Peanut Butter Balls

The little old town of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a hilly hamlet by city standards that is lit by a 91-foot-tall twinkling star, is not only home to the first bookstore in the United States and what was once Bethlehem Steel, but also to a small round morsel of sweet perfection, the peanut butter ball. This specialty is sold only at Deja Brew, a cafe and eatery decorated with film posters and Calvin-and-Hobbes paintings, (where, full disclosure, I’ve worked on and off throughout college). Owner Jeff Vaclavik says that people get very excited about them. “I mean they are really good, but people get a little crazy over them.” Peter King, a professional football writer for Sports Illustrated, says of the peanut butter balls, “Maybe the best dessert on earth–other than my wife’s pies!” Vaclavik says that one customer associated with the Philadelphia Eagles would often ask to have whatever was left (crumbs included) on the large glass platter on which the buttery balls were served. Jeff’s mother is the one who originally made the peanut butter balls when Deja Brew first opened about 20 years ago. When his mother was unable to make them any longer, Jeff knew this was a trade secret worth learning. The only thing that he does differently than his mother when making the dessert is that he uses an electric mixer, while his mother mixed by hand. The outcome? “It doesn’t change the taste, it changes the consistency a little bit. It makes them a bit more fluffy,” said Jeff. If you’re wondering how the peanut butter ball is made, the exact measurements are classified information. What I can tell you is that they’re made using peanut butter, cocoa powder, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and a coating of peanuts. Oh, and butter. A lot of butter. Although each recipe will vary, producing a different consistency and taste, here is one worth trying: -Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls Do you have a go-to dessert that you can’t resist?

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