Another holiday treat! Scot, the baking man chef, made these guys too. Are you wondering why? Lemme tell you. I wanted to bring a few things to a Christmas party that we attended last weekend. However, there were lots of errands to be run. But mostly...Christmas shopping. And that boy is not a shopper. And that is actually an understatement.
The thing is: I am not sure I believe the "I am not a shopper, I am buyer" thing. When we go to REI, he sure is a shopper. And I am the one dragging him out of the store. In fact, this weekend we were at Play It Again Sports. We left with a whole car load of equipment that we didn't go in there to buy. So in response to my mother-in-law's tweet about how Scot's dad is also a bad shopper...I would say these men are most probably what I like to call "selective shoppers".
The point is, our compromise was that he helped me out by making these treats while I held down the Christmas shopping fort. And everything he made was excellent!
These buckeyes (also known as Peanut Butter Balls...clearly not as impressive of a name) are just like a Reese's peanut butter cup, but probably not quite as sweet. We recently came across a real life Buckeye tree in LA. Very pretty!
I worked with some Ohio students several years ago and they went on and on about buckeye this and buckeye that. During a presentation once, they actually passed out buckeye candy! I must say, they are good!
adapted from Baked Explorations via smitten kitchen
1/4 cup (2 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (from about 14 graham crackers)
1/4 tsp table salt
3 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
12 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72%), coarsely chopped or milk chocolate
Make the filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter together until combined. Add the graham cracker crumbs and beat for 10 seconds. Add the sugar and butter, and mix on the lowest speed until it stops floating off everywhere, then increase the speed until the ingredients are combined. Scrape down the whole bowl well, then mix again. The mixture will be quite sturdy and a little dry — perfect for shaping. Set it aside while you prepare the coating.
Make the coating: Melt the chocolate either over a double boiler, stirring until it is completely smooth or in a microwave in 30 then 10 second increments, stirring before you start it again until it is completely smooth. Let it cool to tepid (about 100 degrees, though I’d go a little cooler next time for a thicker coating; I had a few ounces of chocolate leftover) while you shape the peanut butter centers.
Assemble the candies: Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Scoop out slightly more than one tablespoon’s worth of filling (their suggestion; I used a scoop that made them a little smaller) and use your hands to form it into a ball. Place the ball on the prepared sheet and repeat the process until all of the candies have been shaped. They can sit close to each other but make sure they are not touching.
Using a fork or large skewer, dip each ball into the chocolate and roll it about so that almost the entire candy is coating, leaving a small circle uncoated. Play around with a few practice pieces; I found it easiest to stick the skewer in the side, angle the bowl I was using towards it and make sure it became submerged as I rolled the candy around. But don’t fuss too much; even the “ugly” ones won’t go to waste.
Chill the buckeyes until they are set, about 30 minutes.
(Servings: 36-42 pieces, Prep time: 1 hour, Chill time: 30 min., Difficulty: Easy)
Shanon (taste): 7/10
Scot (taste): 8/10
Dishwashing Effort: 2/5