My mom always used to make these delicious little peanut butter chocolate candy balls for Christmas every year, but it really wasn’t until the treacherous 10 months that I decided to live in Ohio that I realized that they were an Ohio tradition called Buckeyes. Whether you’re really into OSU pride or just really love peanut butter, Buckeyes are one of the most irresistible treats on this planet. I’ve seen some much fancier recipes out there, but these are my all-time favorite, and as simple as it gets 🙂
You will need:
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
And for the chocolate outside:
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp shortening
And either toothpicks or a skewer to make dipping easier.
Prepare a wax paper or tin foil lined cookie sheet. In a medium bowl, mix peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and confectioners’ sugar (if you don’t have a standing mixer, you’ll probably need to use your hands!) into a smooth stiff dough. Shape into balls using 2 teaspoons of dough for each ball. Place on prepared pan, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
When your peanut butter balls are ready to be dipped, melt shortening and chocolate together by placing in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in intervals of 30 seconds, stirring each time. Be careful not to burn your chocolate– when you are stirring it, you may still have some solid looking pieces, but the more your stir the more they will melt. A lot of people choose to not add shortening to their chocolate– this is completely fine, and you can melt your chocolate the same way. Shortening makes the chocolate a lot more workable and smooth for dipping, and gives it a little shine.
Insert a toothpick into a ball, and dip into melted chocolate. If you’re not going for the traditional buckeye look, feel free to dip these in sprinkles or something festive (that’s what my mom always did :)) Return to wax paper, chocolate side down, and remove toothpick. Repeat with remaining balls. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set. Pretty simple, and way way way better than your average peanut butter cup!