These deliciously decadent treats are the perfect for the marriage of peanut butter and chocolate. Although it is not readily agreed who first made buckeyes as they are currently enjoyed, it is known that they are so-called because of their resemblance to the nut of a buckeye tree, found primarily in Ohio.
When they were first made, peanut butter and chocolate were conspicuously absent, being just a baked meringue flavored with sugar and lemon. Families put grated chocolate in the meringue before baking and peanut butter wasn’t introduced until well into the 20th century. Peanut butter was considered a health food for many decades in the 19th century, and to eat it for enjoyment alone just wasn’t done at the beginning of peanut butter’s entrance into the culinary world.
My favorite description of these candies comes from the “Dictionary of American Regional English,” printed in 1970, which says, “Cheap candy that used to be sold years ago.” Cheap! That’s the Yankee in me.
Peanut Butter Buckeyes
2 cups creamy or chunky peanut butter
1 stick butter or margarine, softened
1½ cups powdered sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips, or desired chocolate
In a large mixing bowl, combine peanut butter, butter, powdered sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Mix on medium speed for about a minute or until very smooth.
Form this mixture into balls the size of a quarter using a teaspoon. Place them on a cookie sheet or plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until firm. You don’t have to cover them.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds, lightly stir and continue heating in 10 second intervals until completely melted. Remove balls from refrigerator and grab yourself a toothpick. I used a toothpick in each so I wouldn’t have to keep taking one out and spearing another ball. Dip the peanut butter balls into the melted chocolate only half-way up the sides. Transfer to a plate or pan that has been lined with film wrap and continue with remainder of balls. If there is any chocolate left over, remove toothpicks and drizzle chocolate over the top a little to hide the holes. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm and enjoy.