This is a Midwest Christmas tradition that both our families enjoy. Buckeye candy is designed to look like the seeds of the Ohio buckeye tree and is quite popular during the holidays or during the Ohio State University football season. I have made the traditional recipe for years, then this year I decided to darken things up a bit by adding some good bittersweet chocolate, and the new recipe was a hit.
I usually make two batches of this, but I do the batches separately. I’ve had trouble fitting a double batch of the peanut butter mixture ingredients in my 4-1/2 quart mixer bowl without making a huge mess, but if you have a large mixer bowl it might not be a problem.
[Updated December 23, 2009.]
Makes about 60 buckeyes.
stand mixer with paddle attachment
half cookie sheets line with wax paper
4-cup glass bowl
tins or plastic containers, for storing
1-1/2 cups (384 g) creamy peanut butter (I recommend Jif for best texture.)
6 cups (780 g) confectioners’ sugar
2 sticks (1 cup/225 g) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (350 g) semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups (350 g) bittersweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1. Combine peanut butter, sugar, butter, and vanilla in mixer bowl. Stir until blended, mixture will be slightly dry.
2. Roll mixture into 1-inch balls and place them on prepared cookie sheets.
3. Stick a toothpick in the top of each peanut butter ball. You’ll use this “handle” later for dipping. Freeze the balls for about 30 minutes, until hard.
4. Pour semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate chips into glass bowl. Add the butter. Microwave 60 seconds at 70% then gently stir. Microwave for 30 seconds at 70% and stir, repeating until the chocolate is almost but not completely melted. Do not overheat. You don’t want the chocolate to be completely melted in the microwave. If you’ve done it right, the last few stirs will mix in the remaining firm chips.
5. Dip the peanut butter balls into the chocolate, leaving a circle of peanut butter showing on top. They should look like buckeyes (see photo below). Place the dipped balls back on the cookie sheets.
6. Refrigerate finished buckeyes for at least 2 hours. Remove the toothpicks and store in tins between layers of wax paper.