When I started visiting Columbus, before I even moved here, one of the first things I became aware of was how spirited this city is, specifically around their college football team, The Ohio State Buckeyes. I’ve been following the Buckeyes for a few years now and I am thrilled to be a fan as the Bucks head down to the Sugar Bowl this week to play Alabama! With a game ahead, I thought I might as well get my mouth in the spirit as well, with a sweet treat and an Ohio classic, Homemade Buckeyes.
If you’re not from Ohio, right now you’re probably saying, “Wait, what?” I know, I know, I just told you Buckeyes are a team. And they are. With their mascot being a poisonous nut, known as the buckeye. A buckeye is a round, brown nut with a lighter center (appearing to look like the eye of a buck–get it?).
“Hey, wait a second, you’re still not making sense, you can’t eat a poisonous nut!” Oh right! Well, some brilliant baking goddess at some point in time decided to imitate the buckeye nut and turn it into a chocolate dessert. These tasty buckeyes are made with peanut butter, rolled into balls and dipped in chocolate.
Took me long enough to explain that one! But it does not take too long to make these little beauties. It takes a little patience to wait for the peanut butter balls to freeze up before dipping, but other than that the process is rather simple.
I give you Buckeyes everyone…GO BUCKS!
Start out by making your dough. Mix together the peanut butter, butter, vanilla and confectioners sugar. As instructed by my friend’s mom who taught me this recipe, it is best to mix with your hands. Hey-have fun with it! Get messy! If you feel your dough is too dry, add a little more vanilla to it. Mix until you can roll the dough into a nice gooey ball.
Next, roll your peanut butter mixture into balls. TJ told me I made some pretty large buckeyes, so maybe you want them smaller, or maybe you want to make these massively enticing balls of glory. You choose.
Melt your chocolate baking chips according to the package. I used the microwave and it only took a minute or so to melt the chips and stir them together to create the smooth texture you see here. Use a toothpick (or if you don’t have toothpicks like me, use a corn on the cob holder thingy) to poke each ball and dip it into the chocolate. Give it a twirl and place back on the baking sheet. Use the toothpick or what have you to smooth over the peanut butter hole that is left behind. Repeat for each peanut butter ball and when finished, place the baking sheet back in the freezer or fridge until ready to serve.
Quick shout out to my friend’s Mom who gave me this recipe–Thanks Mama Mitch!
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 lb confectioners sugar, about 4 cups
12 oz. chocolate baking chips (I used half milk chocolate and half semi sweet)
1) Line a baking sheet with waxed paper, set aside
2) In a medium bowl, mix peanut butter, vanilla and confectioners sugar with hands to form a smooth, stiff dough. Shape into balls using about 2 teaspoons of dough for each ball. Place on prepared pan and refrigerate or freeze for at least an hour.
3) Melt chocolate baking chips according to the directions on the package. Stir occasionally until smooth.
4) Remove balls from refrigerator. Insert a toothpick into a ball and dip into melted chocolate. Return to wax paper, chocolate side down and remove toothpick. Repeat with remaining balls. Use the toothpick to gently smooth peanut butter to conceal hole left at the top of the ball. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Keep in freezer or refrigerator until ready to serve.