There are, apparently, candies called buckeyes. If ever there were a team just asking to be represented by a food item, it’s Ohio State, whose team is, of course, the buckeyes and whose mascot is one Brutus Buckeye. (Buckeyes, for those who aren’t in the know—us, until about 2 days ago—are blobs of sweetened peanut butter covered by melted chocolate fashioned to resemble the nut of a Buckeye tree. “Buckeye” can also, apparently, refer to a whole bunch of other things.)
Buckeyes are pretty easy to make because they require no cooking, just mixing a lot of things together, rolling the mixed ingredients into bite-sized balls and dipping the balls in chocolate. The last part didn’t look particularly difficult on the cooking blog where we found the recipe, but even after trying several different methods to coat the peanut butter balls—skewering the balls and rolling them in chocolate, rolling a ball around in a soup spoon, and finally (and most successfully, albeit messily), using our fingers to dip the balls into a bowl of melted chocolate—we didn’t come close to matching the uniform coating of the buckeyes we’re sure exist in bakeries, stores and, yes, at the basketball games in Columbus, Ohio.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
We made a bunch of modifications to the recipe. Mostly because we forgot to double-check the necessary ingredients when we were at the grocery store, and weren’t willing to venture out in “white-out” conditions to get the proper ingredients. So when we found we had no graham crackers, we opted for something that would provide a similar crunch, since that’s all the graham crackers are for anyway. After a couple of taste tests we opted for Cascadian Farms Multi-Grain Squares, which we like to think added a healthy component to an otherwise deeply unhealthy snack.
1 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup crumbs from crushed wheat cereal (or graham crackers, if you remember to buy them)
1/8 tsp. salt
1.5 cups confectioners’ sugar
4 tbsps. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
6 ozs. semi-sweet chocolate
For Peanut Butter Balls
Beat together cream cheese and peanut butter until well blended. Mix in crumbs. Add sugar and butter and beat until everything is well combined. Once everything is well mixed, start preparing the chocolate coating.
For Chocolate Coating
Melt dark chocolate in a double boiler or a microwave. (Never having used a double boiler, we are partial to the microwave approach. Microwave the chocolate for short periods of time, testing the chocolate every 20-30 seconds to make sure it’s not burning. When the chocolate is almost melted, take the bowl out of the microwave and mix the chocolate until all the bumps melt away.)
Dip the prepared balls into the chocolate. We can’t recommend a way to do this, since I never mastered the technique. Make sure to leave a small portion of the peanut butter uncovered so as best to replicate the buckeye nut.