Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
I started making Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls in my teens. Also known as Buckeye Balls, these candies look like the nut from the buckeye tree, which many Midwesterners carry in their pockets for good luck. My mom’s version had Rice Krispies and they were called Peanut Butter Bon Bons. I’ll have to track down that recipe, too.
This Buckeye Recipe is super easy with minimal ingredients. Did I mention that they’re irresistible? Consider yourself warned!
Why You Must Make
- This easy buckeye recipe had only six ingredients and is super easy to make.
- They have the classic, delicious pairing of chocolate and peanut butter!
- You’ll need a few tips if this is your first go-round, but it’s a project the kids can help with. The reward is worth the effort!!
Tips for Making Buckeye Balls
- PRO-Tip: Spray the measuring cup you use for the peanut butter with a non-stick spray, like Pam. This will make getting it out of the cup a breeze!
- Sift your powdered sugar so your peanut butter filling will be smooth.
- Use commercial peanut butter, not natural. I use Jif creamy.
- Use a small cookie scoop to make even-sized peanut butter balls.
- Freeze them until firm (I froze them overnight).
- Use a toothpick to dip the peanut butter balls into the chocolate. If the peanut butter starts to thaw, the toothpick could release, so keep the balls as cold as possible.
- PRO-Tip: Use melted semi-sweet chocolate or chocolate melts for dipping. Note that the real chocolate may “bloom” or get gray splotches as it ages. This is safe to eat.
- If you want, you can gently tap the hole left by the toothpick with your finger to minimize the opening. This is totally optional.
Frequently Asked Questions
These partially dipped peanut butter balls resemble the nuts from the buckeye tree, indigenous to the Midwest.
They can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or two. After that, they should be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week. They also can be frozen for up to 3 months.
My mom’s recipe for peanut butter bonbons had paraffin wax added to the chocolate. This addition gives a glossy finish to the cooled chocolate. It’s rarely used in today’s recipes. I recommend dark chocolate melts for a more stable coating.
The homemade version of these peanut butter balls can be traced to Ohio, the Buckeye state. In 1964, Gail Tabor, a Columbus, Ohio newspaper reporter, was sent some chocolate peanut butter balls from her mother. When she tried to recreate them at home, she didn’t totally dip them in chocolate.
Her husband noticed they looked like the nuts from the Buckeye tree. She gave them as Christmas gifts and kept the recipe secret until they moved out of state and she revealed the details to her friends. Then someone publicly claimed her recipe as their own, and Gail set the record straight by publishing her recipe.
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- 3/4 cup peanut butter, use a commercial brand like Jif, not natural peanut butter
- 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped and melted or Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Melts
- In a mixing bowl, beat together the peanut butter, butter, vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar until creamy.
- Roll into small balls (I used a small cookie scoop), then freeze, covered, until firm.
- Melt the chocolate and let cool for about 10-15 minutes. (Gently melt it in the microwave).
- Use a toothpick to dip each ball partially into the chocolate. Refreeze the peanut butter balls if they get soft.
- Place the dipped balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet until firm.
- The recipe easily doubles.
- Chocolate Melts make the most attractive buckeyes as real chocolate can "bloom" or get a gray coating as it cools.
- Gently tap the hole left by the toothpick to close it.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 216Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 132mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 2gSugar: 18gProtein: 4g
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