Peanut butter and chocolate are such a perfect pairing. Growing up my mom would always make homemade peanut butter cups during Christmas and I looked forward to them every year. I haven’t made my own peanut butter cups in years, but after moving to Kentucky I added Peanut Butter Buckeyes to the list of holiday sweets I make. I’d had them before but they weren’t as common in Maine where I grew up. In fact, it wasn’t until moving to Kentucky that I knew they were named after a nut!
As with years past, this week I made a big batch of buckeyes. They’re not that time consuming and they are always one of the most-commented on goody that I include in the holiday sweet samplers that I make for our friends and extended family each year.
Peanut Butter Buckeyes
- 1 1/2 C peanut butter (creamy)
- 1/2 C unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-3 C confectioner’s sugar
- 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
- 2 T vegetable shortening
- Line a baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper (or a Silpat mat – maybe Santa will bring me one this year!) and set aside.
- In a medium bowl combine peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and two cups of confectioner’s sugar with your hands until a smooth, stiff dough forms. Add additional confectioner’s sugar, up to three total cups, if needed to form desired consistency. Roll into a ball using 2 tsp. of dough per ball. Place each on the lined baking sheet; use a toothpick to create a small hole in the top of each peanut butter ball. Place in the freezer for 30-45 minutes, until well-chilled.
- Melt shortening and chocolate together either in a double-boiler or the microwave. (If using the microwave, melt in 30-second bursts, stirring well after each; don’t over-heat.)
- Remove chilled peanut butter balls from freezer. Dip each one into the melted chocolate leaving just a small bare circle around the hole in the top. Repeat until all peanut butter balls are dipped, then place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to set.
Bubbles likes to help me in the kitchen so I gave her a small bowl with a tablespoon or two of peanut butter in it to “mix”. After about 20 seconds of “mix mama! See, mix!” she forgot about the joys of mixing and instead decided to lick it all off the spoon. At least she had fun and is learning a love of cooking!
What is your favorite holiday treat to make?