Crispy Peanut Butter Meltaways

Crispy Peanut Butter Meltaways

1 1/2 c. peanut butter, (12oz.)
5 tbsp. softened unsalted butter, or more as needed
2 c. sifted powder confectioners sugar
1 1/2 c. crispy rice cereal
11 ounces finely chopped bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate
1 tbsp. vegetable shortening

Line a large baking sheet with foil; set aside.

In a medium bowl, use a wooden spoon to thoroughly cream together the
peanut butter and butter. Gradually stir in the confectioners’ sugar. Stir in the cereal, which will crumble. If the mixture is too crumbly, mix in additional softened butter 1 teaspoon at a time until the mixture holds together.

Roll about 1 tablespoon of the mixture at a time into balls, placing them on the prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate while melting the chocolate.

In the top of a double boiler over hot – not simmering – water, melt the chocolate and shortening, stirring occasionally until the mix is smooth and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the chocolate registers 115 to 120 degrees. Remove from the heat. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a small bowl and let it cool slightly.

Place a dab of the chocolate in the palm of one hand. Pick up a ball and roll it between your palms to coat it with the chocolate. Or dip the balls in the chocolate and lift out using a fork to allow the excess to drip off. Repeat with all of the balls. Refrigerate until the chocolate is set and the balls release easily from the foil, about 30 minutes.

Package in a decorative tin.
Makes about 4 dozen.
*May be prepared up to 2 weeks ahead.
Store in airtight containers in the refrigerator