I don’t make truffles very often because they are a bit of a pain.
The rolling of the little dough balls.
Then dipping all those balls, one-by-one, into melted chocolate that tends to get cold too fast and it has to be reheated umpteen times mid-dippage.
Then after each truffle has been dipped, garnishing them with chopped bits of pretzels, peanuts, a peanut butter or caramel drizzle, is tons of crumbly fun.
Lots of steps and stages with balls in and out of the freezer and bowls of chocolate in and out of the microwave.
But these puppies are worth it.
I purposely kept this recipe small because:
1. no one “needs” more than a dozen of these laying around
2. no one should go to the work of making more than a dozen at a time.
Not that they’re that much work; please, I do want you to make them.
But balls are not like pans of bars, which is why I tend to make bars more than any other type of dessert.
Special K Bars are more wham bam slap it in one pan thank you ma’am are usually more my speed. And interest level.
Balls, always a bit more of a challenge. Such a loaded statement but let’s address that as long as we’re talking balls in this post.
Nuts and nut jokes? Addressed in this post with Rosemary Chipotle Almonds
Ball jokes. Frosty, chilly balls.
Covered at the bottom of this post.
These are truffles, not balls.
Or just call them sweet and salty, chewy and crunchy, all encased within a chocolate shell.
The best of all ball worlds.
Pretzel Peanut Caramel Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Chocolate Truffles (with vegan and gluten free options)
Makes 1 dozen (I made 13 from this recipe)
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon caramel sauce (try Dark Rum Caramel Sauce or any store-bought jarred caramel sauce or ice cream topping caramel sauce; substitute maple syrup)
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup pretzels, crushed
1/4 cup peanuts, crushed
Pinch salt, optional to taste
3/4 cup + chocolate chips, melted for dipping
2 tablespoons pretzels and peanut mixture, crushed for garnishing optional
Peanut butter and/or caramel sauce drizzled over the top for garnishing, optional
Combine peanut butter, caramel sauce, and sugars in a small bowl and stir until combined. Add the crushed pretzels and peanuts (I crush mine in a plastic baggie by beating them with the back of a knife until broken down but use a food processor or other blending device if desired). Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and fold to combine.
Roll the dough into small balls, no larger than 1/2 inch in diameter, and place them on a parchment-lined or wax-paper lined flat surface. Tip: Do not roll the balls larger than 1/2 inch in diameter because they become much larger after you coated in chocolate, appearing to nearly double in size. This is a truffle (one bite), not an apricot. Roll smaller than you think and if the dough is difficult to work with, chilling it in the freezer for 15 minutes may be helpful.
Place the rolled cookie dough balls in the freezer for at least a half hour; the colder the better for the next step: dipping.
My process for dipping and coating the balls in chocolate involves melting chocolate chips in a small microwave-safe bowl, heating the chocolate in 20-30 second bursts, removing from the microwave and stirring after each 20-30 second interval to encourage melting. You could do this over a double boiler if desired.
After the chocolate has melted, removed the chilled cookie dough balls from the freezer and place one ball into the bowl and toss it lightly with two forks in the chocolate bath. Carefully remove the coated ball and set it down on wax or parchment paper. If desired, sprinkle with crushed pretzels before the chocolate fully hardens. Repeat this process with the next 11 balls.
You may need to reheat your chocolate mixture after a few balls, as it will cool down and become more difficult to work with. Reheat in the microwave in 20 to 30 second bursts as needed. After all the balls have been dipped, you can optionally add a drizzle of peanut butter or caramel sauce over the top. Place the finished truffles in the freezer to fully set up for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Store extras in the refrigerator or freezer.
Notes and Tips:
If dough is too wet before rolling into balls, add slightly more dry ingredients (pretzel or peanuts). Or, chilling the dough in the refrigerator or freezer helps, also.
If dough is too dry, add slightly more wet ingredients (peanut butter or caramel sauce).
I urge you to roll the balls small, no bigger than 1/2 inch in diameter. They will get much bigger after you coat them in chocolate, appearing to nearly double in size once coated.
To keep gluten free, use GF pretzels or similar.
These are the perfect mixture of salty and sweet.
The sweetness from the chocolate and caramel is offset by the saltiness from the pretzels, peanuts, and the peanut butter.
The peanut butter cookie dough with or without the crunchy bits in it, with or without being dipped in chocolate, is great on its own.
Peanut butter mixed with sugar and caramel could never be bad though, really, let’s be truthful.
Texturally there is a lot going on with these little balls, too.
The crunchy bits inside the smooth peanut butter cookie dough and the crunchy chocolate coating are fun to munch. And crunch.
Conversely, if a dessert doesn’t have texture, I am not as into it. Then again, I tend to like things crunchy enough to break a tooth on.
If you’re into salty and sweet (chocolate) desserts, White Chocolate Peanut, Pretzel, & Chocolate Chip Fudge (no-bake, no candy thermometer required) is easy and delivers the salty and sweet, smooth and crunchy vibe.
If you like just a wee bit of crunch with your chocolate balls, the Oreo cookies inside the Chocolate-Covered Oreo Balls (no-bake, and Oreos are vegan) give just a touch of crunch while the cream cheese “batter” is smooth and melts in your mouth.
And if you’re more of an entirely smooth truffle person, I think the Vanilla Cake Batter Chocolate Truffles (no-bake) may be of interest.
For now, I’m happily munching on these.
Do you like making balls, bites, cookie doughs, or truffles?
Do you have any favorites?
I have an entire post devoted to balls, bites, cookie doughs and truffles with at least 30+ recipes linked, and yes, I do like making them.
It’s just dipping balls or truffles into a chocolate bath that is a bit tedious which is why I usually make “cookie doughs” rather than “truffles” but hey, New Year, new kitchen project. I was up for it.
And the promise of a dessert coated in chocolate is always worth it.
Happy New Year!