Considering it’s football season, specifically Ohio State Buckeye season, I decided to make buckeye candies (peanut butter balls). My family and I are OSU fanatics, to say the least—both of my parents attended THE Ohio State University, and we are from Columbus, OH. My dad even has a small OSU shrine in his office here in California. Believe it or not, he has an Ohio State room in our home in South Carolina (see photo below). My parents undoubtedly still feel a connection to their alma mater.
We also made the buckeye candies for a lesson my mom planned for her high school students. She decided to make these treats after picking real buckeye nuts in Ohio while visiting my grandma. Sadly, the actual nuts are poisonous and inedible, so she decided to make its much taster cousin.
Since we had tried my brother’s friend, Claire’s, recipe before, we knew it was a winner. The ingredients in this recipe are perfectly proportioned. The smooth and crunchy milk chocolate exterior hugs the ball of creamy peanut butter. Thanks Claire!
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 lb. (1 box) confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. shortening
1 bag (12 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
Beat together butter and peanut butter until creamy. Gradually add in powdered sugar. When about halfway through adding box of powdered sugar, add vanilla. Mixture will be stiff.
Take desired amount of mixture and form into balls by rolling in your hands. Put the rolled balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. Insert toothpicks in the center of each ball before putting tray in the freezer. Chill the peanut butter balls in the freezer for about 30 minutes. This helps the chocolate stick better to the peanut butter and makes them easier to dip.
In a double boiler, with stove set at medium to low heat, melt shortening and chocolate chips together (shortening helps smooth and thin the chocolate for dipping). More shortening can be added if necessary. While chocolate is melting, stir frequently to avoid burning. When chocolate is melted, turn burner to low and dip peanut butter mixture into the chocolate. Roll the ball around in the chocolate so that all but a small portion of the top of the ball is covered.
Place the buckeyes back onto the parchment paper after dipped. After dipping all, put them in the fridge to set. This process usually takes about 30-45 minutes.
After the chocolate sets, take the buckeyes off the parchment and put them into storage container. Store them in the fridge or freezer until serving. Keep refrigerated when not being eaten to prevent melting.