No-bake peanut butter balls are the best of both worlds. They contain relatively healthy peanut butter encased inside a delectable and undeniably delicious chocolate shell. They’re also so delicious as to be nearly addictive. It won’t take long before a full plate of this amazing candy quickly disappears.
Some people whip out this recipe for special occasions and the holidays, while others prepare it because it’s just so darn quick and easy – not to mention the fact that they taste amazing. There are various versions of this recipe with some calling for crushed graham crackers, Rice Krispies, or rolled oats. It also holds up to other variations hinging on dietary needs. If you want a low-sugar peanut butter ball, you can substitute powdered monk fruit or another no-sugar alternative. Need another reason to make these? If you have young kids in your home, this can conveniently take up a fair amount of their time and energy. In fact, this recipe is so easy to make that you can recruit all the little hands in your house to form an assembly line and crank these out for all to enjoy.
Recipe developer Susan Olayinka of The Flexible Fridge has created a healthier no-bake peanut butter balls recipe that you’re sure to love and will soon file amongst your other favorite recipes. As a passionate cook, Olayinka prefers recipes that are easy and perfect for busy lives. Give this one a try!
Gather the ingredients for no-bake peanut butter balls
Not only does this recipe take a mere five minutes to prep and just 30 minutes to fix, but it also does not take very many ingredients either. You will need to grab a container of peanut butter, a bottle of honey, oat flour, almond flour, coconut oil, salt, and chocolate for melting. You will need to split the coconut oil into one tablespoon for melting the chocolate and two tablespoons for the peanut butter balls.
If you’re never worked with coconut oil before, don’t be turned off by the hard and white substance you’ve just found in the jar. To use it as a liquid, melt the solidified coconut oil over low heat and cool briefly. Then, use it just like you would any other oil. Note that one cup of solid coconut oil will melt to approximately one cup of liquid, according to The Art of Simple.
Which peanut butter should you use for this no-bake treat?
Chunky or creamy peanut butter? Or maybe sunflower or almond butter instead? There are so many different options out there that things can admittedly start to get a little confusing. So, what type of nut butter should you actually use with this recipe? Olayinka suggests using smooth peanut butter, but noted that crunchy "will also add some great texture."
If you can’t use peanut butter, other options will work just fine as substitutions. "If someone has a nut allergy, seed butter can be substituted like sunflower seed butter or pumpkin seed butter," Olayinka says.
Whichever works best for you and whoever is eating this yummy treat, be sure to have enough to measure out 3/4 cup of nut or seed butter for the recipe.
Here’s the chocolate to use for no-bake peanut butter balls
In order to form the yummy chocolate shell of this candy, you will need half a cup of melted chocolate. There are a few different chocolate options you can use for this part of the recipe. According to Allrecipes, the best chocolate for melting contains at least 32 percent cocoa butter.
"Some [chocolates] lose sheen and become chalky looking when they resolidify. That might not matter if you’re melting chocolate for fondue, but if you want to make chocolate covered strawberries, for example, you want a chocolate that stays glossy when it hardens — a chocolate with a high cocoa butter content," food writer Vanessa Greaves says (via Allrecipes).
She recommends using quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, or what’s called couverture, which is a favorite chocolate of candy-making professionals. Remember that small pieces of chocolate like baking chips are the perfect size for melting. So, if you’re using a bar or discs, take a minute to chop them up first. When it’s time to melt the chocolate, keep the pan over low heat or microwave on reduced power for short bursts of time so you don’t burn the chocolate.
How to make homemade oat flour for no-bake peanut butter balls
For this recipe, you can either make homemade oat flour or buy a bag at the store. "To make oat flour at home, take three-fourths of a cup of rolled oats and process in a high-speed blender to make three-fourths of a cup oat flour," Olayinka said.
A food processor will work, too, of course. You can choose old-fashioned rolled oats, quick-cooking oats, or even steel-cut oats to grind up and make into oat flour. Since steel-cut oats are denser than other oats, however, they will require more processing time and will typically yield twice as much flour per cup, says blog Cookie+kate. Another bonus of using oat flour instead of wheat-based flour is that, as long as your oats have been certified gluten-free, anyone who cannot consume gluten or wheat can safely eat this mouthwatering treat.
Mix peanut butter and honey for no-bake peanut butter balls
The first thing to do is make your homemade oat flour if that’s the route you’re choosing to go. Otherwise, just grab your bag of store-bought oat flour and measure out 3/4 cup into a bowl.
Then, take 3/4 cup of peanut butter or its alternative and place it along with 1/4 cup of honey in a small pan, and set it over low-medium heat on the stove. Stir the two ingredients until they have melted together completely, which Olayinka said will take approximately one minute. You may be tempted to swipe a finger into the mixture and steal a bit, but try to refrain. It’ll be hot, for one, and you need to keep the mixture to actually make the no-bake peanut butter balls. The end result will be worth it.
Form and coat the no-bake peanut butter balls
Remove the melted peanut butter-honey mixture from the store and scrape it out of the pan into the blender. Melt two tablespoons of coconut oil in the microwave then add it to the blender. Add in the oat flour, 3/4 cup of almond flour, and 1/8 teaspoon of salt into the blender. Pulse until the concoction is well combined. Pour the creamy peanut butter mixture from the blender and into a mixing bowl.
Now, begin to form balls with your hands. Set them on a plate lined with parchment paper or plastic wrap. Once all of the balls have been formed, turn your attention to the chocolate. Melt your chips, chunks, or discs to yield half a cup and combine with one tablespoon of melted coconut oil. Olayinka prefers to use the microwave to melt her chocolate, though be sure to cook on low power and in short bursts. Don’t overheat it, lest you break the temper of the chocolate.
Gingerly dip each ball in the melted chocolate, using a spoon to help cover the entire surface of each ball. For a slightly different take, you can leave a few of the peanut butter balls uncovered and simply decorate them with lines of chocolate drizzled from a spoon.
Once you’ve coated them to your heart’s content, place the no-bake peanut butter balls in the freezer for 15 minutes. Once they’ve solidified, remove them and top with sea salt. Enjoy!