Joanne Marks offers this holiday gift for peanut butter and chocolate lovers.
Chocolate peanut butter balls
114 g (1/2 cup) butter, softened
500 ml (2 cups) peanut butter
1,000 ml (4 cups) icing sugar
750 ml (3 cups) Rice Krispies cereal
340 g (2 cups or 12 oz) chocolate chips
1/3 stick Parowax (about 37 g)
In large bowl, mix butter, peanut butter and icing sugar together. Mix in the Rice Krispies. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up. Form into 3.5 cm (1 1/2 in) balls. Keep peanut butter balls refrigerated while you prepare coating by melting chocolate chips and Parowax at low heat in the microwave or over simmering water in a double boiler. Using toothpick, dip balls in chocolate mixture and let stand on wax paper until firmed up. Store in fridge.
Tester's notes: Who doesn't love the classic combo of chocolate and peanut butter, with a little added crunch? The peanut butter filling is easy-peasy, but I struggled a bit with the coating process. The trick is to keep the peanut mixture cool and firm and the chocolate warm and workable. I also switched to bamboo skewers, which held up better than toothpicks.
If using Parowax, which can be found in the canning section of most supermarkets, make sure to chop it finely so that it melts at the same rate as the chocolate chips. Or you can use 340 g melting chocolate wafers sold at bulk food stores. Some bakers prefer to use 340 g chocolate melted with 40 ml (2 tbsp plus 2 tsp) shortening, which also works, though the finish will be softer and not as shiny.
-- Alison Gillmor