I really made that sound appetizing didn’t I? 😉 It’s truly a gift, please, hold your applause.
So, as I’ve mentioned many a time, I’m a huge peanut butter lover. It’s no surprise then that peanut butter balls are a staple during Christmas baking season. Once Christmas is over however, the poor delicately delicious peanut butter ball gets shut back away into the cobwebs of my mind that only get dusted off during the festive season. This is just not right people. Peanut butter balls should be able to shine year round! The more I got to thinking about it though, the more I started considering that perhaps the reason I don’t tend to make them again post-December is because I dip so many things in chocolate for that frantic 2 months of baking, that I just can’t fathom another dip (unless it’s summer and I’m dipping myself into a swimming pool of course 🙂 ). Then I said to myself “why do they even need to be dipped in chocolate? That’s the magic that is peanut butter. So long as you’re not allowing it to hang out and get a tan at the height of summer under a hot hot sun, it stays in a relatively solid and stable state (it’s actually only me that turns into an ooey gooey mess of mush whenever I’m around peanut butter. Let the swooning commence).
Also, there is absolutely no reason that I can see that would stop me from just incorporating a little cocoa powder straight into the mix so that you get that awesome chocolate-peanut butter combo and are still able to maintain your lazy lifestyle! Although because they are technically protein packed, they might even help you to slightly up your game and turn that lazy lifestyle from one where you lay drooling on the couch emitting the occasional grunt to let people know you’re still alive, to one in which you actually use your words like a grown up to communicate with those around you. I mean, they’re not magic, but it is possible 😉 .
Also, complete side note here, but don’t you love how lazy I obviously am in the nail polish removal department? Ummm..I mean, those aren’t my hands in that photo! 😉 Seriously though, I technically rarely wear nail polish because a) it’s too much effort for how long it lasts and b) I’m impatient and whether I’m doing it myself or paying a professional, I almost always mess it up before it has a chance to dry (thus really not lasting very long). Then last year for the first time, I discovered the wonders of a shellac manicure (*cue singing angels*). Dries instantly? Promises to stay on your nails for at least a few weeks before you should remove it? (Or, if you’re like me, leave it on your nails for months and just let it grow out like a bad haircut. Stay classy Amber). Also, in case anyone was wondering about the vegan-ness of the misnomered “shellac” manicure, it’s apparently only called that because it hardens and has a shine like shellac, not because it’s actually made of shellac (aka crushed beetles. That potentially could’ve been Tim Burtons alternative movie consideration – “Edward Crushed-Beetle Hands”….that’s a whole different kind of scary *shudder*).
Anyway, aside-over, and back to the topic at hand – PEANUT BUTTER!!! In smallish and portable form!!! Combined with chocolate!!! (I may need to have an intervention around my overuse of exclamation marks. Unfortunately for all of you that were planning on doing that, the first step is admitting you have a problem, and I think there can never be enough exclamation marks 😉 ).
If you care, these are actually relatively healthy with very little sugar (and pretty easy to just completely eliminate the sugar if you want). They would also be insanely easy to customize to your liking. Feel free to replace any of the “butters” with whatever nut and/or seed butters you like/have on hand (I don’t know about you, but I love things that I can just see what’s in my fridge and substitute in a recipe for that thing. Using up leftovers plus avoiding having to interact with the general public at the grocery store (I’m clearly a big people person 😉 ), where do I sign up??!!)
Yield: 30-40 bites (depending how large you make them)
- 1/2 cup cashew butter
- 1/2 cup sunflower seed butter
- 1 tablespoon almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup (depending how sweet you want them)
- 3/4 cups PB2 (powdered peanut butter or peanut flour would work too)
- 1/4 cup oat flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/3 cup rum soaked dried fruit of your choice (or just dried fruit of your choice unsoaked) – I used a mix of dried cherries, cranberries, dates and figs
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar (for dusting)
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (for dusting)
- Mix together the cashew butter, sunflower seed butter, almond milk, vanilla and maple syrup (with an electric mixer or by hand is fine).
- In a separate small bowl, sift together the powdered peanut butter, oat flour, cocoa powder and salt.
- Combine with wet ingredients. The mixture will be very thick and stiff, so you will likely have to eventually work it together with your hands.
- Mix in dried fruit and chopped pecans.
- In a small bowl sift together the 2 tablespoons of icing sugar and 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder.
- Roll peanut mixture into balls and roll in icing sugar/cocoa mixture.
- Store in the refrigerator.