I had a hard time knowing what to title this recipe. Around my house, we have called these sweet treasures Gopher Balls all my life. When I tell other people that I make Gopher Balls, they have no idea what I’m talking about.
What is a Gopher Ball?
That brings me to the explanation part of this recipe. A Gopher Ball…is…well…just awesome! Essentially, it is a rolled peanut butter ball dipped in chocolate. See…I told you it was awesome. Some people liken them to Buckeyes. I am not sure it if is exactly the same, but the concept is pretty close.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Ball Recipe
2 Sticks of Butter (do not substitute with margarine, needs to be butter)
1 1/3 cups of peanut butter
3 1/2- 4 Cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 block of paraffin wax
12 oz of dark chocolate morsels
How to Make Gopher Balls
Crush the graham crackers in small pieces. I put a few graham crackers in a pie plate and take a glass to crush the crackers. You can see this technique in the picture above. This makes the pieces finer and more powder like. Set aside.
Put the butter, peanut butter, and vanilla in a pot on the stove and cook on medium heat until it is melted. It is important to use butter versus margarine, because the butter will help the gopher balls keep their shape.
After the butter and peanut butter is completely melted, remove from heat. Add in the crushed crackers and powdered sugar. Mix in 3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar to start with. If the dough seems wet and sticky, add a bit more powdered sugar. You are trying to make a dough that is not too sticky and not too dry. 3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar is a good starting place.
How to Roll the Dough Into Balls
It is important that you work quickly with the dough. As it cools down, it will make it more difficult to roll into a ball. You do need to be careful, because the peanut butter at the bottom of the pan might burn you.
Take 2 tablespoons worth of dough into your hand and gently roll it into a circle. I’ll admit, my gopher balls are never very pretty before I dip them. My mom, on the other hand, has smooth peanut butter balls.
Place rolled balls on a piece of wax paper to harden. I speed up the process a bit by putting the rolled balls into the refrigerator or a cold room in my house. They need to set up for a few hours before you dip them.
I tend to roll the balls out one day, and then dip them the next. You can do whatever you have time for. Just be sure that the peanut butter is hardened all the way through. This might require a taste test. 🙂
How to Dip the Peanut Butter Balls in Chocolate
If you have a double boiler, now is the time to use it. If you do not, then you’ll need to heat the chocolate on the stove at a lower heat. I add a little bit of paraffin wax to my chocolate to keep it from melting as much. If you choose to skip on the wax, the recipe will turn out fine. The chocolate will rub off a bit easier.
Take about an inch of wax and melt in a double boiler or pot on the stove. Once it is melted, add in the dark chocolate. I use Ghirardelli chips for my recipe. I find that dark chocolate hardens better than any other kind.
Melt the chocolate on medium heat for a double boiler. For those cooking right on the stove, melt the chocolate on low.
Once melted, remove chocolate sauce from the stove. Add 3 or 4 gopher balls to the pot at a time, and roll around to cover in chocolate. Use two spoons or two fondue forks to lift the candies from the chocolate. Set on wax paper.
Allow the dipped candy to harden for a few hours. They can be eaten immediately. However, if you plan to store in a container, wait a few hours to put away. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a mess.
I’ve been making this recipe since I was a child. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.