No-Bake Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls – salty + sweet, crunchy + creamy chocolate peanut butter bon bons made with only 5 simple ingredients.
This post has been sponsored by The Marketplace, by Safeway. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Visit MoreForU.com to explore the full selection of products.
If there’s one thing that becomes particularly clear around the holidays, it’s how much I love to snack. The boards, the platters, the chips, dips and tiny sweets. I love the big, multi-course meals and the decadent desserts, but if I could only partake in one element of holiday noshing, it would be snacks, without a doubt. And when they’re artfully assembled en masse, as they so frequently are around the holidays, so much the better.
So today I’m showing you how to build a simple snack board — one that comes together solely from a smartly stocked pantry. Now, you can have those luxe holiday snacking vibes all year round, easy peasy. Movie night? Snack board! Sunday supper? Snack board! Playdate? Snack board! I’ll stop shouting now. Oh, and because no snack board is complete without something sweet, I’m also sharing the simple recipe for my favorite homemade treat: no-bake, gluten-free Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls. These balls set the bar for snacking, I promise you. Sweet, salty, creamy, crunchy. Potato chip-studded. Chocolate-dipped. And all made with ingredients easily ordered from The Marketplace.
The Marketplace by Safeway offers an extended variety of products from in-store offerings, giving you the ability to try new and innovative products from local vendors. In addition to stocking some of my favorite snack brands, The Marketplace also introduced me to a couple of new, cult-favorite products that are not easily found in our little town — like Homeplate Peanut Butter, which was founded by a group of PB-loving, former pro ball players. Or Lana’s new road-trip fave, Mission Meats Grass-Fed Beef Snack Sticks. And because most things on The Marketplace are sold in multiples, it’s been the ideal way to restock the pantry that I’ve been carefully paring down and rebuilding for the past 6 months. Now we’ve always got plenty of items on hand that I know we’ll eat — and far fewer of those impulse buys that I lose interest in (and then forget about) almost as soon as I’m home.
How to Build a Simple Snack Board
Let’s be real. A snack board can be anything you make it — as simple or as complicated as you wish. And there are snacks for every taste, so these are all just suggestions. Around here, I make it a point to stock our pantry with snacks that are low on ingredients and high on flavor. In short, snacks I can actually say “yes” to when my kiddo stares longingly into the pantry and then turns to me with her brows raised in hopeful question. But if you stock your pantry with enough variety, you’ve got all the makings for a beautiful snack board for any occasion. Here are my go-to’s:
- Something Sweet: In this case, the no-bake, gluten-free Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls. (Recipe below.) I love the homemade touch amongst all the packaged goods, and yet they’re still made solely with 5 simple pantry ingredients.
- Something Crunchy: Chips are the obvious choice. I like a mix of classic potato and sweet and crunchy veggie chips.
- Something Cheesy: White cheddar popcorn, cheese crisps, or a classic cheese cracker all work here.
- Something Nutty: Keeping in theme with “foods I let my kid eat,” we always have raw cashews and roasted, salted pistachios on hand. Spiced nuts or granola clusters are big hits, too.
- Something Smoky: This is the robust, savory element that could almost take a snack board into excuse-for-a-meal territory. Grass-fed meat sticks add a bit of “charcuterie” flair to a platter of pantry faves. For non-meat eaters, smoked almonds offer a similar hit of savory satisfaction.
No-Bake Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
I’ve never been one to get overly excited about Christmas cookies (#teamsavory), but one of our good friends makes these Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls every year. They’re the one sweet thing that I routinely look forward to when the season kicks off. I’ve asked her for the recipe no less than five times. And she always provides it. And I always drag my feet on making them. But this year, when she texted me with the simple instructions, I dropped everything and whipped up a batch right then and there…with one small edit. Where the original recipe employs graham crackers to bind the peanut butter and the powdered sugar, I swapped in…potato chips. Thick, wavy, super-crunchy chips, pulsed into chunky crumbs. Why? you might ask. Well, one, because salty. Duh. And two, because I’m way more likely to have potato chips on hand than store-bought grahams. Amazingly, they retain their texture when mixed with the peanut butter, so each generously-sized peanut butter bon bon is studded with shockingly crisp, salty bits that are seriously irresistible. And as a happy accident, they’re now gluten-free. You know, in case you might be making any resolutions in the coming days.
Happy *almost* Christmas, friends!
- 1 cup chunky peanut butter (see note)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup thick, crunchy potato chip crumbs (see note)
- 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate
- 1 T coconut oil
- Combine peanut butter, powdered sugar and chip crumbs and mix until a dough forms. (It will initially seem like there isn't enough moisture to bring it all together, but work at it for a minute and it'll come together.) Using slightly damp hands, roll heaping tablespoons of the mixture into balls and arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet. Freeze for 30 mins.
- Pull chilled balls from the freezer, and reshape any that may have settled into more formal spheres. Return to freezer for another 30 mins.
- Combine chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 15-30 second increments until melted -- stirring in between sessions.
- Using two forks, drop a chilled ball into the melted chocolate, cover completely, and remove to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with all the balls, then refrigerate until completely set. (If desired, you can do a second round of drizzled zig zags after the coating has chilled.)
- Keep peanut butter balls chilled until ready to serve. Enjoy!
OH! before you go…
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