Buckeye candy is a delicious, simple no bake treat made of creamy peanut butter balls coated in chocolate. By far one of the best treats to make for the holiday season, or, if you prefer year-round.
Buckeye candies have been a traditional holiday treat around here since I was a child. The creamy peanut butter center is coated in tempered chocolate making the finished product resemble buckeye nuts from the state tree of Ohio, the buckeye.
If you love Reese’s peanut butter cups, you’ll definitely love these because they’re even better. They’re really simple to make, requiring only a few simple ingredients, and are a great candy recipe to make with small kids because there’s not much to them at all.
While a lot of the recipes I’ve found over the years have shortening in their chocolate, this recipe doesn’t contain any shortening. Just 5 simple ingredients: peanut butter, butter, vanilla extract, confectioners’ sugar, and chocolate.
Easy Buckeye Recipe
A note on peanut butter: You can use any type of creamy peanut butter for this recipe, save the crunchy peanut butter for a different use. We use natural peanut butter, as it has far less sugar in it and has a stronger peanut flavor, but what you use is up to you.
First, line baking sheets with wax paper and make sure your ingredients are all at room temperature. I know some folks put peanut butter in the refrigerator, while I’m not one of those people, you’ll want to sit it out if you do along with the butter in preparation for making this simple recipe.
Begin by beating together the peanut butter, butter, and vanilla extract in a large bowl until the ingredients are creamed. This will only take a couple moments.
Once the butter and peanut butter mixture is nice and smooth, slowly start adding powdered sugar bits at a time mixing well to incorporate between each addition.
After you’ve mixed in all of the powdered sugar, it’s time to start forming peanut butter balls. To do this, I use a tablespoon cookie scoop to create even amounts. Then, just roll them into 1-inch balls between your hands.
Place the balls on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Place a toothpick into the top of each ball. Then, place the sheet in the freezer for about 30 minutes. This helps keep the toothpick in the ball without it crumbling apart when you dip it into the chocolate.
After the peanut butter balls have been in the freezer for a bit, melt one cup of semisweet chocolate chips in a double boiler over low heat. Once the chocolate is melted, immediately remove it from heat and incorporate the other 1/4 cup of chocolate chips to temper your chocolate.
Dip each chilled peanut butter ball into the melted chocolate, leaving just the top of the buckeye visible. Place the ball back on the wax paper.
Once they all have a chocolate coating, remove the toothpick and smooth over the hole in the top of the ball with your finger.
Place the baking sheet back in the refrigerator for about a half an hour until the chocolate sets. Then, the buckeyes are ready to eat.
Tips to Make Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
- Make sure you pack the peanut butter into the measuring cup and remove all of it with a spatula to make sure you have the correct amount of peanut butter. This makes mixing easier.
- Do not pack your confectioners’ sugar into the measuring cups. This will make the volume of dry ingredients too high, making the mixture crumbly and difficult to form into balls.
- If your mixture is crumbly, add a small portion of peanut butter to bring the mixture back together to form balls.
- For the best results, freeze the peanut butter balls with the toothpick in them for at least 30 minutes before trying to dip them into the chocolate. This will keep them from falling apart when you dip them into the warm chocolate.
- Temper your chocolate by making the addition of the 1/4 cup of reserved chips. This makes the chocolate smoother and easier to dip into.
How to Store Buckeyes
Buckeye candy is easy to store. Once the chocolate is hardened, simply place them in an airtight container or ziploc bag. Buckeye balls will keep for two weeks in the refrigerator, but I sincerely doubt they will last that long.
Buckeyes can also be frozen after they’re finished. Simply place them in an airtight container, like a freezer bag, after they’re finished and the chocolate shell is formed. They will keep for about 4 months, frozen. To eat, simply thaw them in the refrigerator.
These classic candies are made with creamy peanut butter and coated in chocolate for a peanut butter lover's dream candy.
- 1 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
- 1/4 Cup Butter, room temp
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 2 Cups Confectioners Sugar
- 1 1/4 Cup Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips, melted (divided)
- Start by lining a large cookie sheet with waxed paper.
- Beat peanut butter, butter and vanilla in a medium bowl with a stand mixer until smooth.
- Gradually beat in sugar until well blended.
- Roll rounded Tablespoon-fulls into balls and place onto waxed paper.
- Place a toothpick into the center of each peanut butter ball.
- Arrange on prepared cookie sheet and stick in freezer for at least 30 minutes.
- Melt 1 cup of semi sweet chocolate in a double boiler over low heat.
- Once chocolate is melted, immediately remove from heat and incorporate 1/4 cup reserved chips until melted.
- Pull peanut butter balls out of the freezer. Dip each ball into melted chocolate, leaving a small circle visible at the top.
- Arrange back onto waxed paper cookie sheet.
- Remove toothpicks and smooth over the holes.
- Refrigerate about 15 minutes or until chocolate is set.
- Store tightly covered in refrigerator for up to two weeks or freeze for up to four months.
I love this recipe and I’m happy to share it with you. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family has over the years.
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