Primal Tagalong Balls
Ahhh, childhood. Memories of hiking through the wilderness, making "hideouts", pretending to be IN The Little House on the Prairie, walking my goats, and eating Girl Scout cookies by the box-full. (wait, you didn't walk your goats around your neighborhood? #becausetexas) I seriously had one pretty cool childhood, probably why I am the awesome adult I am today, according to myself, of course. But seriously, those Girl Scout cookies though--and we all had our favorites. Mine was a tie between the Samoa (which I think is called something different now) and the beloved Tagalong (which might also be called something different now--man, times are a changin' when I can say "back in my day..."). My favorite thing to do with those little peanut butter and chocolate concoctions was put the box in the freezer and just savor one every couple of days. I was, and still am, a food hoarder, so I could make that little box of delight last for WEEKS.
Girl Scout cookies are one of the things I really miss the most and have the hardest time avoiding now that I'm more mindful of what I'm eating. And it's so hard to say no to those precious little girls, looking at me with their big eyes, and sweet voices, asking me to PLEASE buy a box to help them go to camp. It's seriously almost impossible to walk away--they have me in some sort of sugar trance, and I find myself nodding along and saying "I'll take 5...no make that 10" and before I know it I'm walking away with all the cookies.
Like I've mentioned before, when it comes to "paleo-ish" desserts, my favorite thing to do is to find something I absolutely LOVE that isn't paleo-friendly, and try to make my own version using more gut-friendly ingredients. So of course I had to make my own take on this childhood favorite, the Tagalong. Now, I've said it before and I'll say it again, this is not a health food. Don't go telling your friends to try these chocolate balls because they're good for you. Yes, they have better ingredients that do provide some health benefits, but they also have a lot of sugar (albeit from more healthful sources, it's still sugar). This particular dessert also uses butter, and I don't recommend substituting coconut oil for this one. Instead really make sure you're using grass-fed butter or even ghee in its solid state (you may have to refrigerate it first). So this is technically under the "primal" category.
This is a no-bake dessert, and even though it actually is really easy to do, the freezing time required is what makes it take so long from start to finish. We are using Sunbutter instead of peanut butter which has a more oily/liquidy consistency, so freeze time is required to make the "dough" easy to handle and shape. I'm also using a recipe for paleo powdered sugar that can be found on Primal Palate's website here, that is SO easy and SO good. Again, when I find something that is a baking or cooking staple like powdered sugar or mayo, then I try not to reinvent the wheel, and use tried and true recipes from others who came before me in this paleo blogging world. Also, the sea salt here is optional, but I'm a sucker for sweet and salty combinations, and I really think that the addition of this topping really brings all the flavors together! I toyed around with what to name this invention for a while, and it finally came to me after I consumed my 23rd ball--it tastes just like a Tagalong! So I present to you my Primal Tagalong Balls, my favorite little food babies thus far! (and FYI there may or may not be a paleo ice cream recipe coming up using these same balls, so don't say I didn't warn you!)
1 jar of Sunbutter (Natural, creamy, 16 oz)
1 stick of unsalted grass-fed butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup of paleo powdered sugar (1 cup coconut sugar, 1 tbsp tapioca starch blended in food processor until fine--recipe here)
16 oz bag Enjoy Life brand dark chocolate chips
Sea salt to taste
- In a large bowl or standing mixer, beat sunbutter, butter, and vanilla until mixed well and creamy.
- Add in powdered sugar and beat on low until mixed well.
- Scrape down sides of bowl to push all of the mixture to the bottom. Place in refrigerator and chill until mixture thickens enough to form into balls. (I did mine 1-2 hours)
- Remove from fridge and roll into golf ball sized balls, placing each completed ball on a parchment lined baking sheet. Freeze balls until solid, approximately one hour.
- When balls are frozen, place chocolate chips in a microwave friendly bowl and melt 10-15 seconds at a time, pausing to check and stir well. Continue to microwave until chocolate becomes completely melted.
- Dip balls in chocolate until 3/4 covered, place on parchment paper to set. Top with desired amount of sea salt before chocolate sets completely.
- Store in fridge or freezer while eating. These guys must stay cool!