Buckeye candy, AKA chocolate covered peanut butter balls, is the perfect embodiment of the best marriage of ingredients ever – peanut butter and chocolate. Making these is simple, so why not embrace your inner Ohioan and make this classic Buckeye recipe?
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If you are not from the Midwestern state of Ohio, you might have never heard of Buckeye candies or their namesake tree. If you are a football fan however, you might have heard of the Ohio State Buckeyes football team, from Ohio State University.
While the nut from these chestnut-like trees is surprisingly poisonous and bitter, the candy designed to look like them is actually really delicious. Made from a simple peanut butter fudge dipped in chocolate, this easy dessert recipe is the perfect fusion of the ultimate combination of chocolate and peanut butter.
Ingredients for Classic Buckeyes
These are just a list of ingredients for you to skim over and see if you have them or need to shop, the exact amounts of ingredients are listed in the printable recipe card below!
Peanut Butter Balls
- Smooth peanut butter – do NOT use natural, it’s too oily for this recipe.
- Salted butter
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Semisweet chocolate chips
- Shortening or coconut oil
How to Make Classic Buckeyes
The most important part here is that depending on your brand of peanut butter, butter (some can have a higher water content) and things like humidity in your house means that you are going to have to add the confectioners’ sugar until it reaches a consistency that works for you. Start at 4 cups and work your way up until the dough comes together nicely and is the consistency you want. It should roll into balls without sticking to your hands.
- Mix together all the peanut butter fudge ingredients in a large bowl
- Roll into 1-inch balls and place on a cookie sheet
- Melt chocolate using a double boiler
- Dip the peanut butter fudge in the melted chocolate, leaving just a little bit of the fudge exposed, and then cool until set
How to Prepare a Double Boiler
The only really tricky part of this Buckeye recipe is melting the chocolate in a way that doesn’t burn it. This is why you can’t really melt the chocolate directly on your stovetop, because you will probably burn it before it is completely melted.
Instead, you need to make a double boiler setup, also known as a bain-marie.
Get two pots, a small one and a medium one, and fill the smaller one with about an inch of water. Once it reaches boiling, turn the heat down to low and put the bigger pot on top of it. Put your chocolate chips and shortening in the larger pot and stir it continuously.
The stream from the water in the smaller pot will gently heat the bigger pot, gradually melting the chocolate without burning it.
If you can’t be bothered with all that, you could also just microwave your shortening and chocolate on low, stirring it every 20 seconds, but the double boiler is definitely the preferred way to do it.
Dipping Your Buckeyes
While this recipe is basically just making an easy peanut butter fudge and dipping it in chocolates, it requires a little bit of style to make them look right.
Buckeyes, the actual seed, have a very distinctive appearance of dark brown with just a little bit of mottled yellow on top, so to make these Buckeye candies, you need to dip them right.
You need to leave just a tiny round circle of uncovered peanut butter fudge at the very tip.
The easiest way to do this would be to use a toothpick to dip your Buckeyes. Just dip them 95% of the way into the chocolate, twirling it around to cover it in multiplayer layers completely, but stop just before it reaches the bit of the Buckeye that the toothpick is attached to.
You want the smallest little hole of yellow in the chocolate coating to really make it into a proper Buckeye candy, and make it look like the actual Buckeye in the photo below!
How to Store Your Classic Buckeyes
These Buckeye candies are a real treat to eat, but they don’t really store very well if you try and keep them on the counter.
Instead, the best way to store these Buckeyes is in the fridge in layers inside an airtight container. Make sure to put waxed paper in between your layers, as others you risk them all sticking together and forming one huge lump of chocolate and peanut butter.
Buckeyes can be refrigerated in a sealed container for up to one week, or frozen for 4-6 weeks.
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Buckeye Recipes ( Peanut Butter Balls)
- Prep Time
- 20 minutes
- toothpicks, parchment paper or waxed paper, baking sheets
- Karlynn Johnston
Peanut Butter Balls
- 2 cups smooth peanut butter
- 3/4 cup salted butter melted
- 5-6 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons shortening or coconut oil
- In a large bowl, mix the peanut butter, butter, vanilla, Add the icing sugar one cup at a time until your desired consistency has been met. How much confectioners/icing sugar you use will depend on your peanut butter, your butter, the humidity in your house, ETC. Add enough to the mixture until it's a harder dough that you can roll, doesn't stick to your hands too much and will hold it's shape. The dough won't be that sticky, it's a dryer dough but should still roll into balls.
- Roll the peanut butter dough into 1-inch balls and place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.
- Poke a toothpick into the top of each ball (to be used later as the handle for dipping) and place in the freezer until the dough very firm, about 30 minutes.
- Melt the chocolate chips with the shortening in a double boiler or in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir the mixture frequently until smooth and all of the chocolate chips are melted together.
- Dip the now frozen peanut butter balls into the hot melted chocolate by holding onto the toothpick. In order to make them look like real Buckeyes leave a small portion of peanut butter showing at the top as shown in my photos.
- Put each Buckeye back on the cookie sheet. Remove the toothpicks and using your fingertip pat the top of the peanut butter mixture where the toothpick was and smooth it over so there isn't a hole anymore. Refrigerate until the chocolate has set.
- Keep in the refrigerator and between layers of waxed paper to prevent sticking. You can also freeze these for 4-6 weeks.
- use enough confectioners’ sugar to make the dough the right consistency for you!
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.