On any given day I have a pack of wild children roaming the halls of my home. Bite-sized sweet treats are always in demand, which means these easy-to-make, easy-to-eat energy balls are on the rotation.
These chocolate chip peanut butter treats take only minutes to throw together. I often swap out one ingredient for another to create endless variations on the recipe, and I can freeze big batches so my children always have something quick to grab for an after-school snack.
How to Make Peanut Butter Energy Balls
These peanut butter balls are made with just a handful of simple ingredients.
I use old fashioned oats pulsed in the food processor as the foundation. It gives the balls a nice texture without being too chewy. Next, I combine honey, peanut butter, chocolate chips, and vanilla extract in a small bowl. To finish the job, I add the oats to the honey mixture, then shape it into little balls about the size of a teaspoon.
Once shaped, I like to roll my Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Balls in a mixture of ground almonds, powdered sugar, and cinnamon. This helps absorb some of the oil from the peanut butter, which keeps your fingers oil-free and makes these snacks easier to eat while typing, running kids from one place to another, and going on about the general business of life.
Have a Peanut Allergy?
Do you have peanut allergies in your house? Substitute the peanut butter in this recipe with seed butter or another nut butter.
Make This Recipe Your Own
Instead of honey, you can also try molasses, maple syrup, or agave. You can add hemp or flax seeds, or switch out the chocolate chips for raisins, dried cranberries or dried cherries.
Variations are the name of the game with these creamy, sweet treats. And they're easy enough that you can get your kids involved in making them!
More Easy Snacks to Make at Home
Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Energy Balls
Roll these balls in an almond sugar powder to help absorb some of the oil from the peanut butter, which leaves little hands less sticky when they grab a snack. This step, however, is optional.
- For the energy balls:
- 1 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free, if needed)
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
- For the coating:
- 1/4 cup whole roasted almonds (or substitute peanuts, pecans, or walnuts)
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt (if almonds are unsalted)
- Food processor
Process the oats:
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the oats for 10 seconds to break them down a little. Some pieces should look small like sand; others should remain almost whole. This is what you want.
Combine the ingredients:
In a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter, honey, and vanilla extract. Add oats and chocolate chips to the peanut butter and stir well with a wooden spoon to combine. The mixture will be thick and pliable like playdough.
Make the almond sugar powder:
In the bowl of the food processor (no need to clean it out), add the almonds, powdered sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Pulse until the mixture looks like sandy gravel. You want a very fine powder with almond bits that are smaller than the mini chocolate chips.
Make the balls:
Scoop out about 1 teaspoon of dough and roll it into a ball between the palms of your hands. It may be a bit crumbly, but should hold together when pressed firmly (if not, mix another tablespoon of peanut butter into the mixture).
Continue until all the dough is used up, placing the balls on a sheet pan or platter lined with wax paper.
Roll the balls in the coating:
When finished shaping, roll the balls in the almond mixture to coat. Once all the balls have been coated, go back and roll them all once more. The first coating is often absorbed into the ball. The second coating will adhere, but not absorb, which makes it easier to eat the energy balls.
Store or freeze:
Store in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. To freeze, place them in a single later on a platter or baking sheet until solid. Transfer to a zip-top bag for up to 3 months.