When I was a kid, we had a huge Buckeye tree in our backyard. Big pods would drop to the ground in the Fall and we broke them open to find these shiny, smooth dark brown nuts inside. We didn’t do anything with them, except throw them at each other or toss back into the woods. We threw a lot of things at each other as kids…crabapples, shoes, insults.
Another reason to make these candies, as if I needed one, is my husband is an Ohio State Buckeye. We’re big fans of OSU in our house. Most of our money goes to a different college in Florida right now, but we’re always cheering for the Buckeyes!
I got this recipe from my Mom, who has made these for years at Christmas. My kids love them so much, that I get requests to make year-round. They ship really well in care packages, and also make great hostess gifts for all of those Holiday parties you have on your calendar. A small tin of these for your mailman or child’s teacher is so much better than a $10 gift card to anywhere or one of those horrible cookie mixes in a jar.
A thick chocolate shell wrapped around a creamy ball of peanut butter. It really doesn’t get any better than that. I give these out as gifts each Christmas, but always make sure to leave a couple dozen in the freezer…you know, for the children.
If you’re concerned about using paraffin wax, I get it, but rest assured it’s edible. Click on this link for more information about it. I’ve made these candies without the wax (total disaster) and with half the recommended amount (also not good). Use the entire amount, chop it up into very small pieces and you’ll have no problem with your Buckeyes turning out great. You can find it at the grocery store with the canning supplies, usually in the baking aisle.
Makes 4 dozen
1½ cups (411 g) creamy peanut butter (I use JIF)
½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter (room temp)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
1 lb. (454 g) powdered sugar
12 oz. (340 g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 oz. (28 g) paraffin wax (finely chopped)
Toothpicks or a small skewer
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the peanut butter and butter until smooth. Add vanilla and salt. Add powered sugar gradually until well combined. This might take a minute or two, and you may have to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl a couple of times. Batter will be thick. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Shape the peanut butter mixture into 1” balls and place on the baking sheet. If you’re lucky and have little ones at home to help, this is something they can do. Just make sure those sticky little hands are clean! Put in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm. This will keep the candies from slipping off of the toothpick while dipping into the chocolate.
While peanut butter balls are chillin’, melt the chocolate and wax together in the bowl of a double broiler. If you don’t have a double broiler, which I don’t, place a small pan with about 1/2” of water on the stove. Place a Pyrex bowl on top of the pan. Bottom of the bowl should not touch the water. Add wax and chocolate chips to the bowl. Turn heat on low and simmer water, stirring the chocolate occasionally until completely smooth and combined. The wax doesn’t melt as fast as the chocolate, so be patient. Do not let the water boil. You want it low and slow. Once melted, remove bowl from the pan and place on a towel.
Remove candies from the refrigerator. Insert a toothpick into a peanut butter ball and dip into the chocolate. Place back on the wax paper to dry.
Once baking sheet is full, put it back into the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to set up. Place Buckeyes into an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also freeze these for up to 3 months. Enjoy!