your family? Try these delicious Gluten Free Peanut Butter Balls! They have the consistency of a peanut butter cup or truffle. They literally melt in your mouth!

peanut butter balls

They are somewhat nutritious – peanut butter has 7 grams of protein per serving and a bit of iron.  The cereal I used is vitamin fortified and the semi sweet dark chocolate that they are dipped in is rich in antioxidants!  How’s that for justification? Works for me!

Ingredients:

1 jar natural peanut butter (16oz)

4 cups gluten free cereal – I used chocolate flavored Rice Chex

½ cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups semi-sweet dark chocolate I find using a brand like Ghiradelli’s is the best.  The flavor is deeper and richer

2 teaspoons cooking oil

Place the cereal (using 2 cups at a time) in a food processor and mix until cereal is broken down and has a flour like texture.  I used my NutriBullet.  It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t get completely broken down – it is nice to have the crunch.

Place processed cereal, peanut butter, powdered sugar and vanilla in a bowl and mix well.  Ok, for me, this is the fun part – I use my hands to mix together – and yes, be sure to wash them first!  You can mix in an electric mixer but I don’t have one and I am a ‘hands on or in’ cook.

Blend all ingredients until smooth and well combined.  If you find the mixture is a bit dry, add a bit of milk (I have even used sour cream) 1 teaspoon at a time.  On this batch I didn’t need to.

Here is a little hint – most of the time I drain the oil off of the top of the jar of peanut butter, but I didn’t this time.  Some recipes call for melted butter – I have never done that.  I just stir in the oil that settles at the top of a new jar of peanut butter.  The dough doesn’t need the extra moistening.                            

After everything is blended, take a small amount of dough and roll into a ball, about the size of a walnut.  You can make them bigger or smaller.  I was in a hurry yesterday and made the balls a little bigger that a walnut.  I had about 24 balls – so, if you want to make them smaller the yield will be more.

Place the balls on a lined cookie sheet and place in the freezer.

Place the chocolate pieces in a Pyrex bowl and mix in the oil.  This helps set the chocolate.

Microwave on high for 1 minute, stir chocolate, repeat for another minute, then for 30 seconds.  You can melt in a double boiler over water, but I find this method works fine.  Just be sure to do it in increments so the chocolate won’t burn

Remove the balls from the freezer.  Using a teaspoon, place the balls, one at a time, into the chocolate to cover completely,  lift out with a spoon and place back on the cookie sheet.

Place back in the freezer for about half an hour to set the chocolate.  You can place in an air tight container and store in the freezer until you plan to use.  They only need to set out several minutes before they are ready to eat.  If you are going to package them for a gift – let set out for about 10 minutes before putting them in another container.  If there is any condensation just use a paper towel to absorb it before you place in your gift container.

If you have chocolate left over, use it to dip strawberries or banana slices.  Also marshmallows!  The kids love them!

Ho Ho Ho!

Enjoy! 

 

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