There is a gathering of the ladies tonight, and the Buckeyes a la Kickpleat I made for the clothing swap a few weeks ago were specifically requested. I love these particular ladies, so I am willing to do a bit of manual labor to deliver the treats they desire. However, I was low on crunchy peanut butter and only have Kashi Go Lean cereal, and wanted to avoid making a special grocery store run, since I feel like I'm constantly food shopping. AND I made another batch of almond milk today and have all of this nut pulp (another hilarious nut-related phrase) left over. There was also some date soaking water, which is sweet and syrupy, and that needed to be used up. So I decided to combine all of my seeming problems into a single solution.

I'm glass half-full, it's true.

I don't recommend making this recipe modification I'm about to drop on you unless you've just made some almond milk and have a bunch of ground up, squeezed out almond stuff left over. Or I suppose you could pulse your own almonds into meal status, but I can think of better things to do with almonds. I spread the nut pulp out on a sheet and dried it out in the oven at the lowest setting for about an hour before adding it to the mixture.

I also cut the amount of sugar by more than half, and that definitely affects the texture. I found that I needed something to soak up all the delicious fat, so I chucked in some oat bran and coconut. I'd probably skip the coconut if I do this again. It really starts to make this taste aggressively like a healthy treat.

ALSO, I had some chocolate problems. My little chips melted just fine, but the chocolate was so thick I knew I was going to run out. So I tried to thin it with soymilk and the chocolate seized up and became unmeltable. I ended up laying a veneer of it on top of the balls, which was actually far less messy than the dip/roll technique. It tasted exactly the same--it just wasn't glossy.

Overall, an experiment with mixed results. But here's the recipe anyway.

Chocolate Salty Balls with Almond Meal
1 cup natural crunchy peanut butter, room temperature
1/3 cup Earth Balance, ditto
1 1/2 cups almond meal
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons date soaking water, if you happen to have any--otherwise just skip or add more powdered sugar to taste
1 cup Kashi Go Lean cereal, crunched up so that the long twiggy bits are nice and small
1/2 cup oat bran
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1 1/2 cups melted semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 tsp cinnamon (if you like)

Mix everything but the chocolate together in about that order. Roll into 1 inch balls and stick in the freezer to firm up (at least an hour). Melt the chocolate, but don't let it get too hot. Mix in the cinnamon. Dip/roll the balls in the chocolate and line them up on a tray for refreezing. They don't need to stay in the freezer particularly long--just long enough for the chocolate to harden thoroughly.

This version is less Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, more Hippie at a Potluck. It may not be the treat the ladies requested, exactly, but tis still delicious.