The other day I ventured into the land of candy making – which I thoroughly enjoyed. Even sent a couple of text messages signing myself off as “Candyman”. Ha!
I had been promising myself I would make this confection since last October and decided that today would be the day. I started off (as I usually do before making anything) researching my recipe collection and by talking with my Grandma Barbra. I had made buckeye candy one time and used a Paula Deen recipe from her “Southern Bible” – but it did not work out. The butter measurement in that recipe needs to be checked – it can not be right. It didn’t call for enough butter. I know…shocked since it was a Paula Deen recipe, but the results of that batch were very dry and crumbly.
I passed on Paula’s recipe and used one that my Grandma suggested from an old Kennard Friend’s Church cookbook – I believe the date of the book was around the 1960’s? The recipe looked simple enough – but called for paraffin wax. My Grandma explained to me (from her years working at Good’s Candies in Kennard and their refusal to use wax in their candies) that I could omit this – so I did.
The results were fantastic! Now – I did manage (as I sometimes do) to change the recipe a little, so the following is “my” recipe adapted from the original. I also made the buckeye candy about a size smaller than a golf ball – I tend to make my cupcakes, cookies, etc. on the LARGER side…and these were no exception.
They are a RICH dessert – so eat wisely!
Homemade Buckeye Candy
1 18oz. jar of Reese’s Creamy Peanut Butter
2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter
5 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 12oz. bags of chocolate chips
Line a baking sheet (13 X 9) with parchment paper. In a medium sized bowl (microwave safe) unwrap and melt 2 sticks of butter. Don’t melt them completely down – but take them well past the “softened” stage. Allow to cool for about a minute. Then to the melted butter, add the whole 18oz. jar of Reese’s Creamy Peanut Butter. Stir well to combine both.
NOTE on peanut butter – I used Reese’s brand. Any brand would work here. I also used creamy peanut butter. I have heard of people making buckeye candy with crunchy – but I can not say that I am one of those people that would like it.
After you have combined the butter and peanut butter – measure out 1 cup of the confectioner’s sugar and add to the butter and peanut butter mixture. Slowly combine. Do this until all 5 cups are used. The mixture will turn stiff and hard to stir. This is when you may want to use your hands. After about the 3rd cup addition, I started mixing with my hands and continued to do so for the other two cups. Add the 1 tablespoon of vanilla and mix until thoroughly combined.
Next is to start making the balls. Roll them in whatever size you desire – although I recommend the smaller the better. About the size of a real life buckeye (which of course is where this recipe got it’s name – from the Ohio State Buckeye). I rolled mine into a larger ball, and although the results were delicious – some people can not pack such a rich punch all at once. So it really depends on who you are making these for.
Line the balls on the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Have them fairly close to each other – but not touching. Once you have all the balls rolled and lined on the baking sheet, next is the toothpicks. Insert a toothpick into the top of each ball – pushing most of the way through.
Once the toothpicks are all inserted, put the baking sheet into the freezer (deep freeze) for at least 45 minutes.
Once 45 minutes is up – melt the 2 12oz. bags of chocolate chips in a medium sized bowl (microwave safe) for 3 minutes, in 30 second intervals. Make sure you stir the chocolate between each trip into the microwave.
Now, there is a trick for the perfect buckeye candy. Make sure the buckeye candy is really cold (hence the reason they are in the freezer) and make sure the chocolate is really warm. You will need to try and work fast here.
Take the buckeyes from the freezer, and one by one (holding onto them by their toothpick) dip them into the warm chocolate – and then return the candy to the parchment lined baking sheet. Do this one at a time until all the buckeye candy is coated with the chocolate. Leave the top of the candy chocolate free – to make sure it does look like the traditional “buckeye” candy.
Once the dipping process is complete, remove the toothpicks from each buckeye candy. Return the baking sheet to the freezer (deep freeze) for about 30 minutes. After the time is up, take them out and enjoy!
Some people like eating these a little frozen, some people refrigerate them, or some people like them room temperature. I like to eat them in all varieties of the above – but the batch I made this time, I will be leaving room temperature.
Note: Since this recipe was published I have developed an even BETTER recipe for buckeye candy that can be found in my cookbook, “Blaise the Baker Dessert First”.