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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holiday Treats: Buckeyes

Peanut butter and chocolate are almost always a winning combination so its no surprise that these cute little buckeyes are a holiday favorite. They are pretty easy to put together although it does take a bit of work to mix up the dough for the balls. I found it worked best to use a pastry blender to mix the powdered sugar, peanut butter and butter together. The dough will be quite dry and crumbly, so when you start rolling the balls, first squeeze the dough together so it will hold together. The dipping process is a lot easier if you freeze the peanut butter balls and then poke them with a toothpick to make them easy to dip. I did the dipping in 2 rounds, leaving half the peanut butter balls in the freezer until the first batch was done so they didn't get too soft. The recipe will yield about 6 dozen buckeyes.

Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 pounds (6 cups) powdered sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 package chocolate almond bark

Line 2 cookies sheets with wax paper. Mix together all but the chocolate in a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender (or a wooden spoon if you dont have one), mix until well combined and crumbly. Roll into approximately 1" diameter balls and place on prepared cookie sheets. Freeze peanut butter balls for at least 30 minutes.

Cut chocolate into squares and add half to a small, narrow bowl or measuring cup. Melt in the microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes, stirring after each 30 second interval. Poke balls with a toothpick and swirl in chocolate leaving the tops uncovered. Let excess chocolate drip off and return to cookie sheet.
When the whole cookie sheet is done, transfer cookie sheet to refrigerator, melt remaining chocolate and continue dipping. Let buckeyes chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before transferring them to storage containers lined with waxed paper. Put wax paper between any layers of candy when storing and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

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