Over the weekend, I had a craving for excessive amounts of chocolate and peanut butter, but instead of picking up a bag of Reese's, I decided to make my own treats. Buckeyes are completely nostalgic for me. When I was little, my mom used to make them at Christmastime, and I would help her out, namely by eating all the ugly ones. I couldn't keep my craving at bay until December and they seemed appropriate for Halloween, so I think I've started my own buckeye tradition.
I have to say, gear up before making these. The recipe makes a lot of buckeyes, and it's an involved process. I was really enjoying myself for about the first half. I had Elton John's Greatest Hits on, was loving every minute in the kitchen, and then, I hit a wall. A peanut butter ball-rolling, chocolate-dipping wall. But I powered through and finished the whole batch. Days later, I'm still snacking on buckeyes, so I'm glad I did.
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen and Baked Explorations
1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup (2 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups powdered sugar
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
12 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
Make the filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter together until combined. Add the sugar and butter, and mix on the lowest speed, then increase the speed until the ingredients are combined. Scrape down the whole bowl, then mix again. The mixture will be quite sturdy and a little dry, perfect for rolling into a ball. Set it aside while you prepare the coating.
Assemble the candies: Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Scoop out filling, you can use a tablespoon or something smaller. I used a melon baller, which was probably about 2 teaspoons of the peanut butter mixture per buckeye. Roll into a ball with your hands. Place pan of buckeyes in freezer for about 10 minutes.
Make the coating: While they're in the freezer, 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 cool slightly.
Using a fork or skewer, dip each ball into the chocolate and roll it about so that almost the entire candy is covered, leaving a small circle on the top uncoated. This is the trickiest part. Play around and see what works best for you. I stuck a skewer in the side, angled the bowl of chocolate toward it and submerged as I rolled the candy around.
Chill the buckeyes in the freezer until they are set, about 20 minutes. Store in the fridge in a sealed container.