One of the easiest candy recipes to make around the holidays are Buckeyes, or what some people call chocolate peanut butter balls. It is a simple recipe that consists of bite size, sweetened creamy peanut butter balls dipped in melted chocolate.
They are a great addition to any Christmas cookie tray. In fact, in my house they are always the first item to disappear off the plate.
Best of all, just like when making Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies, this recipe calls for no baking at all. Simply form the peanut butter balls and then let them harden.
It is so easy that even the kids or the novice baker can master this step. Then all that is left to do is to dip the balls in chocolate.
However, you can’t quite take a bite into this delicious and addicting candy yet. You must first wait until the chocolate hardens.
To speed up the process, I throw them in the freezer so that I can enjoy this chocolate and peanut butter treat in just a matter of minutes. Then I will let the others firm up and package them as part of a Christmas cookie tray or as an edible gift to give to family, friends, or service workers.
The Difference Between Buckeyes & Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
So why do some people call them Buckeyes and others call them chocolate peanut butter balls? It all begins with a popular tree seed famous in Ohio.
As you probably know, Ohio is known as the Buckeye state. Every fall the tree drops large round seeds that when broken away from its outer prickly shell resemble a chestnut.
These dark brown round seeds have a light brown center that looks very much like a male deer eye. And that is how the Buck-eye tree got its name.
And when you dip a peanut butter ball into chocolate, but leave the top center section of the middle exposed, it also looks like this famous tree seed.
However, if you dip the entire ball in chocolate, they are referred to as Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls. Regardless of the name, these little treats are irresistible, especially if you like the combination of chocolate and peanut butter.
It is best to use unsalted butter in this recipe. Although salt is used in many baking recipes to enhance sweetness and make the dessert taste richer, the added salt here just isn’t necessary.
Trust me, these Buckeyes are sweet and rich enough to satisfy any monster sweet tooth that you might have. Just be sure that before starting this recipe that the butter has softened to room temperature.
It typically takes a stick of butter about 1 hour to soften. However, this will depend on the temperature of your home.
A quick way to soften butter is to fill a tall, microwaveable glass with water. Then place it in the microwave to heat for 1 minute.
Carefully remove the glass and dump out the water. Place the stick of butter upright on its short side.
Then place the glass over the stick of butter and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then remove the glass and wait another 10 minutes and your butter should be soft, but not melted.
2. Peanut Butter
In order for the Buckeyes to set up properly it is important that you use standard creamy peanut butter. I prefer Jif brand, but you could use any brand that you prefer.
However, it is important that you don’t use the all natural peanut butter that consists of only ground peanuts. These Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls are candy and they need to have the classic sugary peanut butter that you find at the grocery.
3. Paraffin Wax
Although not a standard kitchen staple, paraffin wax will help the chocolate become nice and shiny when it hardens. Not only does it look better, but it will also prevent the chocolate from melting in your hand when you pick one up.
Food grade paraffin wax can be found at most large grocery stores and general merchandise stores like Wal-Mart and Meijer. However, you may have to look for it in two different aisles.
Although the box of the wax can sometimes be found in the baking aisle, often times it is found elsewhere. Because it is used in many canning recipes, it is most often located in the canning aisle.
Look for where the store stocks mason jars, lids, and canning seasoning packets. You will most likely find the box of paraffin wax near those other items.
Then when it is time to add the paraffin to the chocolate use a vegetable peeler to shave off 1/3 of one block. This will be enough to allow the chocolate to become shiny once it hardens.
However, another option is to use chocolate wafers instead of the chocolate chips and paraffin. Although they can be difficult to find during certain times of the year, around the holidays they are readily available.
Buckeyes (Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls)
*Specific measurements and complete recipe instructions are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to continue to read the tips and tricks to making this recipe below.
- 2 sticks of butter, room temperature
- 2 cups of creamy peanut butter (not all natural)
- 1 ½ lbs powdered sugar
- 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/3 block paraffin, shaved
In a large mixing bowl add the room temperature butter, peanut butter and powdered sugar. Use a hand or stand mixer to mix the ingredients thoroughly until it resembles cookie dough.
Use a small cookie scoop to scoop the dough into a ball. Then roll the peanut butter balls using the palm of your hands.
Although you can make the Buckeyes or Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls any size that you prefer, it is best to make them about the size of a large gumball. This will allow you to easily dip them in the chocolate when it comes tome to coat them.
Place the formed balls on a wax paper lined baking sheet, leaving 1/2 inch space between them. Once they are all are on the baking sheet place the tray in the freezer to chill for 15-30 minutes.
Melt The Chocolate
When the balls are firm it is time to get the chocolate ready. In a double broiler, add the chocolate chips and paraffin.
Heat and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Then remove the peanut butter balls from the freezer.
Place a toothpick in the top center of 5-10 peanut butter balls. Then working one at a time pick up the top of the toothpick and dip the ball into the chocolate, leaving a small exposed circle just at the top surface to resemble a Buckeye.
Once you have the first few dipped, remove the toothpick and smooth the hole over with your finger. Then use the toothpicks again for the next batch.
However, if you are making Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls you won’t need the toothpicks. Instead, use two forks and carefully submerge the balls in the chocolate until they are completely coated.
Be sure to let the excess chocolate drip off the bottom and place them back on the wax paper. Then place the baking sheet back in the freezer to harden.
Store the candy in a covered container in the refrigerator or freezer for best results.
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- 2 sticks of butter – room temperature
- 2 cups of creamy peanut butter
- 1 ½ lbs powdered sugar
- 1/3 block paraffin –shaved
- 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Mix the butter, peanut butter and powdered sugar thoroughly until it resembles cookie dough.
- Roll into balls using the palm of your hands (about the size of large gumballs)
- Place balls on a wax paper lined baking sheet
- Place balls in the freezer to chill for 15-30 minutes.
- In a double broiler, add paraffin and chocolate chips. Melt until smooth
- Dip peanut butter balls into melted chocolate using a toothpick.
- Place covered balls onto wax paper baking sheet then place in the freezer to chill/harden.
- Store in a covered container in the refrigerator/freezer.
Recipe provided by Make Your Meals
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 248Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 110mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 25gProtein: 4g
Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.