Guest post from Brigette Shevy
This recipe brings back special childhood memories for me… every December, my family would make and freeze dozens and dozens and dozens of cookies – and we always included these bon-bons!
We would spend the week before Christmas making up platters of goodies to give away to all of our neighbors, relatives, friends, co-workers, and anyone else my mom could come up with… we even included the mailman and UPS man! Of all of the delectable treats we would make, these were always one of my very favorites. I mean, how could you not like peanut butter and chocolate?
These bon-bons only take a handful of ingredients, make a large batch, and store in the freezer very well. They look fancy and indulgent and taste amazing. Just one word of warning, though: these are extremely addictive!
Peanut Butter Bon-Bons
Adapted from an ancient edition of Better Homes and Gardens “Gifts From Your Kitchen”
Makes 4-5 dozen (or more, if you like them smaller)
- 2 cups peanut butter
- ½ cup butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 cups crispy rice cereal
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 12oz semi-sweet chocolate chips*
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
* This amount of chocolate is just enough to cover each ball. If you coat them very thick, you will need more chocolate than this.
Melt peanut butter and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Stir in vanilla. Add rice cereal and powdered sugar and mix well (it might seem a little dry at first but will start holding together the more you mix. I usually finish up the mixing using my hands).
Form into 1-inch balls, firmly packed. Place on a cookie sheet and freeze until firm (at least 30 minutes).
In a saucepan (or the top of a double broiler), melt the chocolate chips and oil together over very low heat, stirring often.** Using a toothpick, dip each peanut butter ball in the chocolate and place on wax-paper lined cookie sheets (I go back later and smooth out the toothpick hole on the top of each bon-bon). Chill until firm. These can be eaten cold or at room temperature (or even frozen… but I’m weird like that!)
**You want the chocolate to stay in a nice, warm “liquid-y” state during all the dipping. I don’t have a double broiler, so I usually take the saucepan on and off of the very low heat several times during the process. You can also add a little more oil if you need to.
If you’re looking for a simple, delicious treat to make for a holiday party… give my Peanut Butter Bon-Bon’s a try!
Brigette is a full-time wife and mother who is blessed with three amazing bundles of energy (ages 5, 3 and 1). She enjoys music, experimenting in the kitchen, homeschooling her children, finding great deals, long-distance running, and anything chocolate.
I can’t wait to try these this Christmas! They will be a Sweet Addition to our Candy day! I also Love anything Chocolate and I Homeschool too!
Thank you so much for this recipe! I make it every Christmas now and people look forward to it!
Janice Harris says
If you don’t have a double boiler by now, you can take a smaller saucepan and float it in a larger one. This is how my mom taught me, and she is 93! You can also use a metal bowl in the saucepan.
Can I use milk chocolate morsels instead of semi sweet?
Do you think these would work without the crispy rice cereal? Thanks! 🙂
Tip to keep the chocolate warm w/o using the burner or microwave all the time, if you don’t have a double boiler:
Put the chocolate in a small glass container and put your electric pancake skillet on warm. You’ll have to play w/ your individual skillet for a bit to find just the right warm setting for you (I think I used 200 or 250 deg. last time), but it works like a charm and is so easy. Once you figure out the right setting for you, you just have to write it down somehwere so you won’t forget next time. I got this from the back of a package of melting chocolate a few weeks ago when I was making cake pops, and it was really helpful and time saving.
I truly appreciate how EASY it is to print *ink friendly*!!! Thanks for that & all the other wonderful things you do!! Merry Christmas 🙂
you can also keep your chocolate “liquidy” by adding something like Crisco to it when it is very warm. You can also use something like butter but whatever you use has to be something that is in a solid state at room temp so that when the chocolate cools and hits room temp it will still harden. Something like oil will not work.
coconut oil would be an option for this too
I have a lot of food allergies (developed as an adult). We made treats similar to these growing up. Ours had coconut flakes instead of cereal. If you want to substitute a difft ‘nut’ butter, make sure it is thick enough – not runny, otherwise you will have a real mess. For example, if you use Sunbutter, I would suggest NOT mixing in the oil at the top of the jar. This is just my own experience. And it helps to refrigerate the uncoated balls for a bit to make them more solid before you dunk them in the chocolate. I have added the shredded coconut to mine for extra sweetness. I use Sunbutter and it is less sweet than peanut butter. For the person looking for Dairy-Free substitutes for butter, try looking for Fleischmann’s UNSALTED margarine sticks. They are dairy-free. You can stock up during the holiday sales and freeze them just like you do butter. The color changes in the freezer, but they are the same. You might also want to try Earth Balance sticks. I’ve had a hard time getting the residue off my dishes though. Takes a lot of elbow grease! (it is kind of like shortening). Another thing you can try is Spectrum brand shortening. I agree abt the off taste of the coconut oil sometimes. And for a dairy-free alternative for the chocolate coating, try Enjoy Life chips. You can easily melt these in the microwave. I have found that they seem to melt better if you add a little bit of oil. It helps the consistency. And watch it carefully. They burn easily. Only melt in the micro for short periods and stir. If you sign up on their website, you will get emails with coupons. Hope this info helps! Subbing for allergies is not impossible, it just takes patience. Good luck!
Thanks SO MUCH for taking time to type this info out. This is very helpful! We don’t have any food allergies at our house, so I am extremely grateful for any help those experienced in the food allergy department can give me.
I make these for Christmas every year and I put them in an airtight container and store them in the garage for maybe a couple of weeks. Our garage is not heated and it usually is cold enough in there this time of year. My husband’s grandmother made these for years before I started making them. Her original recipe for the chocolate calls for wax and a 39 cent hershey bar. It was pretty funny trying to figure out which size candy bar would have been 39 cents 30 or 40 years ago.
I love this! I bet it was a really big candy bar. 🙂
Meredith M says
We put pretzels pieces inside, too! Yum!!
That sounds yummy! Love that idea.
Bridgette, if you dont’ have a double boiler, you can improvise with a metal bowl and a saucepan. Select a bowl that will nest in your saucepan without touching the bottom. Even a cheap dollar store bowl will work fine, just make sure it is all metal, no plastic.
I think you would really like using a double boiler instead of melting the chocolate directly in a saucepan. It will keep the chocolate melted and smooth plenty long enough to dip all the PB balls without having to worry about it scalding.
Ooooh! Good to know – I’ll have to try this. Thanks!
Why couldn’t u melt the chocolate in a crock pot?
I will have to add these to my Christmas candy making list. I am sure they will be a big hit with everyone who receives them. Thanks for sharing your recipe.
I have been looking for Christmas recipes all day. (This is our first egg-free year.) Imagine my delight in finding a yummy recipe that doesn’t need altered.
I’m very interested in learning about the other freezer friendly Christmas cookies.
Thanks for sharing!
I hate to alter recipes…especially holiday goodies but does anyone know if fiber one cereal can be substituted for the crispy rice? I have all these ingredients in my pantry except the rice cereal. Just wondering if anyone has ever substituted. TIA 🙂
Jen, I’d try it. Sounds good to me.
I think they’d be great with Cheerios too. We often make a bar cookie that is similar to rice krispy treats only it is made with Cheerios and PB instead of Rice Krispies and marshmallow. Everyone around here loves it. Usually we devour them plain, but sometimes I’ll drizzle melted chocolate on top or mix in some chocolate chips.
Thanks for your reply Susan. My daughter and I will be making these tomorrow.
Sorry guys, one more question. I’m fairly new to the bake ahead cookie platters. Will these cookies last a few weeks, and if so, since they are covered in chocolate, do you store them in an airtight container in the fridge or on a counter? I always hear of people baking dozens of cookies but just never know how to store them so they can last for weeks and give them out as gifts. Thanks again! I appreciate it:)
I’ve never substituted in this recipe, so I can’t say for sure. If you use a different cereal, though, I would slightly crush it with a rolling pin so it is more of the consistency/size of rice krispies. I usually store these cookies in ziploc bags or an airtight container in my freezer, and they will keep for weeks (probably months even, though they never last that long around here!). If you don’t have freezer space, I am sure they would keep for several weeks in the fridge as well. They will NOT keep for weeks on the counter, though.
Thank you Brigette! Your tips are extremely helpful. I can’t wait to make these.
Jen, these bandies can be made without any cereal at all. You can google “peanut butter buckeye” and find many recipes for these candies. I grew up making these without rice crispy cereal and so the thought of cereal in them sounds odd to me.
Wondering if Brigette (or anyone else) can tell me if these work OK with natural peanut butter? That’s the only kind we buy for sandwiches, but it tends to be runnier than the other kind . . .
Definitely want to make these this year!! Thanks for the recipe. 🙂
Jennie Rose says
works perfectly fine with natural PB, that’s how I make them
I don’t know… Sorry. Hopefully someone else knows the answer! You could always add more powdered sugar or rice krispies to get it to the right consistency (not sticky, almost crumbly, but holds together when you firmly pack it into balls). If you try it, let me know how it works out. 🙂
Most natural peanut butters are a bit gritty, so if the texture is ok for you, I would give it a try. I’d make sure you use a new jar and blend the peanut butter really well to mix the oil in, or you could pour some of the oil off before you start. The “other” peanut butters have had some of their oil replaced with an oil that is more solid at room temperature, so pouring off some of the oil may be a good work-around.
If you don’t mind checking out other products, I’ve seen some “natural” peanut butters that have had non-hydrogenated oils added to them to make them less oily (some brands like Earth Balance are more natural than others). These tend to be smoother than the usual “natural” peanut butter.
Can I substitute almond butter for the peanut butter? We can’t/don’t do peanut butter due to a4 year old with peanut allergies so I usually try to sub almond butter….do you think that will work with this recipe?? Any info would be appreciated! Thanks!!
I don’t know why it wouldn’t work. We only buy almond butter as a special treat, so I don’t ever use it in cooking… But it seems like it has a similar consistency to peanut butter. Hopefully someone else who’s dealt with peanut allergies can give you a solid answer! If you try it, let me know.
Brigette, seeing as I pay close to $6 for a small jar of almond butter I can understand why it’s a special treat. U use it for my granola bars, pbandj sandwhiches,etc. My husband really misses his peanut butter, but it’s too dangerous to keep it in the house. 🙁
Hi Keri! Not sure if you or a friend has a Costco membership, but I’ve found the almond butter there is incredibly cheap–much more so than I’ve seen in stores or online. The one by me carries the Maranatha almond butter. Hope this helps!
One more thing, we can’t do dairy either. (No nuts, corn, dairy, soy, or wheat). Is there anything I can use in place of the butter??? Thanks a bunch! would applesauce work??
Keri, I’m no chef or dietary expert, but I don’t think applesauce would work in this. I’m thinking it would need another type of oil (coconut maybe?) or just try making it without butter.
I have tried in SEVERAL recipes to use coconut oil but I just can NOT stand the taste!! 🙂 Too coconutie!! 🙂 haha. Good suggestion, though, hopefully you guys will have more suggetions!
I wouldn’t use applesauce in these. If you don’t like coconut oil (by the way, not all brands/kinds taste as “coconutie,” so there might be a brand out there you like… You could google it to see what others have to say), you could try buttery shortening or dairy-free margarine (I’m guessing this exists! :)). If you don’t use either of those products – you could try just adding extra peanut butter. Then adjust the amounts of cereal and powdered sugar as needed. You want a non-sticky mixture that is close to crumbly, but packs together. And if you find something that works, I’d love to know.:)
Keri, a really smooth almond butter like Barney butter would work for these. You can substitute a dairy free margarine for the butter. (Margarine is what my family used when I was a kiddo for these.) Since coconut oil has such a low melting point, it may be too soft at room candy. You can also find more refined coconut oil that doesn’t have coconut taste.
I don’t use margarine because anything that is one molecule away from being plastic isn’t allowed to be eaten by my kids! 🙂 Anyway, we made them today. Used gluten free brown rice cereal and the only almond butter I can buy in my town (maranatha brand). We ate a WHOLE bunch before they were even frozen and covered in chocolate. My 18 month old kept stealing them off the cookie sheet while my 4 and 3 year old rolled them. I used applesauce in place of the butter and they were great! I also used applesauce in place of the vegetable oil with the chocolate chips. (I use dairy free choc chips). Anyway, kids and hubby and I are big fans. Although next time, especially if I’m in a time crunch I’m going to make these into bars….smash them down into a pan instead of rolling them into balls and then melt and drizzle the chocolate on top. But either way, I’m super glad that I found a good make-ahead dessert/treat recipe that I am actually able to adapt!!!
I am really glad all your adaptations worked out to a finished product you liked! I have to say I am really surprised that the applesauce worked in place of the butter… You’ve almost convinced me to try it that way, just for fun. 🙂 Thanks for the feedback!
Does anyone have the recipe for peanut butter no bake cookies ( no chocolate) like the ones at Sheetz please thank you
My friend and I made 4 batches of these last year to give out as Christmas gifts. (We also make Cherry Mash, Coconut Bon Bons and other goodies!) These are the most requested and so fun and easy to make!
Melody Benschoter says
My mom makes these every year and we all fight over them too! My husband and I just made a double batch last night! My mom dips half of hers in melted butterscotch chips for an added twist- they’re also good that way!
I am going to make these! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. Did you use crunchy or creamy peanut butter?
We only buy creamy pb around here, but if your family likes the crunchy kind, go for it! 🙂
Susan in St. Louis says
Mmmm…sounds so yummy, and a great recipe to do with kids! Thanks so much!
You are welcome! My kids love to help with these as well… Although the ones they make don’t turn out looking quite like the pics I posted. 😉
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for this recipe!! My family received some of these many (35) years ago as a Christmas gift and I had always wanted the recipe. I always guessed they were “Buckeyes” but had never made them, but I will now. I think the rice crispies are an essential ingredient. It is funny to see how much these sweet treats are loved by the readers! Thanks again!
You are welcome… I’m just sorry you had to wait 35 years for the recipe!
Are the centers of these really sweet? I’ve had peanut butter bon bons without the crispies in them, and they were so sweet I really couldn’t enjoy them. Of course I realize candy is supposed to be sweet ;-), but I’m just wondering if these are the make-your-teeth-hurt kind.
Hmmm… Well, since everyone has different taste preferences, and I have a huge sweet tooth, I’m probably not the best one to answer your question! I don’t think these are as sweet as packaged chocolates/truffles, and I think the rice krispies help balance out the sweetness. Just my opinion, for what it’s worth. 🙂
These look wonderful! I’ve made a version without the cereal (buckeyes), but the cereal sounds like a nice addition . . . and I just happen to have some GF Rice Crispies, lol. Thanks for the recipe!
Jillian @ Mom's Cup Of Ambition says
We love these too. We make buckeyes — without the cereal. We’re so in love with these we made them as favors for our wedding!
Yum! I bet your wedding guests thought you were the coolest EVER!!
My family calls them buckeyes too. I have to say, adding the cereal sounds like a pretty good idea. May have to try that this year in one of the many batches my Mother and I make. Yummm.
The versions of these I’ve had are called buckeyes, and don’t have the crispy cereal in them. LOVE buckeyes though–I think I need to make some version of them this year!
My aunt makes these every Christmas. One bag full for each member in the family. We go CRAZY when she hands them out. “Fighting” over who gets the left over bags, me claiming my 1 year old needs a bag (read: I want an extra!) 😉 We all love them so much. My family calls them “Moose Balls” which is a less appealing name, but still a favorite tradition we look forward to.
What a fun tradition! Sounds like your family has good taste all around. 🙂