Here we are in Ohio, the Buckeye State! What better way to celebrate than with, well, Buckeyes. The Buckeye (Aersculus glabra) is a hardwood tree. It is the state tree of Ohio and was originally a term of endearment for the early settlers of the Ohio region in the 1780s. Buckeye is also the mascot for Ohio State University. The Native Americans used the tannic acid from the blanching of the Buckeye nuts in the making of leather goods. While the “real” Buckeye is actually a nut, the tannic acid is poisonous. Therefore, we are opting for the sweet version.
The candy buckeyes are peanut butter truffles, covered in chocolate.
1 C Peanut Butter (“Conventional” type like Jif, etc. – “Natural” types with oils don’t work well here)
1/2 C Butter (at room temperature)
3 C Powdered Sugar
10 oz semi sweet chocolate (either chips or bars)
1 T vegetable shortening
Mix peanut butter and butter until well combined. This should take about 4-5 minutes in an electric mixer. Carefully add the powdered sugar and mix until well blended.
Roll dough into balls about 1/2 inch in diameter. Insert a toothpick into each ball and chill for at least 20 minutes.
While dough is chilling, prepare chocolate. Combine chocolate and shortening in the top of a double boiler. Keep the water just below boiling temperature and try not to let the water touch the bottom of the bowl with the chocolate. Once the chocolate mixture is smooth, remove from the heat.
Remove dough from the refrigerator and dip balls into chocolate, leaving a little of the peanut butter showing on top. Place the buckeyes on a plate lined with parchment (or wax) paper and put in the freezer.
After about 30 minutes, the chocolate should have solidified and the buckeyes can be stored in the freezer in Ziploc bags. They taste a little better at room temperature, but this takes about 30 minutes and sometimes it is hard to wait that long…