Imagine this: A box overflowing with two dozen different types of cookies. Christmas bark, snicker doodles, M&M Cookies, you name it. And they’re all. Yours. When I was a kid, every Christmas I was invited to a Mother-Daughter cookie exchange. You were expected to bring 4 dozen cookies plus 24 copies of the recipe. After a quick dinner, all the girls would gather around a table and cram their boxes with two of each cookie. Then, the moms would grab their daughters and leave as quickly as possible, in order to rush home and try every single cookie. At least, that’s what my mom did. 😉 Every year, the day before the cookie exchange, my mom and I would spend half the day in the kitchen making five dozen cookies. Yes, the cookie exchange only required four dozen… But we liked to keep a few of our creations to munch on later. Although we’d spend about an hour each year searching for a new recipe to make, we usually just fell back on our typical recipe: Buckeye Balls. If you’ve never had a buckeye ball, it’s basically peanut butter and powdered sugar mixed together, rolled into a ball, and dipped in chocolate. Basically, heaven in an one inch ball. Or, if you actually look at the ingredients: sugar and saturated fat in an one inch ball. This year, I was tasked with making the dessert for Easter lunch. Instead of bringing an unhealthy platter of (admittedly delicious) sugar and unhealthy fats, I decided to bring an equally delicious platter of healthy buckeye balls. With one twist: coconut flakes. I honestly love everything coconut, and the coconut flakes on these babies add both a bit of crunch and a nice balance to the super sweet chocolate base. Plus, it only adds to the decadence. I may not have a cookie exchange this year, but I’ll definitely be making (and enjoying) five dozen buckeye balls. With no guilt whatsoever.
Purely Decadent Peanut Butter Coconut Balls
- 1/2 c old fashioned oats
- 1/4 c plus 2 tbs unsweetened reduced fat coconut flakes
- 2 tbs flax seeds
- 1/2 c plus 1 tbs peanut butter
- 2 1/2 tbs honey
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 c stevia
- 1/3 c chocolate chips
Process 1/2 c oats and flax seeds in a blender or food processor until the consistency of flour. Pour into a large bowl and combine with 1/4 c of the coconut flakes. Stir in honey, peanut butter, stevia, and vanilla extract until sticky & combined. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper. Roll mix into 1 in balls (make sure to compact before rolling) and set on parchment paper. Stick in the freezer for about 5 minutes, to harden. Melt chocolate in a small, microwave-safe bowl (I usually microwave it on 15 second increments, stirring in between heating). Spread the rest of the coconut across a small plate. Dip the bottom of the peanut butter coconut ball in the chocolate, allowing excess ot drip off, before pressing into coconut flakes. Set on paper-lined cookie sheet. Repeat the process until all the batter, chocolate, and coconut has been used. Drizzle any excess chocolate over top. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information (from myfitnesspal.com)
(Yields 16 cookie balls)