Peanut Butter Buckeyes
If Ohio were to declare a state candy, it would definitely be the Buckeye. Basically a peanut butter bon bon dipped in chocolate, this confection gets its name because it resembles the shiny, dark nuts on the Buckeye Tree- the official state tree for Ohio. Another recipe fun for large parties and if you love peanut butter, these will blow your mind!
The Buckeye tree produces a nut that looks like a deer’s eye. It’s considered good luck to carry a buckeye nut in your pocket. (Please don’t try that with these candies.) 😉
Here’s a pic of some real Buckeye nuts…
Peanut Butter Buckeyes with Sea Salt
Adapted from Baked Explorations
Yield: 45-50 Buckeyes
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter (you can substitute chunky peanut butter for more texture but be aware that all-natural versions do not work as well)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 14 graham crackers)
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
12 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (60-72%), coarsely chopped
Sea salt for sprinkling at the end
In the bowl of a standing mixer, using the paddle attachment (you can also use a hand-held mixer), beat the cream cheese and peanut butter and 1/4 teaspoon salt until combined.
Add the graham cracker crumbs and beat on medium speed for 10 seconds.
Add the confectioners’ sugar and butter and beat on low speed for 20 seconds to prevent sugar from spilling over, then gradually increase speed until the mixture is completely combined.
Scrape down sides of bowl and beat again. The mixture will feel slightly dry which is perfect for rolling and shaping. Set mixture aside while you melt the chocolate.
In the top of a double boiler set over hot water, melt the chocolate, stirring frequently until it is completely smooth. (You can also melt your chocolate in the microwave but be sure to watch it like a hawk to prevent burning!) Pour the chocolate into a small, deep bowl. Let it cool to tepid (about 100 degrees F) while you shape the peanut butter centers.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Scoop out 1 tablespoon’s worth of filling and use your hands to form it into a ball. Place ball on the prepared sheet pan and repeat the process until all the filling has been shaped. They can sit close to each other but make sure balls are not touching.
Using a fork or a large skewer, dip each ball into the chocolate Roll the ball around from side to side to cover almost the entire peanut butter center, leaving a small part uncovered. Don’t get too caught up in perfection- they can look a little “rustic.” Let the excess chocolate drip back into the bowl and return each chocolate- covered buckeye to the sheet pan. Sprinkle buckeyes with tiny pinches of sea salt (you’ll probably use (give or take) about a teaspoon total to top all the balls.) Refrigerate the entire sheet pan for 30 minutes to set the chocolate before serving.
Buckeyes will keep for at least 1 week, tightly covered, in the refrigerator.
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