By: Terry Harris | Email: Click Here
Posted: August 18, 2018 | 8:05 a.m.
This week I’m sharing a cool, sweet treat that’s – ok, it’s actually candy. BUT – it’s arguably good for you. Or, at least, these are a better option that most others out there when your sweet tooth is setting off a “feed me!” alarm. Plus Frozen peanut Butter Bites might easily be called Desperation Delights, because with only four common household ingredients and five minutes actual “hands-on” time, you can whip these babies right up AND…. Drum roll… the closest to “cooking” you’ll come will be a couple of minutes in the microwave!
For me, these really were desperation delights, because I suddenly remembered very shortly before an event that I promised to bring something sweet and I had NO time to run to the store for ingredients. But having been raised on a peanut farm, I always keep peanut butter on hand. You can’t bake much of anything without vanilla and/or powdered sugar, so those are staples at my house as well. And who doesn’t keep chocolate chips (or at least some semi-sweet “emergency chocolate”) on hand? So with those four simple ingredients, it was quick work to just plop the peanut butter and confectioners’ sugar in my Kitchen Aid Mixer bowl and let it do the work! When the mixture was nice and smooth, I beat in the vanilla, then rolled it all into little balls and stuck those in the freezer.
You can have fun decorating them with chocolate drizzles or just coat the pieces in chocolate.
Thirty minutes later, I melted the chocolate in the microwave to prepare for coating and decorating the frozen bits of sweetness. Now this part really is easy if you remember a few simple rules about dealing with chocolate. First, only microwave it in small increments of time. You can generally start with about two 30 second bursts, then follow with 10 second burst until it’s ready. There are two reasons for this. First, chocolate WILL scorch in the microwave if you forget and cook it too long, and then there’s nothing you can do but discard it and start over. And the second reason is that looks definitely can be deceiving when microwaving chocolate. It can be completely melted and still retain its shape AND sometimes if you take it out and start stirring, the “already melted” part is warm enough that it melts the still slightly hard bits as you stir. And be sure not to get any moisture in the chocolate if you plan to save-re-use leftovers after you’re done dipping. Because even a few drops of water in that bowl of melted chocolate causes a chemical change that will make it impossible to reheat successfully. Don’t let these cautions scare you. It’s NOT difficult. You just have to be a little careful.
OK, so now that you have your melted chocolate ready, take out your peanut butter balls and dip them one at a time in the chocolate using two forks to cradle the pieces as you dip. That reminds me – do not do what I did and assume that you can “just stick a toothpick in the balls and use that to dip them in the chocolate.” They’ll fall apart – or at least morph out of shape – and leave you with the makings of a pretty big mess. So, like I said, just lift the half-coated pieces out with two forks and place them on another sheet of waxed paper – on another flat pan. I found that by doing them this way, after I got the first one down, I could lift the next over the first one to let the excess chocolate drip onto that and make some lovely drop swirl patterns!
Then all that’s left to do is just put them in the freezer until the chocolate sets up, or, if you like them really cold/frozen like I do, leave them in there for about an hour and a half. Seriously, does it get any easier than this? It would have taken me more time to go to the store and buy candy, and I guarantee it wouldn’t have been as tasty.
Once you move them from the waxed paper to the serving dish, just tell them the chocolate… designs… are part of your creativity!
Oh, and getting back to that health-food thing, according to Healthline, peanuts are a good source of protein, low in carbs, high in healthy fats, rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Shucks, that sounds like health food to me! OK. Maybe that’s a tiny bit of a stretch. But at least you know when you indulge in these you’re getting some real nutritional value, and I guarantee you that money can’t buy the gold star you’ll get for making them for the people you love. Because anyone who likes peanut butter is going to love these! Enjoy!!!
PS: Don’t forget to check thesussexsurrydispatch.com for tons of other recipes in our archives. Just click on Queenie Cooks at the top of the page for over a year’s worth of ways to have some delicious fun with food! And you can find me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org – and I hope you do!
Frozen Peanut Butter Bites
- 2 Cups (1 18 oz jar) creamy peanut butter *
- 2 ½ Cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (chocolate chips work great)
Beat together peanut butter and confectioners’ sugar until smooth and stiff. Beat in vanilla. Shape mixture into twenty 1” or about 45 ½” balls. Note: You may want to dust your hands with the confectioner’s sugar before rolling balls if it’s a particularly humid or hot day. Place each on a sheet tray lined with waxed paper. Freeze for an hour.
Chop chocolate into a small bowl and carefully microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and repeat. If still not perfectly smooth, continue in 10 second increments microwaving and then stirring until completely smooth. Using two forks, dip chilled peanut butter balls into the chocolate halfway up. Place each one on waxed paper. Drizzle more chocolate on the tops with the tines of a fork. Replace in freezer until set – about 30 minutes. I like to store them in the freezer and serve ice-cold.
If it’s a hot and humid day outside dust your hands with confectioners’ sugar before rolling the balls. This will make it less sticky.
Look for Queenie Cooks weekly for recipes that are generally simple to prepare, require relatively few (and easy to find) ingredients, and usually budget friendly as well. We all have to eat. Let’s have some FUN with it!