No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls

No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls - Plowing Forward

One of my favorite memories in life is making peanut butter balls with my mom and siblings.  These (and chocolate chip cookies) were our ‘go to’ activity when we got bored and hungry.

We used to make them for after school snacks back in the day and stuff them into our mouths as quickly as we made them.  We would attempt to make the biggest peanut butter ball ever. We would see how many tiny balls we could make with one batch.  These things are awesome.

Peanut butter-aholics will cheers me on this one.  These delicious little balls of pea-nutty perfection aren’t even that bad for you!

No Bake Peanut Butter Balls - Plowing Forward

The most fun thing about peanut butter balls is being creative with the surprise filling and the outer ingredient you roll them in.  The sky is the limit!

Begin by adding honey, peanut butter and dry powdered milk to a bowl.  A tip here lightly dust the measuring cup for the honey with non-stick spray.   It makes the honey pour right out of the cup, instead of fighting it out with a spatula scrape-by-scrape.


Once the ingredients are mixed, take a few tablespoons of the dough and form it into a rough ball. Use your fingers to make a well and add some M&M’s (these are mini ones), raisins, chocolate chips…you name it!


Carefully close the dough around the filling and roll it into a ball.


Have a bowl of something crunchy ready to roll them in.  We used to use wheat germ growing up, but now I use crushed up cereal (any rice cereal works well) or -for extra excitement- sprinkles!  PBB6

You could also use finely crushed up peanuts for an extra nutty layer.  Basically, you want to roll them in anything that will keep your fingers from getting sticky when you pick them up.


They are good to eat right away, or store in the refrigerator to let them harden slightly.

If you’re pregnant, these would be a simple but fun way to do a gender reveal…just fill the middle with pink or blue M&Ms!  So much easier than making cupcakes.

Make these for after-school snacks, packing lunches or you could even make some fancy looking ones for party snacking.  You’ll be instantly popular (as if you aren’t already). 😉

Happy snacking!!


Double Sprinkle Loaded Birthday Cookies


I’m not a recipe creator by any means, but I am quite fond of “adding stuff” to anything when baking – which is why I constantly obsess over chocolate chip cookie recipes.  As you have probably guessed by the copious chocolate chip cookie-type recipes I experiment with, I love making cookies.  Something about the dough and the seemingly endless amounts of things you can add to them makes me feel all warm and gooey inside (or maybe its all the cookie dough I eat that makes me feel warm and gooey…I can’t tell).  Either way, I have several recipes that I go to when the urge to bake cookies strikes.

Which recipe I use depends on the amount of time I have (my favorite recipes require chilling the dough) and the consistency I want the cookies to be.  So, when my husband asked me if I would hastily make some birthday cookies for one of the guys working on the new shop with him, I knew I needed to use this recipe for yummy cookies done quick.  It’s my “go to” recipe when I need to have chocolate chip cookies ASAP.   And, of course, you can add almost anything to them!



I like this recipe because since there is NO BUTTER (gasp! What? Don’t worry…shortening to the rescue) the cookies don’t splay out all over the place.  Since these were to be birthday cookies, I felt extremely compelled to make them extra special.  So instead of just chocolate chips, I added….

  • dark chocolate chips
  • white chocolate chips
  • butterscotch chips
  • mini m&ms
  • and sprinkles (the long, confetti looking ones).

And because I felt they weren’t celebratory enough, I dipped the tops in some more sprinkles (non pareils).  Of course all good things deserve a name, thus I’m dubbing them “Double Sprinkle Loaded Birthday Cookies.”



Here are some tips on this basic recipe for chocolate chip cookies (or Double Sprinkle Loaded Birthday Cookies if you are a crazy party animal like me):

1) Use butter flavored shortening instead of regular shortening.  I’ve tried both ways and the butter flavored shortening makes all the difference.

2) Take cookies out when still soft looking.  Since they are thin, they get crispy fast.

3) When adding all the “stuff” make sure not to overload it, but don’t skimp either!  Add a few things at a time and mix them in by hand so you can adjust your additives.  You could always measure your ingredients so the total is close to the 2 cups originally called for…but that is so not walking on the wild side!

What are some of your favorite things to add to cookies??  I always appreciate inspiration beyond my own baking cupboard.


Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookie Trial


If you can’t tell from recipes I’ve posted, I enjoy baking.  Bread, cookies, cakes and so on.  So, you wouldn’t be surprised to hear that I go crazy trying recipes I find on Pinterest.  While scanning through my pinned recipes yesterday, I stumbled upon and amazing baking blog, Sally’s Baking Addiction.  I was instantly sucked in by her amazing photos, creative recipes and use of sprinkles in almost every recipe.  I immediately located all the sprinkles I had in my baking cabinet, selected a recipe and began baking.

 Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies were my maiden recipe from this blog.  Good decision.  The thing I like about Sally’s blog is that she creates, tests and photographs all of her own stuff.  Originality definitely pays off because the incorporation of cake mix into these cookies makes them totally irresistible.  Trust me…I’ve eaten 2 since I started writing this.  I can only imagine how crazy amazing the rest of her concoctions are.


I made the cookie batter, subbing in shortening for butter.  Using the recommended technique of rolling the cookie dough taller rather than wider, I piled huge globs of cookie dough onto my parchment lined sheet.  They looked so beautiful in their doughy glory…sprinkles and all!


Unfortunately, this is what they came out looking like.  Delicious, but hardly photo worthy.


So, I put less cookies on the sheet, still using tall balls.  Same outcome.


I guess these cookies are happier in a crowd! However, I accept full responsibility for this small flub in cookie baking.  Here’s what I should have done differently:

1) Followed the recipe and used butter instead of shortening!

2) Not used so much cookie dough for each cookie.  I guess I was greedy and wanted huge cookies so I could tell myself that eating only 1 cookie would be enough (which it wasn’t anyway, due to the deliciousness of these hummers!)

3) Use parchment paper!  I got lazy with my last 4 cookies and threw them directly on the cookie sheet.  Bad idea.


Aesthetics aside, let me tell you…these cookies are to die for!  They really do taste like cake mix, the texture is more chewy than a regular chocolate chip cookie and the sprinkles that I thought were only for decoration actually add a second tiny crunch to each bite.  How come I never tried this before?  Party in your mouth, I tell you.  Party. In. Your mouth.


So, the take home message here (besides to follow directions) is to check out Sally’s Blog, try this recipe, try her other recipes (and report back to me!) and buy some sprinkles.  If you are suffering from dreary weather as we are here in Iowa, your day could probably benefit from some sprinkly (is that a word?), fun, deliciousness!