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How to make dreamy, creamy, no bake buckeye peanut butter balls with just 4 simple ingredients. Easy small batch buckeye recipe, perfect for dessert!
Every Christmas since I was a little girl, I've made buckeye candy, or easy chocolate peanut butter balls. If you've never had buckeyes, they are the #1 must have Christmas candy.
When I was a kid, we'd store all the Christmas candy in the stairs that led up to my room because there was no heat or insulation. So they'd stay nice and chilled, and they were pretty easy to access on the way to my room.
Buckeyes consist of a creamy peanut butter filling inside a chocolate coating. It just wouldn't be the holidays without a small batch of buckeye balls and Ritz cracker cookies.
In fact, this small batch buckeye recipe is one of our family's favorite Christmas recipes. They're perfect for Valentine's Day too, especially if your significant other loves that chocolate peanut butter combo.
This buckeye balls recipe is super easy to make and only requires 4 ingredients. Kids can get in on the fun of making them too, as it's a very kid-friendly recipe.
WHERE CAN I FIND THE ACTUAL RECIPE CARD?
If you’d rather skip all of my tips, important info for this recipe, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to the candy recipe – just scroll down to the bottom, where you’ll find a printable recipe card with a longer how to video.
IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHOCOLATE COVERED PEANUT BUTTER BALLS AND BUCKEYES?
Actually, yes, there is. And I didn't really think it was that big of a deal until a friend educated me otherwise a few years ago.
Chocolate covered peanut butter balls are just that… They're completely covered in chocolate.
Buckeye candy is mostly covered in chocolate but with a bit of the peanut butter uncovered, so to look like actual buckeyes.
INGREDIENTS YOU'LL NEED:
Keep in mind, all of the ingredient amounts you’ll need are in the printable recipe card below.
KITCHEN TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT YOU’LL NEED:
HOW TO MAKE BUCKEYE PEANUT BUTTER BALLS
- Your first step will be to soften the butter and adding it to your mixing bowl. You can soften it by either getting it out of the fridge and letting it sit beforehand or putting it in the microwave for a few seconds.
- Add in the peanut butter with the butter.
- Finally, add in the powdered sugar.
- Mix everything together until it's blended well.
HOW TO SHAPE THE PEANUT BUTTER BALLS
- At this point, you'll need to shape all of the dough into 1-inch peanut butter balls. You'll take about a tablespoonful of the peanut butter mixture and begin to roll it between your hands. Shape it into as round of a ball as you can and place it on a baking sheet lined with wax paper.
- Add toothpicks (for dipping) to each ball.
Once all of the dough is rolled into balls, chill the whole sheet in the fridge or freezer for about half an hour.
HOW TO MELT CHOCOLATE FOR DIPPING:
While your peanut butter balls are chilling, it's a good time to melt the chocolate and get it ready to go.
Depending on the chocolate you decide to use, you can melt it a couple different ways:
- Melt it using a double boiler on the stove – This is basically a pan inside of another pan with boiling water in the bottom pan. It allows for more even melting without burning, and it also keeps the chocolate warm for dipping.
- Melt it in the microwave – This is usually the route I go.
Also, depending on the type of chocolate used, some people like to add shortening or paraffin wax to their chocolate as it melts. This allows for a thinner coat and stretches your chocolate a little further.
If you use a good quality chocolate, you likely won't need this step.
I started using Ghirardelli Dark Melting Wafers a few years ago, and I love them so much better than almond bark. They're so much easier to work with, and they have fantastic flavor.
HOW TO DIP THE PEANUT BUTTER BALLS:
- Dip every single peanut butter ball, leaving the very top part undipped, so to resemble an actual buckeye. We've used a regular table fork in the past, as well as tongs or toothpicks. You can also use a dipping fork or tool to dip your peanut butter balls into the chocolate.
- At this point, you'll need to chill the buckeye peanut butter balls for about 15-20 minutes in the freezer; then remove all the toothpicks and cover up the holes with your finger (totally optional).
As you can see in most of my pictures, I didn't really care about the holes being there… But if you do, just smooth it over.
CAN I USE CRUNCHY PEANUT BUTTER TO MAKE BUCKEYE CANDY?
If you like to have a little crunch to your peanut butter balls, you most certainly can use crunchy peanut butter.
I've also used honey peanut butter, which really does make delicious peanut butter balls.
CAN CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BALLS BE FROZEN?
Yes, they absolutely can. You can freeze them before or after dipping.
IMPORTANT TIPS THAT WILL HELP:
Make sure the peanut butter you're using isn't a super greasy peanut butter. If it's too oily, the chocolate may not want to coat the peanut butter mixture.
Put the melted chocolate in a deeper dish for dipping; I prefer my 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup because I can use it in the microwave, and it's the perfect depth and breadth for dipping.
My buckeyes usually have kind of a chocolate ring around the bottom. You can avoid this by letting excess chocolate drip off the buckeye after dipping; and just lightly press the bottom of the buckeye on a separate sheet of wax paper before putting it back on your cookie sheet.
MORE CHOCOLATEY CHRISTMAS TREATS YOU MAY ENJOY:
- Ritz Cracker Peanut Butter Cups
- Homemade Chocolate Covered Cherries
- Chocolate Covered Almond Coconut Trees
GET THE PRINTABLE PEANUT BUTTER BUCKEYES RECIPE
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- In a small mixing bowl, mix up the first three ingredients, including the softened butter, creamy peanut butter, and powdered sugar.
- Take about a tablespoonful of the peanut butter mixture and begin to roll it between your hands. Shape it into as round of a ball as you can and place it on a baking sheet lined with wax paper.
- Continue rolling until all of your peanut butter mixture has been rolled into peanut butter balls.
- Add toothpicks (for dipping) to each ball.
- Chill the peanut butter balls in the fridge or freezer for about half an hour.
- Melt the chocolate according to package directions.*
- Once your chocolate is ready to go, you can remove the peanut butter balls from the freezer, and start dipping right away.
- As you partially dip each buckeye into the chocolate, using a toothpick or dipping tool, place it back on the wax paper lined cookie sheet.*
- Chill the chocolate covered peanut butter balls in the fridge or freezer ’til set, probably about 15-20 minutes.
- Then remove all the toothpicks and cover up the holes with your finger (optional step).
- Store them in an airtight container or festive Christmas tin (lined with wax paper) in the fridge.*
*Make sure the peanut butter you’re using isn’t a super greasy peanut butter. If it’s too oily, the chocolate may not want to coat the peanut butter mixture.
6. You can melt your chocolate using a double boiler on the stove, or in the microwave. I like to use my 2-cup Pyrex Glass Measuring Cup for dipping. Whatever you do, put the melted chocolate in a deeper dish for dipping; I prefer my Pyrex measuring cup because I can use it in the microwave, and it’s the perfect depth and breadth for dipping.
8. My buckeyes usually have kind of a chocolate ring around the bottom. You can avoid this by letting excess chocolate drip off the buckeye after dipping; and just lightly press the bottom of the buckeye on a separate sheet of wax paper before putting it back on your cookie sheet.
11. They can be kept out, but they won’t keep as long as they will if you keep them in the fridge.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 132 Total Fat: 8g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 5mg Sodium: 45mg Carbohydrates: 14g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 11g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 2g