Buckeyes are a staple of every Ohio fall! Three-ingredient peanut butter balls dipped into melted chocolate are so easy to make, and even better to eat. Since they store really well, they’re perfect to keep on hand for last-minute snack boards or cookie trays during the holidays.
There are a lot of great things about being from Ohio, but one of the very best is all of the BUCKEYES.
From the first kickoff of college football, straight through New Year’s, you can find these peanut butter balls at just about every potluck, snack spread, and on every holiday cookie tray in the state.
They are so fun and easy to make, and even better to eat!
HOW TO MAKE BUCKEYES
Buckeyes are so simple to make! The steps are:
- Make peanut butter mixture (it’s 3 ingredients!)
- Roll mixture into little balls
- Melt chocolate
- Dip balls into chocolate
Since the whole process is slightly labor intensive and time consuming (especially since this recipe will make about 60 buckeyes), it’s a great thing to do with friends or kids. Speaking as a former kid who has dipped and rolled a LOT of buckeyes, it’s a fun way to be involved in the kitchen. Like cookie decorating, but less supplies.
THE PEANUT BUTTER
Don’t use natural peanut butter for buckeyes! Between the oiliness and the separation, it will really mess with the consistency of the peanut butter balls.
You want a classic, highly-processed creamy peanut butter for these.
- Semisweet is the classic, but you can use milk or dark if you want to branch out.
- I find chocolate chips the easiest to use, but you can also use the same amount of bar chocolate.
- The shortening is added to give the chocolate extra shine and help it hold its shape. Since I always have it on hand, and it works really well for this purpose, it’s what I always use here. If you don’t want to use shortening, coconut oil or paraffin wax are good substitutes.
- If you’re having people help dip, you may want to divide the melted chocolate into smaller cups so everyone has their own.
- Buckeyes are best cold. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- You can stash these in a cold garage if fridge space is limited around the holidays. Grab some whenever needed for cookie trays, etc.
- Rolled peanut butter balls can be frozen for up to 3 months. I recommend freezing prior to dipping, as the thawing can cause the chocolate to peel away slightly.
CLOSING THE HOLES
Personal preference, but in my opinion, an essential step!
Homemade buckeyes have holes in them from the toothpick used for dipping. These should be closed. It takes two minutes, and is a sign of an excellent buckeye.
Easy Homemade Buckeyes
- 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter see note
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 6 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1 (12 ounce) bag semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- In a large bowl, cream together the peanut butter and the softened butter until fluffy. Gradually add in the confectioner's sugar, combining well after each addition. Turn mixture out onto a clean surface and gently knead until smooth. Form into tablespoon-size balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.Place the choclate chips in a medium bowl and microwave in 30-second increments until mostly melted, stirring often. Add the shortening and stir vigorously until the remaining chocolate chips are melted and the shortening is incorporated. Insert a toothpick into the top of a buckeye and dip most of the way into the melted chocolate. Return to baking sheet and remove toothpick. Repeat until all peanut butter balls have been dipped, reheating chocolate as needed. Chill completely. Use fingers to close the holes from the toothpick.Buckeyes can be kept in the fridge for up to two weeks.