Peanut Butter Truffles
"Wow, Dena! You must have made a million different types of candy this year!"
No, and I told you a million times not to exaggerate. The actual number is about 14-ish, and I intend to share them all with you. Virtually, anyway, since virtually all of it is going to theHubby's clients. Any
Especially these peanut butter balls. Or, as I call 'em, nature's most perfect food. Peanut butter has lots of protein. Chocolate is heart-healthy. And calories in powdered sugar don't count if you eat quickly (or standing up ... I forget which).
I used smooth peanut butter because that's what is stocked in my house. Feel free to use crunchy if that's how you roll (truffles). Likewise, I prefer to use natural peanut butter in this recipe. Try experimenting with two separate batches of these truffles, one with "regular" and one with natural peanut butter and see which version you prefer. Then please invite me over for a tasting party. Yum!
While most of the chocolate-coated candy recipes I have posted use melting chocolate, for this one I employ parve chips instead since melting chocolate I have is dairy; this particular batch was destined for someone with a dairy allergy. Feel free to use melting chocolate if you prefer. Regardless, do *not* substitute butter or margarine in place of the shortening! The moisture content in butter and margarine will cause the chocolate to "seize" (turn into a lumpy gritty mess), which is not a good thing.
Oh, and if you con't completely enrobe the peanut butter and someone is rude enough to point out your "mistake," lift your head up high and proudly answer, "Truffles? Did I call these truffles? No, no ... these are Buckeyes!"
Peanut Butter Truffles
Yield: about 48 truffles
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. salt (if peanut butter is salt-free)
2/3 cup peanut butter, natural preferred (smooth or crunchy)
1 (24 oz.) bag chocolate chips (I used parve chips), divided
4 Tbl. vegetable shortening, divided
1/4 cup coarsely chopped peanuts (optional)
Place wax paper onto medium-sized cookie sheet. Set aside.
Measure out the powdered sugar (TIP ALERT! If you pour the powdered sugar into a measuring cup placed in your sink, clean-up will be MUCH easier).
In a small mixer bowl, beat powdered sugar, salt (if using) and peanut butter with electric mixer at low speed until combined (to prevent sugar from coating entire kitchen). At this point mixture will look like a lot of pea-sized lumps.
Increase mixer speed to medium and continue beating for another 2 minutes, or until mixture comes together into a few large clumps.
Wet hands with cold water. Eyeball out teaspoon-sized amounts of mixture; shape into 48 balls (re-wet hands as necessary to prevent mixture from sticking to you instead of itself). The balls should be around 3/4-inch in diameter. Place on prepared cookie sheet without touching (each other). Place in refrigerator for a few minutes while preparing chocolate.
Pour half of the chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons of shortening in a microwave-safe 1-quart bowl. Microwave on full power for one minute. Stir, then continue to microwave for an additional 30 seconds. Stir; repeat if necessary until shortening and chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
Dipping forks, Dear Reader. Dear Reader, dipping forks.
Dip a peanut butter ball into the melted chocolate. Turn ball a few times to completely enrobe it, then tap on the inner edge of bowl to allow excess to drip off. Quickly slide truffle off fork onto prepared baking sheet.
After dipping 3-4 balls, sprinkle a tiny amount of chopped peanuts on top of truffles, if desired. Gently press nuts with a fingertipto assure adhering.
Repeat dipping with about half of remaining peanut butter balls. When chocolate runs low, add remaining chocolate and shortening; repeat melting instructions. Dip remaining balls and place on baking sheet.
Return baking sheet to fridge for a few minutes to firm up chocolate.
Store truffles in a tightly closed container in fridge for up to a week or freeze for up to a month.