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Marilyn's Peanut Butter Balls & Jonah's Graduation

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mothers Day.  
Friday night was Jonah's graduation and Saturday night we hosted a party at our house in his honor.  

As evidenced in the photo below,  Jonah really stands out in a crowd.   See him with his cap and gown on?

 He graduated along with another 1100 kids and it was an almost 4 hour long ceremony.  After graduation his senior class went to an all night lock in party at a local pizza / game parlor.   He came home and slept a few hours and then it was time to get ready for the party.

As usual I didn't use a traditional tablecloth at the table. 

 Jonah's graduation gown became the tablecloth and his cap and tassel crowned a tiered  plate stand. 

 I kept everything black and red, Jonah's school colors and used several transferware platters in both colors.
We had a chocolate dessert bar. 
Shhh, don't tell, but I let Trevor skip school and help me make the desserts.  He helped Grandma Marilyn (my Mom) make
 her family famous Peanut Butter Balls; the recipe is at the bottom of this post.

I made my favorite pie, which seemed to be everyone's favorite as well: Coffee Butter Crunch (I'll post this recipe soon also)

and some new favorite cupcakes...Chocolate with Salted Caramel Buttercream.

Trevor made chocolate chip oatmeal cookies which he takes a little artistic bakers license to by adding a bag full of toffee bits plus extra chocolate chips.

And I decided to add something healthy-ish: white chocolate dipped strawberries.  
My timing is just right to share recipes with chocolate sister n law just sent me a link and today is Chocolate Chip Day!  Who knew?
My Mom came up with this recipe about 25 or 30 years ago and it is requested all the time.  We doubled this batch to make one and a half jelly roll pans full of about 1.5" sized balls.  Sorry I didn't get a better count than this!  I had a few left after the party (we had about 25-30 people here).

Marilyn's Peanut Butter Balls

3 single packages Ritz crackers
3 cups powdered sugar
1 stick maragarine (I used Parkay brand)
3 teaspoons pure vanilla (real vanilla is best!)
18 oz creamy peanut butter (I used Peter Pan brand)
1 12 oz bag semi sweet chocolate chips
1 regular Hershey bar or about 1/2 - 1 cup of milk chocolate chips
2 tblsp shortening or butter (I used shortening)
wax paper or aluminum foil
optional: appx 1/2 cup white chocolate chips to drizzle over 
appx 2 tsp tablespoon shortening

Use a food processor to pulverize the crackers into fine crumbs Like I do...or go old school like my Mom does and roll those babies into as fine a crumbs as you can.

In a separate bowl, cream together margarine and peanut butter.  Add vanilla and blend well.  Add the powdered sugar in about 1 cup increments and blend after each addition until thoroughly blended.
Combine peanut butter mixture with cracker mixture and blend together completely.  Chill in the fridge for about 2 hours.

Line a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with foil or wax paper and then
roll the chilled peanut butter mixture into 1" - 1.5" balls.
 or Super Size them like Trevmeist tried to do.  Grandma sent this one back to the mixing bowl.

Melt the chocolates and shortening together over a double broiler and then working with two or three balls at a time, dip them in the chocolate.  My Mom uses a fork to lift them out and let the chocolate drip off and then places them on the wax paper to cool.

Put them in the fridge to cool.  They will keep for days like this.  If you want to dress them up like I did simply melt the shortening and white chocolate (I used Hershey's white chips but don't think it really matters a lot in this case since it's for looks only) over a double broiler and drizzle over with a frosting bag using a small tip. I think mine is a #2 Wilton's tip.  You could also use a sandwich bag and clip the very tip off.  Another idea is to switch the chocolates and dip the balls in white chocolate and drizzle with milk/dark chocolate.  

These are great for parties and holiday gatherings or just because you have a sweet tooth like I do!




  1. Nancy, congratulations on your son's graduation! What a lovely looking party you had for him and ohhh, just look at all the chocolate goodies. My mouth is watering as I'm a chocoholic! Blessings, Pamela

  2. What a great party! Can't wait to try your mom's recipe for the peanut butter balls. She is very pretty by the way.

    Susan and Bentley

  3. Congratulations, Nancy, and to Jonah, too! Everything looks so delicious!

  4. Oh my goodness - a chocolate lovers dream! What a great party and congratulations to your son! I know your whole family is very proud!

  5. My gosh- do those look good! Good enough to eat!!! Congrats to Jonah-another step along the path of life. xo Diana

  6. The chocolate dessert party looks like a winner! Congratulations to Jonah. ~ Sarah

  7. Your boys and your mom are the cutest! And, BONUS, they can cook! I love everything.

  8. Congratulations Jonah! What a lovely celebration.

  9. Congratulations to Jonah for earning his diploma and to Trevor for rockin' in the kitchen! A young man who knows his way around a kitchen will be a great catch! Better polish up your shotgun to keep the ladies back!!! :-) SO cute to use the gown for a table covering!!!!! Your Mom is very pretty, too!!!

  10. Congratulations on your son's milestone! And what a great way to decorate and celebrate his big event. I made peanut butter balls years ago for Christmas but didn't care for them so I haven't tried since but this one looks like it's a winner! I'm bookmarking this one. Thank you for sharing.

  11. 4 hours! You must have been exhausted before the party even began!
    Congrats to you all on the Graduation- another step along the road!
    And the peanut butter balls? They look absolutely gorgeous, I'll definitely try them!

  12. How exciting. He has the whole world at his feet. Your party looks so great. I love the idea of the cap and gown becoming part of the decorations and I am definitely going to try your peanut butter balls. Congratulations and I'm your newest follower stopping by from Wow Us Wednesday.

  13. Those peanut butter balls look delicious!!!

  14. Nancy, A big happy congratulations to your son Jonah and to you too! What a great mom you are for putting together a wonderful buffet of scrumptious treats!
    Thanks for the peanut butter ball recipe. This is a keeper!!!!

  15. What a wonderful milestone, Nancy! And what a beautiful party you made for him. Everything looks delicious. Thanks so much for the recipe! I will definitely be trying them. Take care.

  16. I'd forgotten about peanut butter balls. I think I have an old recipe like yours around somewhere. I think I quit making them because I ate too many. (Love the giant one, by the way!)

    Who's that handsome boy in the flat red cap??????? Looks like someone you can be proud of.


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