The Classic Holiday Treat!
Way way back, a million years ago, when my husband and I had just started dating, I remember his grandma making peanut butter balls for Christmas. And they were OUT OF THIS WORLD. (How is it that grandmas make the absolute BEST food.. ever?! #goals) I've been dreaming of them ever since.
It's no secret I have a thing for peanut butter and chocolate. I mean, there's like a DOZEN pb recipes on my blog lol (like my Healthy Reese's and Healthy Reese's Fudge!)
But now that I discovered my new FAVORITE sugar replacement, it has opened up the possibilities for so many MORE recipes-- just like the ones I had growing up (but healthier!)
WHY DO THEY PUT SO MUCH SUGAR
Several years ago (when I still ate sugar sometimes) my hubby decided to try making peanut butter balls around Christmas time. He used his Mommom's recipe. And they just didn't turn out like I remembered lol! (Sorry hubs)
First of all, they were SO loaded with sugar. The sweetness was sickening. I know my taste buds have changed since I gave up sugar. Food tastes much sweeter to me now. So you can use SIGNIFICANTLY less sugar than conventional recipes, and these pb balls still taste deliciously sweet.
The original recipe calls for 1 ½ CUPS of powdered sugar. Omg. No. That's just crazy town.
My recipe is just 2.5 TBS of sugar-free sweetener. These have the same amount of peanut butter (½ cup) so they're super flavorful, but the thickness comes from coconut flour instead of sugar.
Without the cups and cups of sugar, there is obviously less volume, so this recipe makes a smaller batch (8 big balls or 16 small). But the good news is, it's easy to double it!
How to make (Sugar-FREE!) Powdered Sugar
You GUYS. This is one of my favorite kitchen "hacks." Did you know you can EASILY make your own powdered sugar?? (AND sugar-free sugar haha)!
- Step 1: Put granulated sweetener (such as Lakanto classic monkfruit) in a small blender (you want enough so that it blends easily. I do about ⅓ cup) in my Ninja personal size blender cup.
- Step 2: Blend for 10-20 seconds until it's completely powdered.
THAT'S IT! You don't have to buy an extra bag of sweetener so you can have powdered monkfruit. You can make it yourself! YAY!
Mix-Ins or No Mix-Ins?
Mommom's original recipe used rice crispies in the peanut butter filling. But most conventional recipes *don't* actually use any add-ins.
I didn't use any because they tasted delicious without any (plus I didn't want the extra carbs from the rice cereal) BUT I do remember how friggin scrumptious Mommom's recipe was.
So I was thinking, maybe there's a low-carb replacement for those rice crispies.. What about finely shredded desiccated coconut?! Yeah! Or finely chopped peanuts! Or maybe just a LITTLE bit of rice cereal if you don't mind the carbs 😀
Another option that can add a crispy texture is actually using granulated sweetener instead of powdered! If you like a little bit of grit - which I do sometimes - then use ½ granulated and ½ powder.
I'm sorry, I just can't wrap my head around eating paraffin wax lol. People say it's "safe" to eat, but it just doesn't seem right to me. I'd much rather get a paraffin pedicure than eat that stuff for dessert, ha.
I melted down about a half a bar of dark chocolate to coat these babies (but chips work, too). Plus a ½ teaspoon of coconut oil just to thin it out and make the coating harden more. You won't need a double boiler. I just microwaved it about 30 seconds. Super simple.
And SUPER delicious. Seriously I can't get over how much these taste like the conventional recipe (but even BETTER imo, cuz they're not sickening lol).
So now I'm so excited about enjoying these balls for Christmas. And I'm excited about having my family taste them and see how GOOD monkfruit is!! They probably won't even realize these are sugar-free! Dang, I should've made a triple batch cuz I know they're going to disappear quickly, haha.
Click the image below to save this recipe on Pinterest
Low Carb Peanut Butter Balls
- ½ cup natural peanut butter
- 2 ½ Tbs powdered monkfruit - *see notes
- 2 Tbs + 1 tsp coconut flour
- Splash of vanilla extract
- Optional mix-ins such as finely chopped peanuts, desiccated coconut, or a small amount of rice crispies
- 1.5 oz sugar-free dark chocolate
- ½ teaspoon coconut oil - optional
- Stir together all ingredients (except chocolate) in a medium mixing bowl. Mix well.
- Add enough coconut flour so it's scoopable and not too sticky. Taste and adjust, if needed. Optional: add mix-ins.
- Scoop into balls into desired size (~1 Tbs or ½ Tbs) and place on a parchment lined plate. Freeze for about 15-30 minutes to firm up. Then roll balls smooth in your hands.
- Chop chocolate into small pieces and place in a small glass bowl.
- Add coconut oil and microwave in 20-30 second intervals until melted. Whisk smooth.
- Dip balls in chocolate and turn to coat. Lift out with a fork and return to plate lined with parchment. Repeat with remaining balls. Drizzle extra chocolate on top.
- Freeze 5 minutes until firm. ENJOY 🙂
I was wondering if these have to stay cool and not be left out on a plate. I have had recipes made with coconut oil and chocolate and they melt fast.
They can stay out for a while. The Pb dough is actually what will start to soften/melt. It depends on how much coconut flour you use (less flour loses its shape quicker)
The chocolate doesn't melt quickly on these unless you put it the plate a hot surface.
But I recommend trying them straight from the freezer. Love!
Hope that helps! 🙂
First off great recipe. Its absolutely amazing. But hear me out. When i was melting together my coconut oil and white bakers chocolate i thought ide add some vanilla. But when i did that it had some kind of chemical reaction and got sizzly and ended up turning the chocolate crumbly. So i restarted and made the chocolate as you suggest. However i topped it off the finished dessert with the chocolate vanilla crumbs and boy let tell you not only does it make plating look better but it adds additional flavor and texture. Like a toffee. Insanely delicious. Just sharing my experience. Keep up the good work.
Oh no, I'm glad you were able to salvage it and make it even better! Yum! Enjoy and thanks!
Thanks for sharing such a nice and simple recipe.
You are welcome!
How many balls does this recipe make? I'm not sure what 8 servings means. Thanks!
I love this recipe but I've been having issues with the type of PB! I'm finding the PB too runny even with extra coconut flour. Any suggestions? I think the original one I used was in the fridge for ages but the new stuff I bought is too fresh? Now I get blobs that are too hard to shape even when cold.
Oh no! Well what you could do is add 1-2 Tbs melted coconut oil and then freeze the mixture for ~ 15 minutes until it firms up enough to be scooped into balls. Hope that helps! Let me know how it goes.
I made these and the choc on the outside is very bitter. I tried adding stevia but didn’t help..
Stevia sometimes has a bitter taste. I like to use homemade chocolate sweetened with monkfruit. (Recipe here.) Use a little less cacao if you don't want it as "dark." Or use a sugar-free milk chocolate bar. Hope that helps! 🙂
I have not tried the finished balls, but I’m sure they will be delicious. The execution of coating these soft PB Balls made it next to impossible. I am a very seasoned baker and could tell I was going to end up with little mini flat pancakes instead of balls. I placed them back in freezer for an hour and just drizzled the coating on. They don’t look like a nice round peanut butter ball, (nothing like the photo) but I know they will taste good.
Hmm, maybe they needed some extra flour. Peanut butter can vary in consistency. And even almond flours vary. Next time I would add a little more until it’s a workable dough.
A bit of coconut flour to absorb the moisture can help, too. Hope you still enjoy them flat 🙂
8 SERVINGS IS THE MACROS FOR 1 BALL??
Yes 🙂 I always list macros for 1 serving of a recipe
I made these this afternoon but it seems the two tablespoons plus one teaspoon of coconut flour is way too little I had to use like eight tablespoons otherwise it would have been a sloppy mess.
Yeah, different brands of Pb & coconut flour can vary in consistency. But you can adjust it easily 🙂 I am surprised it took so much flour though. Did you use Pb with added oil maybe?
Hope you still enjoyed them!
It really looks tasty. such an amazing recipe. Sugar free peanut butter balls is looking tasty as well as healthier.. Thankyou for sharing this recipe.. I will surely make it soon.
Thanks! Let me know if you make them. Hope you enjoy
"This was great! Really enjoyed it - thanks for sharing. I do agree with another commenter who said it was a bit sweet - I will definitely reduce the sugar next time (I used regular granulated sugar).
Can't wait for leftovers tomorrow! :)"
What about using something like crushed pork rinds in place of the rice krispies ?? That sounds lovely to me!!
That should work! Let me know if you try it
The finished balls have not been tried by me, but I am confident they will be delicious. It was nearly difficult due to how these squishy PB Balls were coated. As a very experienced baker, I could tell that instead of making balls, I would finish up with tiny little flat pancakes.
Some peanut butters are softer/runnier than others. If your mixture is too soft, stick it in the fridge or freezer for a little while to firm up. Hope you enjoyed!