This simple peanut butter buckeyes recipe is a classic no-bake Christmas candy that can be enjoyed year-round. These chocolate peanut butter balls are rich and creamy and easy to make at home! Store the buckeyes in the freezer to make them last even longer!
What are Buckeyes?
Buckeyes are a confection of peanut butter and powdered sugar dipped in chocolate leaving an exposure of peanut butter on top. They look like the Ohio buckeye nut, which was named because they look like a buck's eye. You learned something today, yay! But, this Michigan girl doesn't like to talk much about the Ohio buckeye and much prefers the peanut butter buckeyes.
Peanut butter buckeyes are widely popular during the Christmas season, and dare I say during football tailgating and the Super Bowl. They can really be served for any year-round party. Most of your friends will love them.
How to Make Peanut Butter Buckeyes
You will find that making peanut butter buckeyes is very easy, although it does take a little bit of time because the recipe makes a bunch. You can make peanut butter buckeyes in the following simple steps:
- Mix together peanut butter, butter, vanilla and powdered sugar.
- Roll into 1-inch balls and place on wax-paper lined baking sheet.
- Freeze for 30 minutes.
- Melt chocolate chips and vegetable shortening in microwave.
- Use a toothpick to dip peanut butter balls in chocolate.
- Refrigerate until set.
Because this buckeyes recipe makes so much, if I'm not gifting them I'll store a portion in the freezer and the rest in the refrigerator. They can be stored in an airtight container on your countertop, but I enjoy eating them cold. When they are served straight from the fridge, they have that extra crispy bite to the chocolate coating that I love.
When forming the peanut butter balls, I like to use my small cookie scoop to create uniform sized balls and then roll them right away with my hands. If you wait to first scoop all the balls and then go back to roll them in your hands, the peanut butter will be softened and messy. The balls will not be smooth this way. So, scoop and roll. Don't wait.
Tips for Dipping Buckeyes in Chocolate
When dipping into the melted chocolate, make sure the peanut butter balls are still cold. If you work quickly enough, they should remain cold through out. If you find they are warming up and getting soft, place them back in the freezer for a few minutes before continuing.
Some recipes tell you to place a toothpick in each peanut butter ball before freezing them. This will quicken the dipping process for you...somewhat. I don't do it this way for a couple of reasons -- one being that I don't like to waste all of those toothpicks! I use only one toothpick for all.
I read another tip that you can use an ice cream scoop to stabilize the peanut butter balls as you dip them. This is pretty clever because then if the ball happens to drop off your toothpick, it drops into the ice cream scoop and isn't lost in your bowl of chocolate! But, I haven't tried this method and only lost one peanut butter ball so far... Knock.on.wood.
One last tip for dipping your peanut butter balls in melted chocolate: Wipe the excess chocolate from the bottom of the peanut butter ball before placing back on the baking sheet. I keep an extra sheet of wax paper for this. Simply wipe the bottom of the chocolate dipped ball on the extra wax paper to keep a puddle of chocolate forming on the bottom of the buckeyes.
How To Melt Chocolate for Peanut Butter Buckeyes
There are a few methods you can use for melting your chocolate for this buckeyes recipe. I recommend using the microwave and think it's the easiest. Others use a double boiler method, but that is tedious in my opinion. NOW... if you use Ghirardelli chocolate chips, then use the double boiler method because they tend to not melt in the microwave from my experience. I use Hershey's semi-sweet chocolate chips and they melt perfectly in the microwave.
You will end up with extra melted chocolate, but do not be tempted to melt less than called for in the recipe. You want an abundance so the peanut butter ball has room to be dipped. Use the excess chocolate to dip some crackers, pretzels, other candies, etc.
I hope you enjoy these peanut butter buckeyes as much as my family loves them!
Peanut Butter Buckeyes
- 2 cups creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 (12 oz) bags semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, butter and vanilla. Stir powdered sugar.
- Roll mixture into 1-inch balls and place on wax paper lined baking sheet. Chill in freezer for 30 minutes.
- Melt chocolate and shortening in microwave safe bowl, stirring every 30 seconds until melted. Using a toothpick, dip chilled peanut butter balls into melted chocolate, leaving top exposed. Gently wipe excess chocolate from bottom of balls. (I use extra wax paper for this.) Place back on wax paper lined baking sheet.
- Chill in refrigerator until set. Store in sealed container at room temperature or in refrigerator for up to 1 week. For longer storage, keep in freezer.
- Yield varies based on size of buckeyes.
- Nutrition facts are an estimate and varies based on ingredients used.