Every Christmas, my family makes these delightful little treats called peanut butter balls. Balls of sweetened peanut butter are dipped in semi-sweet chocolate. A lot of people call them buckeyes, but my mom’s ratio of peanut butter to chocolate makes them ours, with a simple name: peanut butter balls.
Neighbors wait for these over the holidays; we bake at least three or four batches over the weeks. There isn’t a Christmas I don’t remember where we haven’t had a leftover pot of chocolate hanging out on the stove, waiting to be reheated for the next batch that is mixed and rolled.
So I bet by now you’re wondering why this post is titled Nutella. Freak out not, as my favorite English teacher used to say, I’m getting there.
This week, I wanted to satisfy a selfish curiousity; instead of crunchy peanut butter, I wanted to try creamy. And I wanted to eat Nutella in a more grandiose form than off my finger or on a spoon. So a Nutella version was created.
I’ll sidestep the tension this created in my family. Creamy peanut butter and NUTELLA on the inside!?!? They were incredulous that I had changed the very principles of chocolate peanut butter balls.
But my worries from their criticism melted away when my brother’s girlfriend announced that she could forget about peanut butter balls; Nutella balls are her new favorite. And my brother-in-law said that when he tasted the newest version, he had a food-gasm. I’m glad some people are open to change.
But for those of you sticklers, the recipe for the original is the same, just use peanut butter instead of Nutella.
12 oz Nutella (1 1/2 cups)
1 stick of butter, plus two tablespoons, softened (these two tablespoons are not part of the original recipe, but for the Nutella, have a few extra tablespoons on hand in case the mixture is too crumbly and doesn’t ball up easily)
1/2 box powdered sugar
1 package cinnamon graham crackers crushed fine (regular are fine, too)
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 piece of paraffin wax
12 oz semisweet chocolate chips
Mix Nutella, butter, powdered sugar, and crushed graham crackers until well combined. Roll into balls. Size is up to you, but I enjoy these when the balls are smaller (hold your laughter) and there is a smaller ratio of peanut butter to chocolate.
In a double boiler or pot set to very low heat, melt chocolate and wax. Dip rolled balls into chocolate then place on waxed paper to dry.
Here’s a video I did over Christmas to demonstrate how to dip these. Please be warned- I didn’t realize this had volume and therefore some inconsequential conversation is going on about dinner. Please disregard.
A little trick of the trade: place the waxed paper on a cookie sheet so the whole thing is easily transportable.