Thursday, September 2, 2010

Preacher Balls (vegan friendly chocolate sweet treat)

This is supposedly a very old recipe and I found it in one of my favorite sweet cookbooks, The Joy of Chocolate by Judith Olney.
The Joy of Chocolate (Barron's Educational Series)

Preacher balls are sort of like chocolate truffles, but made with oatmeal, nuts and cocoa powder (not chocolate). I upped the nutritional value on these by adding sunflower seeds, raw pumpkin seeds, and ground flax seed to the cocoa mixture. I covered the balls with various combinations of chopped peanuts, cocoa nibs, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and sesame seeds.

Lots of good stuff in these little guys. To re-cap: cocoa powder, oatmeal, almonds, peanuts, cocoa nibs, flax, sesame, sunflower, hemp, chia and pumpkin seeds. And truly, they taste really, really good. I made these vegan by substituting almond milk for regular milk, and vegan margarine for butter. I think you could also cut back some of the sugar by replacing it with splenda or something similar. And, you can roll these in cocoa powder, powdered sugar or coconut if you're not a seed-nut person.

The recipe supposedly makes 36 Preacher Balls, but I ended up with lots more than that. Maybe because I added extra stuff? Anyway, these store well in the refrigerator.

Preacher Balls
1 stick unsalted butter (or vegan margarine)
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk (or non-dairy milk)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 cups oatmeal (not instant)
1/2 cup ground almonds or pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it.

Combine the butter, sugar, and milk in a medium saucepan. Let come to a boil over medium heat, then continue cooking at a slow boil for 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and immediately stir in cocoa, the oatmeal, ground nuts, and vanilla. Mix everything well.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Cool briefly, then refrigerate until the candy hardens somewhat and you can handle it.

While the candy cools, toast the almonds in a frying pan or in the oven until they are light brown. Chop them into a coarse dice.

Scoop up a portion of candy the size of a large marble and roll it between the palm of your hands until it is smooth. Roll in the chopped almonds and then refrigerate the balls until hard.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge.


  1. yum...these sound awesome! I was just wondering what kind of sweet dessert I was going to make this weekend. :o) I have got to try these! Thanks for sharing the recipe!!!

  2. That's a funny name! They sound really good - I love that they have oatmeal in them!