And lately I was at the wonderful vegan bakery near my house, The Flying Apron. Normally when I go there, it takes me several minutes to decide which baked good to try: some sound overly healthy, some show a listing of ingredients that I'm not sure will work together (to be fair, though, many times these types of recipes turn out the best), and others look much too delicious to be vegan. Though there are a few pastries that are my favorites, after this past trip to the bakery, I have a new one: Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls. The one I ate there was actually quite monstrous, yet I managed to finish the whole thing. The best part, in my opinion, was how it did not taste overly sugary, or artificial in the least (which, of course, it was not).
Inspired by the wondrous snack I had eaten, I spent the next afternoon putting together my own version of Peanut Butter Balls. I took some cues from the Flying Apron one I ate, some from a handful of recipes I found online, but mostly I just constructed a treat that I thought sounded amazing. And, I believe this is quite a sound recipe, one that can be tweaked to each individual's tastes. I like the addition of honey as a sweetener, as opposed to many I saw that called for Confectioner's sugar. Also, The most important thing to keep in mind is to cream the peanut butter on its own first; this makes for the lusciously smooth filling that completely compliments the hardened chocolate shell. Additionally, they simply look beautiful plated all together on a dessert tray.
Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls
2 cups creamy peanut butter
½ cup honey
½ cup oats
¼ cup shredded coconut
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Using a hand mixer, cream the peanut butter about two minutes. Mix in the honey, oats, and coconut. 2. Form into 1 ½ inch balls and place on a piece of wax paper. Place in the refrigerator. While the balls are cooling, blend the chocolate chips and vanilla extract and melt either on the stove or in the microwave.
3. Remove the balls from the refrigerator and roll in the melted chocolate. Garnish with coconut and chill for at least one hour before serving.