Buckeyes (or Peanut Butter Balls)
My family makes these every year for Christmas. We always end up making multiple batches because these are great to take to parties. They are the perfect bite sized dessert and fit wonderfully on those small paper plates beside “Lil’ Smokies”, hot wings, and whatever other random hors d'oeuvres are being served.
Put the softened (but not melted) butter, powdered sugar, and peanut butter in a bowl. Mix well. You should probably start the mixing with a spoon, but I find that by the end, I have always switched to mixing with my hands. Add the Rice Krispies, mixing until thoroughly combined. This may take awhile and the final “dough” will be very stiff. And don’t worry…all the sugar and cereal WILL mix in eventually. Wash hands.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and cover the cookie sheet with waxed paper. Roll a bit of the peanut butter mixture into a ball about 1 inch in diameter. (You can actually make these any size you want, but I’ve found this size to be the best.) Now put the ball into the melted chocolate and push it around with the fork until fully coated. Lift the ball out of the chocolate with the fork by scooping, not stabbing. Gently tap the fork on the edge of the pan to shake off the extra chocolate. Roll the ball off onto the waxed paper. Continue until all the peanut butter mixture has been used. If you want, you can roll all the “dough” at the start and then just dip it all…it’s up to you. After all the balls have been dipped, melt the white chocolate (being sure you wash and DRY your double boiler first if you want it to be pure white). Dip a spoonful out and swizzle the chocolate over the balls to make a pretty design on the top. Let set until the chocolate is hardened and store in an airtight container.
This recipe makes about 1 and one half cookie sheets full of buckeyes, depending upon how far apart they are spaced on the sheet and how big the balls are rolled. It usually feeds one good sized party. I’m not quite sure how long they’ll last, because they never last more than about 3 days at my house. I wouldn’t keep them more than 2 weeks or so. If you are desperate to keep them longer than that, I’m sure they can be frozen, but I’m not sure how the texture would change. After you get then hang of the recipe, you can do any number of fun add-ons. How about instead of dropping the coated balls onto the waxed paper, roll them in chopped peanuts? Or you could put sprinkles onto before the chocolate hardened. Or, for a classy look, drop the freshly coated balls into cocoa powder. Or any number of things...let your imagination go wild!
*If you can’t find almond bark*** in your store (it usually looks like blocks of chocolate), you can use 12 ounces of chocolate chips along with one-third stick of paraffin. (Don’t ask me how much a stick of paraffin is...I don’t know.)
**If you don’t have a double boiler, don’t dismay! Just fill a pan half full of water and bring it to a boil. Now put your chocolate in a metal bowl. Put the bowl over the boiling water, making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. In either method, be sure not to get ANY water in the chocolate, because it will clump up terribly, and will not coat the balls. It’s a big mess and you’ll have to start melting the chocolate all over...just take my word for it.
***And no, this almond bark is not the candy made with almonds. It's just a special type of melting chocolate that will cool hard after melting instead of soft and gooey. As a matter of fact, it doesn't even taste like almonds...what a strange name.
Noded for Recipe Quest: Black and White Food
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