Thursday, March 3, 2011

baked!: buckeyes

this may sound sacrilegious, but until the end of last year, i'd never had a buckeye -- you know, those little round peanut butter morsels dipped in chocolate to resemble buckeye nuts. lucky for me, a friend magnanimously gave me one from a tin she'd received, and i was immediately hooked. i mean, chocolate and peanut butter? c'mon.

so when the super bowl rolled around and i was invited to a house party, i immediately volunteered to bring a dessert item and chose to make a batch of buckeyes. turns out they're ridiculously easy to whip up, and though the amount of sugar, butter and peanut butter required to make them practically forces you to turn a blind eye to your measuring cup, they're totally worth it (i had several people ask me for the recipe after eating them). for some reason -- as you can see in the photo above -- i was apparently rolling these with my eyes closed, so they're kind of, um, ugly, but i've seen them turn out way cuter, and i have full faith that yours will be more aesthetically pleasing than my own. and again, no matter what, they're delicious.

so, without further ado, here's the recipe!

1 1/2 cups (about one jar) creamy peanut butter
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar*
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

in a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, butter, vanilla and confectioners' sugar (the dough will look dry). roll into one-inch balls and place on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet.

press a toothpick into the top of each ball (to be used later as the handle for dipping) and chill in freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.

after the peanut butter balls have chilled, melt chocolate chips in a double boiler or in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. stir frequently until smooth. dip the frozen peanut butter balls into the chocolate, holding onto the toothpick. Leave a small portion of peanut butter showing at the top to make them look like buckeye nuts. put candy back on the cookie sheet, and refrigerate until serving.

*the recipe i based this version on originally called for six (!) cups of confectioners' sugar -- you can definitely use that much if you want, but i found that four cups was more than enough, particularly when coupled with the already-present sweetness of the peanut butter.

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