Have you ever tried Buckeyes?
Not me. I had no idea what they were until Handsome told me about them. I thought he was talking about a football team at first. But, it turned out that Buckeyes are essentially peanut butter balls, like a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup turned inside out.
I found a recipe on Chocolate with Grace and decided I would give Buckeyes a try.
The recipe itself is good. It gave me all the ingredients and steps, just like any good recipe would do. However, it failed to comprehend my limitations in the kitchen by not providing contingency plans. I find no fault with Mallory, the writer, since who could possibly predict that someone like me would come along and see just how many ways she could twist and otherwise mess up a perfectly good recipe.
Measure peanut butter
First off, peanut butter is messy and sticky (in case you didn’t already know this). I mean it was crazy to work with, especially if you are like me and prefer the natural peanut butter that must be stirred incessantly before use.
I finally developed a scoop and shake-shake-shake technique. It got a bit rough by the third shake, but that seemed to work, although I still got peanut butter on my left hand, four fingers, the countertop, and a few mounds on the kitchen floor—fortunately, all washable.
Mix peanut butter and butter together
Next, I had to figure out how to mix the peanut butter and butter. A mixer would have made sense, but I had the chunky kind of peanut butter. I thought, to reduce the chunky, I could use my blender to make the peanut butter and butter nice and smooth. Seem to make sense, right? Wrong! The blender actually started smoking! I almost broke my blender trying to mix chunky peanut butter. Granted, it is not an especially fancy blender, just a Kitchenaid that has seen better days, but still! I was surprised at how easily it succumbed to the pressure.
After taking my blender apart and moving the peanut butter and butter mixture to a bowl, I ended up with a hand mixer. Everything seemed to go well except that my mixer is slightly possessed and likes to start at a crazy, high speed before settling down on the gear I actually set it to. No joke. It just takes off like a race car on nitro and then, after a second, settles down to the station wagon speed that I intended.
Add powdered sugar
I’m happy to say that adding the powdered sugar was uneventful, as I kept the mixing on low while pouring the sugar into the bowl. Ahhh, success! Until I realized that the mixture was becoming very dry.
It took me quite some time to figure out the peanut butter to sugar ratio. After adding some more peanut butter and mixing, then a little more and mixing, I finally got a better consistency.
Refrigerate for one hour
After refrigerating the batter for over an hour, I was eager to start rolling those peanut butter balls. Unfortunately, the ratio still wasn’t so great, so I had to use a bit more force to get the balls to stick together than probably was necessary, which led to really large balls in the end. I mean, they were about golf ball size—definitely more than a mouthful.
Dip balls in melted chocolate
Rather than melt the chocolate in the microwave (with my past experience, that would have resulted in scorched chocolate), I used the double broiler technique that Handsome showed me the last time I melted chocolate. It is just a saucepan of boiling water with another bowl filled with chocolate resting in the water. Just make sure the melting bowl isn’t too small. Otherwise, the boiling water will get into the chocolate, which is messy and unnecessary.
I didn’t have any clear idea of how to dip the balls into the chocolate, so I ended up using a short wooden skewer (longer than a toothpick but not as long as regular BBQ wooden skewers). At this point, I should have realized the balls were too big. It was hard to roll them in the chocolate without dropping them.
They were about golf ball size…if people don’t want to eat them, they can always use them for practice swings!
Once I placed the freshly dipped Buckeyes onto the parchment paper, I covered up the holes from the skewer by rolling it across the top and pushing the dough back into the hole. It seemed to work ok.
- If you use chunky peanut butter, don’t use as much powdered sugar. You would be better off using the powdered sugar amount as a “don’t go past this amount” in the recipe and just slowly adding the sugar and then stopping when the batter appears sticky enough to form balls but not so sticky that it adheres to fingers, bowls, etc.
- Aim for small size balls, like the size of a plump cherry tomato. This is one of the times when bigger is not better (unless you love peanut butter). I made the balls a little too large to eat comfortably. In the end, Handsome resorted to cutting them in half with a butter knife to eat them. Not ideal.
- If you are making these for a school group or a family of four, have at it! But if there are only two of you, you may want to consider cutting the recipe in half, maybe even dropping it to one-fourth of the original recipe. Even with extra large buckeyes, this recipe made a lot of them! You think I would have noticed that at the top, it says “serving for 40,” but, nope, it completely escaped my notice…till I was done.
- I had some leftover chocolate at the end. I don’t like to waste food, especially not dessert. I took a spatula, scooped out some of the chocolate, turned it upside down over a couple of the Buckeyes, and then shook it gently to distribute the chocolate across the top. It created a lovely pattern and dressed them up a bit. Although I have been told this is a departure from the authentic buckeye look and taste, so don’t do this to all of them. But it can be fun for a few of them.
In the end, my Buckeyes were too big, with the equivalent of a fistful of peanut butter on a sliver of chocolate. Fortunately, they still tasted yummy.
Will I make this again? Uh, maybe.
Handsome and I only ate some of the Buckeyes due to size and sugar content. I gifted the rest to friends and family. If you decide to give these to anyone, remember to line the box with clean parchment paper (let’s be sanitary people) and make the box decorative because that just makes it more memorable and fun.
And, if people don’t want to eat them, they can always use them for practice swings!