Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Buckeyes

Buckeyes

So in anticipation dread of the OSU victory defeat over the Longhorns in last night's Fiesta Bowl, I decided to try my hand at making buckeyes, or chocolate covered peanut butter balls. These are so ubiquitous in Ohio that they sold them in my high school cafeteria. (Among other things I actually miss from my high school cafeteria were their yeast rolls and the "Mexican pizza" which was delicious, although I'm not sure what made it so "Mexican".) They were also fun to throw up and make stick to the ceiling, only to drop sometime later on some unsuspecting fool. But please don't do that with these, although that might be an unnecessary warning as you'll probably have more issues with not stuffing your mouth with these.

The buckeye candies are so-called because of their resemblence to the nut of the buckeye tree, which is the state tree of Ohio (yes, Terry, I looked it up!). I used the recipe from The Kitchn except that instead of edible parrafin wax, I substituted some shortening to make the chocolate a bit more workable for dipping purposes.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Buckeyes (adapted from The Kitchn)
makes about 2 dozen
10.5 oz. powdered sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter
2/3 cup unsalted butter
1/2 lb. chocolate chips, semi-sweet (24 oz.)
1 tablespoon shortening (you can use butter if you have no shortening)
Add the peanut butter and butter to a medium mixing bowl and warm in the microwave for 30 seconds. You want both to soften up but not melt. Add the sugar and stir a few times so that the sugar gets incorporated and won't make a big mess when you take the electric mix to it.
Whip the mixture with an electric mixer and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour (I set it out in the snow in my backyard).
Peanut butter balls (or naked buckeyes)
After it's chilled, roll into small, 1-inch balls. Put these back into the fridge or freezer (or snow-covered backyard) on a aluminum foil covered baking sheet.
Melt the chocolate and shortening in a double boiler, over, not in, boiling water, stirring mixture until smooth. Keep warm.
Once the balls are almost rock hard, dip balls in the chocolate using a toothpick, leaving an uncovered spot on top. Chill covered in refrigerator or freezer. When completely hard, store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Just-dipped buckeyes

I think the hardest part about making this was making sure that the peanut butter mixture and balls were sufficiently cold before moving on to the next steps. You can see in the picture of the naked buckeyes (can't wait to see what google search words are used to get to this page) that some are smoother than others. After the rolling the first few balls, my hands started getting really sticky with warm peanut butter, so I put the mixture back out to chill again. Then when it came time to dip them, the first few I tried weren't cold enough yet so they almost fell off the toothpicks. After I re-chilled the rest of the balls, it was a lot easier. Make sure that you don't let the balls stay in the warm chocolate too long or else the peanut butter will start melting into the chocolate.

Maybe, hopefully, I'll have an opportunity to makes these once again when March rolls around.... =)

One year ago:  Gaufres de Leige (Belgian Waffles)

2 comments:

  1. You mentioned subbing butter for shortening, but have you ever tried this? Does it make a noticeable difference in the finished product?

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