Easy Homemade Buckeye Candies

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I love peanut butter and chocolate, so it’s a flavor combination I’m always coming back to for my desserts. The other night, I was trying to decide what I wanted, but I wanted to skip some of the things I have all the time. You know, peanut butter cookies, peanut butter bars, that sort of thing.

That’s when I remembered my childhood.

Growing up, we used to visit Fannie May to stock up on some sweets from time to time. Mint meltaways were always a favorite, but we never left the store without picking up a few buckeyes.

I always wondered why they were called buckeyes. Growing up in Illinois, I didn’t have the same state connection that our Ohioan neighbors did, but obviously the candy is widespread throughout the midwest.

Turns out (in case you didn’t know), buckeyes get their name from the buckeye nut, which comes from the buckeye tree, which is where Ohioans seem to have gotten their name for just about everything. The nut is a smallish, dark brown, roughly spherical nut with a lighter spot on it, making it look vaguely like an eyeball, possibly of a deer or buck? They’re also toxic, unlike the candy.

Well, anyway, I decided to make some buckeyes. Surprisingly enough, they were both easier to make than I expected, and took longer than I anticipated. Still, it’s a simple recipe you can have ready to eat in less than an hour, and really, that’s all you need.

Easy Homemade Buckeye Candies

Crumbly balls of peanut butter dipped in chocolate and chilled for a perfect bite-sized treat.
Servings 30 Candies
Prep Time 15 mins
Chill Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins

Equipment

  • 1 Stand Mixer
  • 1 Cookie Sheet
  • 1 Rubber Spatula
  • 1 Spoon
  • 1 Microwave-safe Bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 5 Tbsp Unsalted Butter Room temperature for easy mixing.
  • 2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 2 Tbsp Shortening Or coconut oil, if you prefer.

Instructions

  • In your stand mixer, cream together the butter, vanilla, and peanut butter.
  • Slowly add the powdered sugar, mixing together. The mix will get very thick.
  • Scrape the sides of the mixer bowl and keep mixing until well incorporated.
  • Using a spoon, scoop out roughly tablespoon-sized clumps and roll into balls, placing on a cookie sheet.
  • Put the peanut butter balls into the freezer to chill for 30 minutes.
  • Put the chocolate and shortening in a microwave-safe bowl and nuke for 30 seconds. Stir, nuke for 20 seconds, and stir again. You're looking for smooth, well-incorporated chocolate.
  • Let the chocolate cool for about two minutes, so it's not scalding.
  • Remove the peanut butter balls from the freezer. Using a toothpick or skewer, dip the balls into the chocolate. Make sure they're almost, but not completely, covered in chocolate. You want that eye shape, after all.
  • Put the chocolate-covered buckeyes back on the cookie sheet after dipping, and dip the next. If the peanut butter balls are starting to crumble, return them to the freezer for another 10-15 minutes.
  • Once all of the buckeyes are coated, put them in the freezer or fridge to set, and they'll be ready to go.

Notes

You don’t need to use the microwave for the chocolate, you can always melt it over a double-boiler the traditional way.  All you’re doing is melting the chocolate and the shortening, and mixing it to incorporate.
Speaking of shortening, you don’t need to use it.  Coconut oil is equally effective, and probably healthier.  I just don’t keep it on hand, but I do have shortening around.
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chocolate, Peanut Butter

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