Christmas Candy Countdown – Crunchy Peanut Butter Puffs

December 17, 2008

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This recipe really takes me back. When I was a tyke growing up in eastern Iowa, each year we would come down to Kansas City at Christmas to visit both of my sets of grandparents. My Grandma Gleason was a great cook, and she made a variety of different candies – including this, which I call Crunchy Peanut Butter Puffs. These couldn’t be simpler, but they’re really delicious. 

That’s the way my Grandma’s recipes are – simple but delicious. She passed away about 10 years ago, and making this candy for my family each year is a simple way for me to remember her. 

Grandma Gleason’s Crunchy Peanut Butter Puffs

  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Light Corn Syrup
  • 2 Cups Peanut Butter (I prefer smooth, but crunchy would certainly work)
  • 4 Cups Regular Cap’n Crunch cereal (or the nearest store-brand equivalent)
  1. Combine the sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Once the sugar/syrup mixture is boiling, remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter.
  3. Pour the peanut butter syrup mixture over the cereal and stir to coat
  4. Drop tablespoons of the coated cereal mixture onto cookie sheets lined with parchment or wax paper, then allow to cool

See? Simple! But so tasty. These have a sweet and salty, creamy and crunchy thing going on that’ll keep people asking for more.

Source: My Grandma, Jeannette Gleason

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Christmas Candy Countdown – Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

December 15, 2008

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

  • 1 Cup Peanut Butter, crunchy
  • 1/4 Cup Butter (or margarine, if you’re a sadist), softened
  • 2 Cups Crisp Rice cereal (the kind that snaps, pops and even crackles)
  • 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Package Chocolate Candy Coating (sometimes referred to as “Almond Bark”)

I recommend using a good stand mixer for this recipe. It makes this very, very easy.

  1. Combine the peanut butter and softened butter thoroughly.
  2. Add the cereal and powdered sugar to the peanut butter mixture, mixing until well combined. This is going to be very thick when done, which is why I recommend the mixer.
  3. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 1 hour. This will make the scooping/forming step next much simpler.
  4. Scoop rounded teaspoons of the mixture onto a paper-lined cookie sheet (use either wax or parchment paper), then form the spoonfuls into balls using your hands. Be quick about this, the balls will start to get soft as they sit on the pan.
  5. Refigerate the panful of balls for an hour or so.
  6. Microwave the chocolate candy coating according to the package’s instructions. It generally takes me 90 seconds, then stirring, then 30 seconds, then stirring, then 30 seconds, then stirring to get smoothly melted coating.
  7. Remove the balls from the refrigerator. Using a pair of wire tongs or a large fork, drop each ball in the melted chocolate and stir to coat the ball. Tap the tongs or fork on the side of the coating bowl to drain some excess chocolate, then drop the coated ball on the paper-lined sheet.

Should make around 2 dozen balls. I recommend keeping these in the fridge until an hour or so before service – don’t just leave them out, since there’s butter in them. I also recommend doubling the recipe, these go fast. They’re a family favorite around here.

Note the complete lack of ball jokes in this post. 

[Updated 12/17 with a much better picture]

Source: Treasury of Christmas Recipes, out of print