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Gathering the Goodies for Santa’s Plate Peanut Butter Balls and Peanut Butter Chocolate Bark

PEANUT BUTTER BALLS

Original source: this recipe came out of a magazine purchased between 1984 and 1986. Exact source is unknown

What you need:

How to make it:

  1. Cream butter and peanut butter
  2. Add sugar and mix well
  3. In thick plastic bag, crush cereal
  4. Add to peanut butter mixture and mix well
  5. Shape in small balls, about ¾” each. Set on cookie sheets lined with parchment or wax paper. Place in freezer until balls are very firm
  6. Meanwhile, in double boiler over simmering not boiling water, melt both chocolates, starting with 2 cups each type of chocolate. Do not over heat the chocolate
  7. Take peanut butter balls out of the freezer, only a few at the time², dip individually in chocolate, coating well, and return to cookie sheet. Sprinkle with decoration if using while chocolate is still melted. Return coated balls in fridge to cool.
  8. Peanut Butter Balls will last a long time in the freezer in an airtight container

¹Buying the right chocolate: I have found that “pure” chocolate bars and/or pure chocolate wafers made specifically for coating work best. In my area, I buy President’s Choice™ product of France chocolate bars (300g size) or Callebaut™ wafers found in bulk stores. The trick is to not over heat the chocolate. When it is just melted, it is ready to go.

² I take no more than 10 or so balls from the freezer at a time. When the peanut butter softens, it tends to disintegrate in the chocolate making it gritty and lumpy. If using sprinkles, top each ball as soon as it is coated: the chocolate will solidify quickly.

 

PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE BARK

Original source: Canadian Living Magazine. I have searched Canadian Living’s website without success, hoping to find a link to this old recipe and give proper credit. The recipe was found in a November or December issue sometime between 1995 and 2000.

What you need:

How to make it:
Line 15X10 baking sheet with parchment paper

  1. In top of double boiler, over simmering but not boiling water, melt 1 lb white chocolate and peanut butter, stirring occasionally
  2. Spread onto prepared baking sheet
  3. In a separate bowl, melt bittersweet chocolate over simmering but not boiling water
  4. Drizzle melted bittersweet chocolate over white chocolate mixture creating long lines, about 5-6
  5. Run a knife or bamboo skewer through the chocolates to create a marble pattern. Circular motion will yield a very pretty effect
  6. Melt the remaining 2 oz white chocolate and drizzle over the marbled chocolate bark in random patterns²
  7. Refrigerate until completely firm. Either cut into triangles or snap into pieces
  8. Refrigerate up to 2 weeks or freeze up to 1 month

 

¹Use only top quality chocolates. Stir away from chocolate compounds or chocolate containing high levels of added oils such as palm oil. Ingredients of a good chocolate should include: cocoa, cocoa butter, chocolate liquor and lecithin (an emulsifier). Belgian chocolate chips, usually available in bulk stores, work very well and eliminate the need to chop the chocolate.

² This year, we completely forgot to save white chocolate for the drizzle. If it happens to you, don’t sweat it as no one will notice… The bark will still look great and taste good.