When I was a kid growing up in the Cincinnati area, Buckeye candies were all the rage. It is Ohio’s state tree and Ohio State’s mascot. Every Christmas we made them and neighbors who gave us cookies and candies each year made them. They were a staple of my childhood. I found a few recipes online that cuts the sugar down a bit and I think I found a really good one that not too sweet but just right. If you love Reese’s cups then these are for you. Enjoy!
Yield: 36 to 42 tablespoon-sized candies
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 cups peanut butter (smooth)
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (from about 14 graham crackers)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
- 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks or 5 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 12 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72%), coarsely chopped
- 1/3 bar of Gulf wax or paraffin (firms up the chocolate and gives a nice sheen)
Make the filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter together until combined. Add the graham cracker crumbs and beat for 10 seconds. Add the sugar and butter, and mix on the lowest speed until it stops floating off everywhere, then increase the speed until the ingredients are combined. Scrape down the whole bowl well, then mix again. The mixture will be quite sturdy and a little dry — perfect for shaping.
Assemble the candies: Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Scoop out slightly more than one tablespoon’s worth of filling and use your hands to form it into a ball. Place the ball on the prepared sheet and repeat the process until all of the candies have been shaped. They can sit close to each other but make sure they are not touching.
Freeze for 20-30 minutes while you prepare the coating. This will allow the chocolate coating to solidify faster when dipping.
Make the coating: Melt the chocolate and 1/3 bar of paraffin either over a double boiler, stirring until it is completely smooth. Put the coating in a small deep bowl so that you will get a depth enough to cover the peanut butter balls.
Using large skewer, dip each ball into the chocolate and roll it about so that almost the entire candy is coating, leaving a small circle uncoated.
Chill or freeze the buckeyes until they are set, about 30 minutes.
Do ahead: Buckeyes will keep in the freezer for a month. It’s best to hid them here or they will disappear quickly!