Growing up, every year around the holidays my family exchanged a plate of assorted homemade cookies with our next door neighbor, Mrs. Nigro. Hers always included these peanut butter crunch balls which quickly became a favorite that we looked forward to year after year.
A terrific cookie to inspire the kiddos to get in the kitchen, the batter doesn’t need to be baked, so there’s no worries if a few scoops “go missing” in the process — though you may be a bit shy of seven dozen cookies when all’s said and done!
P.S. If gluten isn’t a concern, feel free to use classic Rice Krispies that contain barley malt syrup; otherwise, be sure seek out the new(ish) gluten-free, brown rice variety.
Peanut Butter Crunch Balls
(minimally adapted from Mrs. Nigro)
Preparation Time: 1 hour
Inactive Preparation Time: About 2 hours for chocolate to set
Makes: About 7 dozen
In large mixing bowl (4-quart or larger), stir together peanut butter and butter. Mix in sugar, stirring til dissolved. Gently mix in Rice Krispies (we don’t want them to be totally mushed), the mixture will be pretty crumbly. Squeeze mixture into balls (use about 1 tablespoon “batter” for each); set aside.
Line a couple of large, rimmed sheet pans with parchment paper or wax paper. Melt about half of the chocolate at a time. Add balls to the chocolate one at a time. Scoop cookie out of chocolate with the tines of a fork; holding cookie over bowl of chocolate, tap fork handle on the side of the bowl/pan a few times to remove excess chocolate, letting it drip through the tines (this also pops most air bubbles and ensures a smooth coat). Scrape bottom of fork against the edge of the bowl and slide cookie off fork, onto the prepared pan.
Allow chocolate to set completely at room temperature (usually takes a couple hours), before serving or packaging. These also freeze very well — just wrap in plastic wrap, then foil and finally pop the packet into a freezer bag (allow them to defrost at room temp before serving).
² Confirmed via phone call: these wafers are gluten-free and not made on shared equipment with products containing gluten at the time of publication! Order them online, or find them in the baking aisle at Target and some grocery stores (Silicon Valley folks, try Lucky Supermarkets).