Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls: A Treat That’s No Trick to Make


The trick-or-treaters who show up at our door this year might just end up with these tasty home-made peanut butter balls in their bags, providing the occupants of this household don’t eat them all first.

My house is far enough away from other houses on the island that my goblins are sparse, and are usually the children of friends. I often make caramel corn or popcorn balls, and Toby crosses fingers that we’ll end up with only two or three little visitors because he is happy to polish off the remainder. Perhaps you are similarly blessed to live where nieces, nephews, cousins, and the children of friends show up on Halloween, and their moms and dads are happy to see homemade treats.

Rosemary Leonard of Veazie sent this recipe along last December after reading the buckeyes recipe that I offered at Christmas. She wrote, “Have you ever tried this recipe? I seem to like it better than the buckeyes.  It is not so sweet and I think the balls hold their shape better.” Rosemary reports that she picked this recipe up forty-five years ago from a collection shared by Orono teachers. I thought I’d give it a try for Halloween.

I’ll bet you have the ingredients on hand; nothing exotic: graham crackers, peanut butter confectioner’s sugar, and chocolate chips. I used our favorite all-natural peanut butter (the kind that has only peanuts and salt in the ingredient list.) It may be that if you use a smoother, more homogenized sort, your peanut butter balls will be a little less crunchy than mine, but our young friend Kate, who is staying with us for a while, thought the crunchiness was a good thing. And I ended up agreeing with Rosemary that these are not as sweet which I think is a good thing.

When you mix the peanut butter and crackers together, you will find that they make a very stiff mixture, practically impossible to manage with a spoon. Use a mixer, or dive in with your hands to knead them together.

You can knead together the peanut butter, sugar, and cracker crumbs to make a solid mass.

You can knead together the peanut butter, sugar, and cracker crumbs to make a solid mass.

The recipe calls for a small amount of parafin to add to the melted chocolate but I preferred to make a ganache by adding cream to the chips as I melted them. It hardens enough that you can pick them up to eat without getting sticky.

A small pan set into a larger one with hot water in it is one way to melt the chocolate chips.

A small pan set into a larger one with hot water in it is one way to melt the chocolate chips.

You will have to tuck these candies into a little plastic bag or cover with plastic wrap, otherwise they’ll get all mashed up by candy bars and apples in the trick-or-treater’s bags.


Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls
Serves: 36 to 48 balls
  • 2 cups peanut butter (16 ounce jar)
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about one and a half packages
  • 1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • Cream
  1. Mix together the peanut butter, crumbs, and confectioner’s sugar, until it forms a solid mass.
  2. Melt the chocolate chips over a very low temperature or in the microwave.
  3. Dribble in a little cream, stirring until the mixture is glossy and smooth.
  4. Roll the balls in the chocolate to cover and set out on waxed or parchment paper to harden.


Sandy Oliver

About Sandy Oliver

Sandy Oliver Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column Taste Buds appearing weekly since 2006 in the Bangor Daily News, and regular columns in Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working Waterfront. Besides freelance food writing, she is a pioneering food historian beginning her work in 1971 at Mystic Seaport Museum, where she developed a fireplace cooking program in an 1830s house. After moving to Maine in 1988, Sandy wrote, Saltwater Foodways: New Englanders and Their Foods at Sea and Ashore in the 19th Century published in 1995. She is the author of The Food of Colonial and Federal America published in fall of 2005, and Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving History and Recipes from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie which she co-authored with Kathleen Curtin. She often speaks to historical organizations and food professional groups around the country, organizes historical dinners, and conducts classes and workshops in food history and in sustainable gardening and cooking. Sandy lives on Islesboro, an island in Penobscot where she gardens, preserves, cooks and teaches sustainable lifeways.