SPECIAL TREAT | Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Egg-free, VeganThese peanut butter balls have a crisp center and are coated in dark chocolate, for a healthy buckeye copycat. Sweetened with dates, they're loaded with fiber to help balance your blood sugar!
Place the pitted dates in the bowl of a large food processor fitted with an "S" blade, and process until broken down. (Mine usually forms a big, sticky ball.)
Add in the peanut butter (you want it drippy in consistency, so I like to use it at room temperature, rather than from the fridge), the ground seeds, and salt, and process again until a crumbly, uniform dough is created. I usually watch the mixture turn into a big ball first, and then it breaks down into crumbles if you continue processing for a minute or so. Scrape down the sides if necessary.
To the crumbled mixture, add in the crisp rice cereal and process briefly again, just until the cereal is broken down slightly. You still want some texture from the cereal, so don't turn it to dust. You should be able to pinch the dough with your fingers and roll it into a ball easily with the cereal inside.
Use a tablespoon to scoop the dough and roll it between your hands to create 20 balls. Arrange them in a single layer on a plate or baking sheet and place them in the freezer to firm up.
Arrange a heat-safe bowl over a small saucepan filled with an inch of water to create a double-boiler. Bring the water to a boil and place the dark chocolate in the bowl to melt. Stir well, and remove the pan from the heat once melted.
Remove the peanut butter balls from the freezer and coat each one with melted chocolate. You can coat just the tops of each ball, or you can use the spoon to coat the bottoms, too. Place them on parchment paper to ensure that they will be easy to remove and serve later.
Sprinkle coarse sea salt on top of each chocolate-coated ball, if desired, while the chocolate is still warm. It should firm up quickly.
Serve chilled from the fridge or at room temperature. For best texture, I recommend storing these in the fridge until 30 minutes before you plan on serving them. They should keep well for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container in the fridge, if you don't eat them all before then.
*Kellog's Rice Krispies are NOT gluten-free, but Erewhon, Nature's Path, and Enjoy Life brands all offer certified gluten-free options.