I may live in New Mexico, but I hail from the great state of Ohio and in my heart I will always be a Buckeye. What is a Buckeye you ask? Other than the mascot for my Alma Mater, it also happens to be a poisonous nut from the state tree, the Buckeye Tree.
So if you cannot eat the nut…make a candy that looks like one! 😉
The Reese’s Cup cannot hold a candle to the Buckeye, but the really cool thing about a Buckeye is if you make them yourself, you can make modifications should there be a peanut or tree nut allergy in your family! This is the most commonly requested holiday goodie I make, so I make a TON! I have been absent from cyberspace for a couple of days because I have been dipping 600 peanut butter balls into chocolate!
My back hurts.
This is why I only make them once a year. 😉
Makes approximately 56 Buckeyes
1 1/2 cups Creamy Peanut Butter (Sunbutter works great too)
1/2 cup Butter, softened (or Vegan Butter Substitute)
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
4 cups Confectioner’s Sugar
6 oz. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
2 Tbs. Shortening
- Line a baking sheet with waxed or parchment paper; set aside.
- I use my big heavy duty mixer for this job, but you could also work it all together with your hands (I am not sure how well a hand-held mixer would work, I would be nervous about the motor burning out…the peanut butter mixture gets stiff)!
- In a medium bowl, mix peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and confectioners’ sugar with hands to form a smooth stiff dough. Shape into balls using 2 teaspoons of dough for each ball. Place on prepared pan, and refrigerate or freeze (I like to make the peanut butter balls/centers several days in advance and freeze them. I have found that dipping the frozen peanut butter balls to be much more successful for me, they do not fall apart in the hot melted chocolate).
- Melt shortening and chocolate together in a metal bowl over a pan of lightly simmering water. Stir occasionally until smooth, and remove from heat.
- Remove balls from refrigerator or freezer. Insert a wooden toothpick (I use a wooden skewer) into a ball, and dip into melted chocolate, leaving a small circle at the top uncoated. Return to wax paper, chocolate side down, and remove toothpick. Repeat with remaining balls. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set.
Frozen Peanut Butter Balls.
Dip the frozen peanut butter balls in melted chocolate.
Drain off excess chocolate before placing on a wax paper lined baking sheet.
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