Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Peanut-Butter Balls rolling right into the trash.

Okay, so if you connect with us on facebook, you may have already heard that I attempted at making Peanut Butter Balls from a recipe blurb I found in my Parents magazine a while back. On a day when I had my two youngest children down for a nap at the same time I suggested to my 4 year old that we make Peanut Butter Balls together. I got him all excited, by showing him the picture of these delicious looking treats from a magazine page and getting out the few ingredients necessary to make them. (Peanut butter is his favorite food, and my husband LOVES any dessert that contains peanut butter, so I figured this was going to be a WIN all around)The problem was that there wasn't actually an Ingredients list. It was truly just a blurb in the magazine. Since I improvise all the time when I cook I did not think much of that. That was my first problem. :) The end result: we made Peanut Butter cookies and ate those instead. (I'll post that recipe later, because that one is a guaranteed success every time) Read on...

Okay, so here is my picture of the ingredients I thought should have worked:My ingredients:
Instant nonfat dry milk
JIF peanut butter
Semi-sweet cheapo brand chocolate chips

Directions I followed: (with my two cents typed in red font, for your entertainment purposes more than as some sort of helpful tool to you all)
Mix 1/2 cup all-natural peanut butter, 1/3 cup honey, and 1 cup powered milk in a bowl. (Is there a difference between powdered milk and "dry milk"? Mine seemed gritty)Roll into 20 1" balls. Melt 6 oz. dark chocolate (I used chocolate chips that we already had on hand) and dip balls into chocolate. (even when done correctly, this sounds like it could be messy. I didn't think about that until I got to this point) I decided to microwave my chocolate chips. I did 30 seconds and then took them out to mix them up a bit. It seemed REALLY thick, so I added 1Tbs. of butter and melted it some more. I thought I saw that idea in another recipe I had done in the past. When I took it out it was not smoother, and creamier like I had imagined it would be. It was more like this: So, you can see how dunking peanut butter balls into this might not work so well. I tried to slather some chocolate on anyway, because I just couldn't see wasting all this food. That looked like this: Did I mention that they were supposed to look like this? You know what I thought was a hoot, though? My son begged to eat just one. I let him eat it, and he acted like it was fantastic and then ran around our house for about an hour afterward with a huge bolt of energy. I dumped the rest anyway. So, here's the rest of the directions, for those of you who care to even bother trying. :)
Refrigerate until chocolate hardens. If desired, pipe letters with leftover melted chocolate. (not exactly an option in my case)

Two questions:
1. What kind of chocolate would you have used here? The kind you melt to make chocolate candies or something?
2. Is dry milk "powdered milk" or is that something different all together?


What can I say... said...

We've never made them but this is the recipe I have for them. We call them Buckeyes.

1 lb bag confectioners sugar
2/3lb jar creamy peanut butter
2 stick soft butter
16 oz bag of chocolate chips
1 Tbsp paraffine

Blend together confectioners sugar, peanut butter and butter. Roll into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Freeze for about 5 mins or until firm. Melt chocolate and paraffine in a double boiler. Insert toothpick in ball and partially dip into chocolate and refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes about 4 dz.

Patricia L said...

I make peanut butter balls a time or two per year. I use peanut butter, a couple tbsp of butter, and powdered sugar for the pb mixture. I use chocolate chips or the chocolate candy coating (whichever I have on hand). My MIL adds a bit of wax to her chocolate chips so that they get that smooth shiny coating (you find the wax in the canning section of the grocery store).

Cortney said...

I have an amazing peanut butter balls recipe that I make each year around the holidays, my boys both love it! If you feel up to trying another, this is a great one!

1 c. creamy peanut butter
1 c. powdered sugar
1 tbsp honey
2 c. chopped peanuts (optional)

Shape into balls and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Melt 12 oz chocolate chips and 2-3 tbsp vegetable shortening over a double boiler. Dip in the chocolate and let set until dry.

I refrigerate mine so the chocolate isn't all melty, but that is personal preference.

Deanna said...

I made something similar. We made the peanut butter playdoh - peanut butter, honey and powdered milk.
Then I had them make balls and put them in baggies for a long car ride 2 days later. Well, the kids played with and ate them but I thought they were best when eaten the same day.

I had powdered milk on hand but I think there is a diff. Is one nutritionaly better?

Becca said...

You have to try this again! I had my own little recipe book when I was a kid with this recipe in it. They are divine! I've made them as an adult and they are gone by the end of the day!

Powdered Milk/Dry Milk - they are the same thing, but I've seen one recipe where it called for non-instant powdered milk and apparently that's different.

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup honey
1 cup powdered milk (instant is fine)

Mix them all together and roll into balls.

I've added chocolate chips to mine, just a little less than half a cup. And I usually roll them in graham cracker crumbs!

Then just freeze/refrigerate. So yummy!

Melissa said...

Chocolate chips generally work fine, just by themselves. Looks like the chocolate seized after you added the butter and continued heating. Might have been the water in the butter, might have been overheated - both can cause problems. Looks bad, but I understand it still tastes OK :)

Next time, try 20 second intervals (or even 10 seconds!) in the microwave, stirring after each heating. If it seems melted, but too thick, heat just another 10 to 20 seconds and stir again - it'll usually thin out as it gets hotter :)

As for the dried milk/powdered milk question, I think they are the same thing, just a different texture. Maybe try putting the dried milk in a blender or food processor for a few seconds to make a finer grind?

Carrie said...

Here you go:

1c peanut butter
1c powdered milk (same as dry)
1 1/4c powdered sugar
1c honey
1c oats

Combine all ingredients, roll into balls and set on waxed paper. Refrigerate until firm. You can roll them in nuts or coconut before chilling, OR chill first, then dip in melted chocolate (coating chocolate works best) and then chill again.

Hope that helps you! My kids like these just fine without any chocolate at all!

Spectrum Momma said...

LOL! That gave me a good laugh. I am totally the same way with baking anything. What probably happened with the chocolate is that the margarine contained water which caused the chocolate to crystalize instead of melt. When melting chocolate it's really important that the bowl and spoon are completely dry. If even a drop or two of water finds its way into the chocolate, it'll crystalize like that. I think you can use cream or real butter to make the chocolate creamier and smoother, but not margarine.

Kelly Polizzi said...

any chocolate is fine, as long as its the same amount.
Dry milk is powdered milk, yup.

Kelly Polizzi said...

i should add that regular chocolate chips are not meant to be melted. They are meant to be included in baking and therefore to withstand heat and hold up better. Because of this, when needing melted chocolate I usually melt the bar kind or Wilton’s does little melting disks that are good. If in a pinch, I will use chips but only ever on the stove on a low heat. Which I think may have been the problem in your case. Not that you used chips but that you used the microwave to melt them. It can be successful and lots of people do it but it requires lots of stirring. Hope you have better luck next time. If you make these again! lol

MommaHughes said...

Hahaha...WOW! You guys are awesome!!!! Thank you so much for all of your fabulous ideas and input! I am so glad that you all took the time to respond. I will definitely be trying some of your suggestions and recipes later.

amanda said...

I will definitely try the buckeye recipe. That looks wonderful!

Laurice said...

When I need melted chocolate to dip pretzels in I usually use milk chocolate chips and melt them on the stove using a double boiler and they melt great. I think if you get the chocolate too hot too fast without stirring it cooks the chocolate or does something weird to it instead of melting it.

As far as the powdered milk is concerned--powdered milk is powdered milk. Instant powdered milk looks like little tiny snowballs and dissolve quickly in water to make milk. Non-instant milk comes in a fine powder form similar to Creamora. It is a little harder to get it to dissolve in the water but takes less milk than the instant powder to make a cup of milk. Hope this helps and doesn't confuse you.