These Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls with Rice Krispies make the perfect EASY bite-sized treat. Chocolate-dipped and no-bake, these treats get a crispy upgrade that makes them the best with only 5 simple ingredients! Peanut butter lovers, get ready to fall in love!
Indulge in the irresistible delight of No Bake Peanut Butter Balls with Rice Krispies—a holiday tradition that has captivated my husband’s taste buds for decades.
The anticipation builds each holiday season as my husband, not one for subtle hints, unabashedly pleads for these bite-sized chocolate treats. Witnessing him abandon his usual stoic demeanor is pure entertainment though. If guilt-tripping means that I bake cookies, go ahead and put a gullible sign on my forehead.
While inspired by his mother’s cherished recipe, I’ve added my own twist. After all, my “best wife ever” status might be on the line if they weren’t the absolute best.
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During the festive season, nothing beats the popularity of chocolate-dipped candies and no bake desserts. We’re particularly fond of effortless delights like Chocolate Covered Pretzels, Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Pops, and Chocolate Oreo Balls!
Ingredients and Supplies
Here is an overview of the ingredients you will need for this crispy balls recipe. I have included some notes for the best success.
Cocoa Rice Krispies: Using Cocoa Rice Krispies is the secret ingredient! You can use regular Rice Krispies, but using cocoa provides better balance in my opinion.
Butter: Either salted or unsalted butter works. I generally use unsalted for everything. The butter must be softened to room temperature, but do not melt.
Peanut Butter: I use creamy peanut butter, but chunky is ok too. The important thing is that it is fresh. The oil that sometimes settles on top needs to be well mixed in before scooping. If you find your dough to be crumbly, it’s probably because the PB doesn’t have enough oil in it.
Confectioner’s Sugar: You use 1 pound of confectioner’s sugar, also known as powdered sugar. This is about ½ of a standard bag or about 3 ¾ cups of powdered sugar.
Melting Chocolate: I go into more detail below for dipping chocolate tips, but my recommendation is to use good quality melting chocolate rather than chips. Melting chocolate holds up better, and isn’t lumpy, or overly thick. You can use milk chocolate, white, or dark chocolate.
Wax Paper: You can use wax paper, parchment paper, or a silicone mat (love these!) for laying the balls to cool.
How To Make the Dough
The full recipe instructions are at the bottom in the recipe card, but this section helps to give a visual for each step if there are questions.
Add the butter and peanut butter into a stand mixer, using a paddle attachment. (Photo 1) shows that the butter is soft and pliable but not melted. Room-temperature butter is perfect, but if it is a little colder, that shouldn’t cause an issue as long as the mixture is evenly blended.
You could also use a large mixing bowl and a hand mixer for this step.
Add the powdered sugar in about a cup at a time, with the mixer on low speed. You may have to scrap the sides as the dough will be pretty dense. (Photo 2 is after all confectioner’s sugar is added and blended.)
Fold in the Cocoa crispy rice cereal. While a spoon is generally best to not crush the rice cereal, you can use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on low speed. (Photo 3)
Pro tip: When rolling, they should not stick to your hands. Hot hands can soften the balls, so wash your hands in cold water and dry completely a few times through the process. If the dough is sticky, add a little more confectioner’s sugar (¼ cup at a time). If they are too crumbly, add a bit of vegetable oil.
Roll into 1-inch diameter with your hands or a #40 cookie scoop. (Photo 4)
NOTE: If you want to keep these as traditional peanut butter balls, skip the next step of dipping them into chocolate. They are just as much of a sweet treat without the chocolate!
What chocolate is best for dipping?
- In my humble opinion, this dulci frutta is the best supermarket variety of melting chocolate for dipping. You can get the chocolate shell pretty thin with this and it does have a solid chocolate taste.
- My second choice would go to this chocolate melting bark, or Ghiradelli Wafers. Both work well and have good chocolate flavor.
- Avoid anything called candy wafers or the stuff in the cake decorating aisle. Quite frankly, I want real chocolate even if I don’t get perfectly smooth truffle balls.
- Regular chocolate or chocolate chips will work. However, I find that the coating is much thicker and lumpy.
Tips for Coating Balls in Chocolate
Over the years, I have learned a lot about the best techniques for dipping bite-sized desserts.
First, set up your utensils and wax paper before heating the chocolate.
You can use a double boiler over the stove, but melting chocolate is easy in a small microwave-safe bowl to just the right consistency. Heat for 30 seconds, stir, and repeat until smooth is the simplest method. Just make sure NO water comes in contact with the melted chocolate.
Drop the ball into the chocolate, spoon the chocolate around it (do not swirl the ball itself), and then pick it up with a fork. Do not stab the ball with the fork. Then shake them a bit to remove the excess chocolate. When satisfied, use a toothpick to push the ball out on a sheet of wax paper.
Voila, perfectly chocolate-covered peanut butter balls!
Recipe Video Demonstration
You can see my dipping technique in action in this video too.
Serving and Storing Suggestions
Serving Ideas: I often make these during the holidays along with Carmelitas Cookie Bars and My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe. They can stay out for eating, but I would keep them away from hot lights and other heat sources.
Store: Store these crunchy peanut butter balls in a cool, dry place in an airtight container. I do find that if I allow them to thaw, the chocolate will sweat as it warms up. We’ve never seen them go more than a few days, but they should last 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Freeze: Be sure to let the chocolate completely harden before sealing and storing it in the freezer. They last 4-6 months. As long as the balls are no more than 1 inch in size, they are excellent straight out of the freezer.
Make Ahead: These can definitely be made a few days ahead of time and stored. You can also put the undipped balls in the refrigerator overnight to break up the steps.
I personally recommend a smooth peanut butter. However, if you prefer the crunchy style, that will work perfectly fine. The freshness of the PB is more important so that there is the proper amount of oil in the jar.
Chilling should be done in the refrigerator for at least an hour. The freezer can be used as well to reduce time to about 20 minutes. The point of chilling them is to allow the chocolate to harden faster, so there is no need to freeze the balls completely.
Powdered sugar is a necessity. Granulated sugar will not dissolve correctly nor provide a light, airy texture.
This recipe makes 50 1-inch balls. It can easily be divided in half for a small batch, but honestly, it’s better to freeze the other half for treats later.
I have found that the best, and easiest, way to melt chocolate for dipping is by microwaving “melting” chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second intervals until smooth. No need to break out the double boiler!
Absolutely! My only tip when it comes to choosing a nut butter to use for this recipe is to make sure to fully blend in any of the oil prior to mixing it into this recipe.
Yep! You sure can. Use any variety of rice cereal for this recipe. They have some holiday flavors that would be fun!
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Peanut Butter Balls with Rice Krispies
- 3 ½ cups Cocoa Rice Krispies
- 16 ounces Peanut Butter creamy or crunchy, your preference, 2 cups
- ½ cup Butter 1 stick
- 1 pound Powdered Sugar 3 ¾ cups
- 12-16 ounces Chocolate Melting Wafers milk or dark chocolate
- Soften (not melt) butter to room temperature. In a stand or hand mixer, beat butter and peanut butter together until smooth.
- Slowly add powdered sugar, ⅔ cup at a time and combine between additions until blended.
- With spoon or spatula, fold in rice krispies. You can also use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on low speed.
- Roll small balls (1-1.25" in diameter).Hot hands can make this mixture stick, so wash hands in cold water and dry thoroughly. If the mixture is crumbly, add a bit of vegetable oil and stir well. If the mixture is sticky, add a little more confectioner's sugar (¼ cup at a time).
- Chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour or the freezer for 20 minutes.
- Melt chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. Dip chilled balls into chocolate. Scoop out with a fork and gently shake off excess chocolate. Place on wax paper to cool.