I’m a Buckeye ’til I die, so with football season gearing up, I thought it was only right to make some buckeyes.
Not this kind of Buckeye!
Buckeye candies, that is.
1 1/4 cups creamy peanut butter
1/2 stick butter, softened
2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp vegetable shortening
Blend peanut butter, butter, sugar, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Beat on low speed until combined into a light-brown dough. If the resulting mixture is dry and crumbly, add a few more tablespoons of peanut butter to smooth it out. Roll into balls, approximately one inch in diameter. You may need to work the dough a bit with your hands to make it behave and roll into nice, smooth balls. Place the peanut butter balls on a foil-lined baking sheet, and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.
If you have a double boiler and prefer to melt the chocolate that way, go for it. I don’t, so I opted to melt the chocolate chips in the microwave. Add a teaspoon of shortening to the chocolate to make it easier to dip. I’ve heard a “rule of thumb” that suggests 1 tablespoon of shortening per cup of chocolate, but I feel like that alters the chocolate too much, and a teaspoon will suffice to make the chocolate smooth enough for dipping. Place the chips and shortening in a glass bowl or measuring cup. Microwave on high for about a minute and a half, and stir the chocolate. If there are still lumps in the melty chocolate, pop it back in the microwave for a few more seconds.
Remove the peanut butter balls from the fridge. Stab each one with a toothpick, and use that to dip them in the chocolate. In order to more closely approximate a real buckeye, leave a small part of the peanut butter ball un-dipped. Place the candies back on the foil-lined baking sheet, and chill in the refrigerator until the chocolate is set.
If you’re a perfectionist, use a toothpick or fork to smooth over the hole left from the toothpick during the dipping process.
Serve with a glass of milk and some Ohio State pride.
This is a recipe I had scrawled down in a notebook, origin unknown – I’ve been making these since I was small. I’m pretty sure every child who goes through elementary school in the state of Ohio has to learn how to make buckeyes at some point. Experienced buckeye-makers, take note: the peanut butter dough in this recipe is a little bit drier than some other versions, and the balls are a little bit more difficult to shape. Despite this, the resulting candies are very rich and very tasty.
Football season is approaching, and there are many more buckeyes to come.