I am a huge fan of anything involving peanut butter and chocolate, and if you add Rice Krispies into the mix, well then I am truly just over the moon. These easy-peasy candies, or, as I like to refer to them when I’m feeling fancy, “truffles,” are an excellent holiday treat to gift a host or hostess, to bring to a tree-trimming potluck, to have on offer when friends come round, or, to enjoy straight from the freezer whenever the urge hits (which, in my house, is basically always). They come together easily and taste like a marriage between a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and a Nestle’s Crunch Bar (you’re welcome). They also happen to call for ingredients that you already have in your pantry or, at the very least, can get your hands on quite effortlessly.
To get started…
Peanut Butter (I prefer Skippy) and confectioners’ sugar are beaten together in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer. Once smooth a generous glug of vanilla is added, as well as some Kosher salt, as both of these ingredients help make the peanut butter flavor really pop. Rice Krispies (or really any puffed rice cereal of which you are fond) are folded into the mixture. I then use a tiny 1 1/2 tablespoon ice cream scoop to form my candies/truffles, rolling them in my hands to make sure they are completely round. Freezing them briefly while you melt the chocolate makes coating them in it them a tad easier.
I melt the chocolate with a bit of shortening for shine, but you can omit it if you are anti-shortening or just don’t have any in the pantry. Rolling the balls in the warm melty chocolate can be a tad tricky, I won’t lie, as it is difficult to maneuver them around, while ensuring you’ve coated every last bit of them, and then transfer them to the prepared pan, without inadvertently scraping off a bit of chocolate in the process. If this happens, just use the tines of a fork to gently spread a bit of chocolate over the exposed part, or, embrace the imperfection that is homemade truffle-making.
For a final, dare I say sophisticated, touch, I like to sprinkle the truffles with flaky sea salt, as it plays so nicely with the (some would say über) sweetness of the milk chocolate. And speaking of milk chocolate, I for one adore it and believe it deserves a comeback, which I am single-handedly trying to spearhead. But if you lean more towards the semi-sweet, or even the bittersweet, by all means go for it.
Help from a friend
And a final word about the origins of this recipe. A lovely woman from Milwaukee, who read about me in her local paper when I was in Wisconsin, on a book tour last fall, has generously sent me countless recipes from her collection, as she and I share a love of old-school sweets and treats. In fact, not only are these “truffles” inspired by a recipe she gave me, but the banana split cake that graced these pages in April was inspired by one of hers as well. I adore twisting and tweaking old recipes and on the off chance you’re in possession of some oldies, but goodies, tucked away in a tin recipe box, or stuck in the junk drawer (no judgment) and are willing to share, I’d love to take a look and perhaps revamp for the pages of this magazine.
The ingredients and what to do
Yield: about 30 truffles
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups smooth peanut butter, preferably Skippy
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tsp kosher salt, preferably Diamond Crystal
3 cups Rice Krispies, or other crisped rice cereal
3 cups milk chocolate, chopped, or chips
3 Tbsp vegetable shortening
Flaky sea salt for sprinkling
Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and peanut butter on medium speed until combined. Add the sugar and beat until smooth. Finally, add the vanilla and salt and beat just to incorporate.
Add the Rice Krispies and mix on low to combine. The mixture will be quite thick. Roll the mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls and place on one of the prepared sheets. Place in the freezer briefly while you make the chocolate coating.
Melt the chocolate and shortening in the microwave on high in 20 second bursts, whisking after each. Dip the balls in the melted chocolate and place on the clean parchment lined pan. You can use two forks to help you cover the balls in chocolate and move them to the prepared pan. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
Let them set up in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. •
Jessie is a baker and cookbook author; you can learn more about her through her website jessiesheehanbakes.com.