In recent months, I’ve been noticing many food items newly-labeled “GLUTEN FREE,” items that have always been gluten free or those that are naturally gluten free. While grocery shopping, my husband joked that they should add a gluten free label to the bananas. It really is this crazy–products labeled gluten free are popping up everywhere. While I appreciate the labeling, there are so many food options that have always been gluten free. This week’s sweet is one of those: the buckeye.
Where I live, most people call these chocolate peanut butter balls, I call them buckeyes. They look like a buckeye and while they may not bring you good luck like carrying the real thing in your pocket reportedly does, I think they will tickle your tastebuds!
(This recipe is a combination of the many, many classic recipes available on-line. I don’t profess to have created this recipe, nor do I know it to be the best variation. It tasted great to me!)
Buckeyes (makes approximately 60)
2 cups creamy peanut butter (I used Trader Joe’s unsalted organic)
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 t. vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 T. shortening (I used Crisco sticks, easy to measure)
Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In stand mixer bowl, combine peanut butter, butter, vanilla extract and powdered sugar. Add the powdered sugar in slowly. Mix until a crumbly, stiff dough forms.
Shape into balls using a scant 2 teaspoons of dough for each ball. Place on lined baking sheet and refrigerate.
While dough balls are in the refrigerator, melt shortening and chocolate chips together in a double boiler. Stir occasionally until all chocolate has melted. Remove from heat.
Remove the balls from refrigerator. Place a wooden toothpick into the center of a ball and dip about halfway into the melted chocolate. Return to wax paper, chocolate side own and remove toothpick. Repeat with remaining balls, return to refrigerator to set, approximately 30 minutes.
When removing balls from the refrigerator, you might want to give the tops a little smoosh to cover up the toothpick hole. I like the way they look best without the hole, but this is purely optional.
This week’s Sweet Friend is Robin. She is originally from Ohio, land of the Buckeyes! Last year I asked her about making these and tried my hand at them. This year, I asked her again how she makes them as my first attempt was questionable–I made them about the size of golf balls. Robin gave me some great pointers. Some people use chunky peanut butter, some add rice crisp cereal. She makes them the traditional way, smooth peanut butter and about the size of a real buckeye.
Robin and I became friends at the gym. Last week while at the gym, she mentioned she had gotten so much more from the exercise class we both attend than physical fitness. I totally agree with her–I have gotten great friends like Robin! She’s committed to eating right, exercising and being a great mom, but she also seems pretty committed to having lots of fun! We recently talked about donuts at the gym. I love that balance!
When I delivered the buckeyes to Robin’s house, her husband was wearing a Buckeyes sweatshirt. I know I chose the right place for this week’s Sweet!