Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Here is an easy-to-make candy that is always popular during the holidays. I dare you to eat just one!
Why are they called buckeye balls? Because they look just like the nuts of the Ohio Buckeye Tree (Aesculus glabra). Some people just call them "peanut butter balls" which is basically what they are.
To make the balls, all you need are these 4 ingredients:
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners sugar
Line a baking sheet with wax paper (you may need two depending on the size).
In a medium bowl, mix peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and confectioners' sugar with clean hands to form a smooth stiff dough. Shape into balls using 2 teaspoons of dough for each ball. (You can experiment with the size you want - some people like them larger, some like them smaller.) Place on prepared pan, and refrigerate.
Hint: I use a small ice-cream scooper to make uniform balls.
In a metal bowl over a pan of lightly simmering water, melt the following (stir occasionally until smooth, and remove from heat):
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shortening
(You may find that you will need more chocolate. If so, just add more chocolate chips and shortening accordingly).
Remove balls from refrigerator, insert a wooden toothpick into a ball, and dip into melted chocolate. Leave part of the ball uncovered for the buckeye effect. Return to wax paper, chocolate side down, and remove toothpick. The toothpick will leave a hole so if you don't like that, you can smooth it but it will be time-consuming. Repeat with remaining balls. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set. They can also be frozen.