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Peanut Butter Ball Snowman and Reindeer

These no bake peanut butter balls require just 6 base ingredients, then decorate as you like to create snowman or reindeer characters. Using natural peanut butter and sweetened with honey instead of powdered sugar, these peanut butter balls are a healthier holiday treat. A fun dessert for holiday parties!

peanut butter ball snowman and reindeer on a blue background surrounded by puffed rice cereal and M&Ms

Peanut Butter Ball Snowman and Reindeer

No bake desserts are the best, right? Especially when there’s so much cooking to do around the holidays, it’s nice to give the oven a break. These no bake peanut butter ball snowmen and reindeer are so fun as a holiday activity with the kids. They’re also a crowd pleaser at holiday parties; these little guys (or gals?) are sure to make your friends and family laugh!

You’ll love these peanut butter balls if you’re looking for a lower sugar and less processed version of the treat. The filling is made with natural peanut butter and lightly sweetened with honey, and the puffed rice cereal helps lighten up the filling and adds a satisfying crunch. If you need a more grown-up dessert, simply skip the decorations and cover with dark chocolate.

a snowman peanut butter ball in front of a group of other snowman peanut butter balls

Ingredients in Peanut Butter Ball Snowmen and Reindeer

For the peanut butter balls

  • Puffed rice cereal
  • Natural peanut butter, stirred well to evenly distribute the oil (you don’t want it too hard or too oily!)
  • Honey, or maple syrup
  • Sea salt
  • Chocolate chips, white for snowmen or semi-sweet for reindeer
  • Coconut oil, helps to thin the melted chocolate and harden into a shell once cooled. You can barely taste it, if at all.

For the decorations

  • Black decorating icing, for the snowman mouth. You could also use small black cake decorating beads.
  • Candy eyes
  • M&Ms, for the snowman earmuffs and nose for both (cut in half for the snowman nose)
  • Pretzels, for the reindeer antlers
  • Shredded coconut, to make the snowman “snowy”. Totally optional.
  • Twizzler Pull ‘n’ Peel, for the snowman earmuff strap. You can use any candy that makes a nice strip.

How to Make Peanut Butter Ball Snowmen and Reindeer

Step one: Prepare the freezer and crush the cereal

Make sure you’ve got enough room in the freezer or refrigerator to chill the balls on a large baking sheet. Line a large baking sheet with parchment (just to make clean up easier). Crush the puffed rice cereal into tiny pieces. This is a good job for kids – put the cereal in a large, sealed freezer bag and smush using a rolling pin. So fun.

Step Two: Make the Filling

In a large bowl, mix the crushed cereal, peanut butter, honey and salt until everything is well combined and the mixture forms a large ball. Using a small cookie scoop or spoon, make 1-inch balls, place them on the baking sheet and put them in the freezer for 15 minutes. If you need to use the refrigerator instead, leave them in for 25-30 minutes. Chilling is important because it helps maintain the ball shape when you’re adding the warm chocolate coating. Natural peanut butter is also runnier than the creamy stuff, so it needs time to set with the cereal.

Left photos has ingredients for peanut butter balls in a glass bowl unstirred, right photo is the same ingredients made into a batter

Step Three: Make the chocolate coating

Just before you take the peanut butter balls out of the freezer, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil together in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds, then stir. Repeat the 30 second heat/stir until fully melted and creamy. It took me a minute and a half to melt mine, but this may be different in your microwave.

Left photo has 8 peanut butter balls on a baking sheet with a cookie scoop full of batter, right photo has chocolate chips and coconut oil in a white bowl

Step Four: Coat the peanut butter balls and decorate

Dip the chilled balls in the melted chocolate, one at a time. Use a fork to move it around and coat evenly. Lift the ball out of the chocolate with the fork underneath and gently shake the coated peanut butter ball over the bowl to remove excess chocolate. Place back on the baking sheet. Be sure to add decorations when the chocolate is still wet. When you’re done, put the sheet back in the freezer for 15 minutes for the chocolate shell to set.

a closeup of a reindeer peanut butter ball in front of other reindeer peanut butter balls

Tips for Success

  1. Don’t skimp on chill time. The natural peanut butter needs time to set with the cereal, so they can maintain a round shape when dipped in the warm chocolate.
  2. Move quickly when coating the balls. The coconut oil helps to keep the chocolate thinned out, but you don’t want the chocolate to set in the bowl instead of on the balls!
  3. Have your decorations ready to go. I like to prep everything (cutting the pretzels, M&Ms etc) while the balls are chilling, so I can decorate quickly before the chocolate starts to set.

Can I make this nut free?

Yes, this recipe should work with unsweetened sunflower seed butter. I do find it can be a bit runnier than natural peanut butter. If you find your filling is a bit runny (see photo above for what it should look like once mixed), increase the amount of crushed puffed rice cereal until it’s firmer.

Can I make these vegan?

Yes, simply use maple syrup in place of honey and use a dairy-free chocolate chip. Be sure the decorations you choose are vegan, as well.

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Leave a comment below if you have any questions and follow along on Pinterest for more great meal ideas!

peanut butter ball snowman and reindeer on a blue background surrounded by puffed rice cereal and M&Ms

Peanut Butter Ball Snowman and Reindeer

Laura Lawless, BASc
These no bake peanut butter balls require just 6 base ingredients, then decorate as you like to create snowman or reindeer characters. Using natural peanut butter and sweetened with honey instead of powdered sugar, these peanut butter balls are a healthier holiday treat.
5 from 1 vote
Servings 18 balls
Calories 156
Prep Time 10 mins
Chill time 30 mins
Total Time 55 mins

Ingredients

For the peanut butter balls

  • 2 cups puffed rice cereal, crushed
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter (stirred well)
  • 3 tablespoons honey (or maple syrup)
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (white for snowman, semi-sweet or dark for reindeer)
  • 1.5 teaspoons coconut oil

For the snowman decoration

  • Black decorating icing (for the mouth)
  • Candy eyes
  • M&Ms (whole for earmuffs and cut in half for nose)
  • Twizzler Pull 'n Peel (for earmuff strap)

For the reindeer decoration

  • Candy eyes
  • M&Ms (for the nose)
  • Pretzels, cut in half (for the antlers)

Instructions
 

  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (for easier cleanup). Make room in the freezer or refrigerator for the baking sheet.
  • Crush the puffed rice cereal. You can do this in a food processor, or if you want to make it fun for kids (and clean less dishes), place the cereal in a large freezer bag and roll with a rolling pin.
  • In a large bowl, combine the crushed cereal, peanut butter, honey and salt. Mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed. It should look like a big ball.
  • Using a small cookie scoop or spoon, make 1-inch balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes (25-30 minutes in the refrigerator). While the balls are chilling, prepare your snowman and/or reindeer decorations.
  • When the filling is just about ready to come out of the freezer, prepare the chocolate. Place the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds and stir. Repeat heating and stirring in 30 second increments until completely melted.
  • Coat each ball in chocolate. Use a fork to help turn the ball in the chocolate to coat evenly. Use the fork to lift the ball out of the chocolate and gently shake it back and forth a bit over the bowl to remove excess chocolate and place back on the baking sheet. Decorate each ball while they are still wet so the decorations will stick. Place the baking sheet back in the freezer for 15 minutes to set. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator, until ready to eat.

Notes

  1. Be sure to stir the peanut butter well if the oil has separated. You want it to be well combined and creamy, or your filling may be too runny. 
  2. If you find the balls are getting too sticky when you’re rolling them, put the filling back in the refrigerator for 10 minutes or so, to firm it up again. 
  3. If you want to make both characters at once, halve the recipe for the chocolate coating: 1/2 cup white chocolate chips + 3/4 teaspoon coconut oil for the snowmen and 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips + 3/4 teaspoon coconut oil for the reindeer. 
  4. Nutrition estimate reflects the base peanut butter ball, before adding decoration.

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Equipment

Sheet Pan
Cookie Scoop
Mixing Bowls
Measuring Spoons

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 156kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 89mg | Potassium: 95mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 22IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg
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head shot of Laura

Hey, I’m Laura!

Creator of The Recipe Well


I love food and cooking, but hate doing the dishes. I use my nutrition degree to create easy, approachable recipes that will help you find your happy place in the kitchen.

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Recipe Rating




One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    Absolutely obsessed with these peanut butter balls! Not as desne and rich as other recipes which I love. It’s nice and light and crunchy because of the rice puff cereal mixed with the peanut butter. So satisfying if you have a sweet tooth!