Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Balls - Broke Baking
Firstly, I would like to apologise for the utter lack of of Broke Baking posts in recent months. As some of you may know, Nick and I were looking for a place to live (which is nearly impossible in Dublin at the moment) and in the mean time staying with his parents. This meant that I eased off a bit on the broke baking because I didn't want to intrude on the kitchen and make messes all over the place!
Fortunately we are now in a new place, with all new appliances and I can get back to baking once more. I started off with something easy that I could make for my lunches this week at work! I found this recipe on Buzzfeed. These chocolate peanut butter balls were actually quite easy to make and are absolutely DELICIOUS. Technically, it probably doesn't count as actual baking - but that's ok! It's a really great recipe that any of you could try.
My pictures are kind of shit at the end. I think I need to remember to adjust my ISO and other settings on my camera as I slowly lose natural light in the afternoons.
I started off by combining most of the ingredients in a big bowl. This included peanut butter, oats, honey and some chocolate. I used Tesco brand for the peanut butter and honey. I was surprised to find that the peanut butter tasted just as good as Jif back home. It was definitely less salty, but I was licking it from my fingers. I think I may be slowly adjusting to the tiny differences between American foods and Irish food.
I don't have honey very often, so I'm no expert in what good honey is supposed to taste like. This Tesco honey seemed good enough for the moment, and not much of it was required for the recipe anyways. I definitely saved a couple of Euro going with the Tesco brand on those ingredients.
I decided to get jumbo oats as I like a lot of texture in recipes like these.
The recipe called for mini chocolate chips, which the grocery stores here don't always have. I also knew that I had three big bars of baking chocolate just sitting in the kitchen, so I decided to just use those for any chocolate in the recipe, instead of spending money on more chocolate.
In the process of chopping the chocolate bar, I sliced my finger on the brand new chef's knife Nick bought earlier in the day, just by trying to take it out of the package. So remember folks, always be aware and careful of your kitchen knives and how sharp they can be. When trying to open one from a package, it might be best to were durable and protective kitchen gloves as you try to get the knife out of the packaging. The sliced finger was gnarly and bloody, so I had to pause for a while as I dealt with that.
Finally, I got back to my baking. I chopped the chocolate with the (cleaned) chef's knife into very small pieces. I added this pile of chocolate to the bowl with the peanut butter, oats and honey.
Once all of those ingredients were in the bowl, I mixed them together using a regular ol' spoon. They gelled together quickly. After that, using my one good hand, I attempted to roll the mixture into smallish balls and placed them on parchment paper. If I had the use of my other hand, they would have come out much nicer!
Once the mixture was rolled into all the balls, I popped them into the fridge. In the meantime, I used another bar of the baker's chocolate (which I got at Lidl a while back. Very affordable) and melted it in a bowl over a boiling pot of water. This melts the chocolate the way a double boiler would, but doesn't require the double boiler.
As I was melting the chocolate, I got a nice little surprise in the form of someone's cat staring at me through the window. We had some prolonged eye contact. Perhaps the cat will return in the future and we can become friendly neighbours (lol).
Once the peanut butter balls were sufficiently hardened up, I dipped them into the chocolate. I'll tell ya, they came out VERY sloppy because I could only use one hand and didn't melt enough chocolate. Fortunately, for a simple treat like these, looks didn't matter too much to me.
After dunking in the chocolate, I returned the balls to the fridge and let them be until morning when I popped them into my lunchbox.
In the end, I will definitely make these things again. They tasted absolutely scrumptious when having them for lunch today. I loved the gooey yet chunky texture of them. I said to my friend Roisin that I felt like I was almost eating cookie dough. The consistency was similar and the chocolate chunks within had my tastebuds fooled.
I would highly recommend this recipe for anyone who has a ridiculous sweet tooth such as myself. While it isn't the healthiest treat, it definitely beats just eating a whole galaxy bar. At least peanut butter is giving me some of that protein and a boost of energy to push me through the remainder of the work day. I brought three of the chocolate peanut butter balls to work and they filled me up quite a bit. For the next lunch, I would probably only pack two of them in my lunch box along with my other snacks (today included carrot sticks, raspberries, and a yogurt and a banana). Also, this recipe yielded 13 units, which is enough to have at least two per lunchbox for a whole work week, plus a spare few for a snack on the weekend.
If anyone has any fun lunchbox snack suggestions for me, let me know!! I loved having a new and fun snack waiting for me when it was time for lunch.