If there is one homemade candy that everyone loves, it’s homemade buckeyes. Even if you aren’t from Ohio or an OSU Buckeyes fan, there’s much to love about these simple candies!
Tips on the Peanut Butter Balls
Getting the right texture to the buckeyes is essential for easy rolling. Most of the time, the JIF recipe ratios are spot on. However, at times, you may need to add additional powdered sugar (if the dough is too sticky) or peanut butter (if the dough is too crumbly).
Every type of peanut butter is slightly different in oil and sugar content. Depending on the peanut butter you use, you may have to adjust the recipe slightly. After you have the peanut butter mixture ready, try rolling a ball. The batter should not stick to your hands, and you should have no problem rolling into a ball with a smooth surface.
Just remember, if the batter is crumbly, add more peanut butter. If it is too sticky, add powdered sugar.
The next step is dipping the peanut butter balls in chocolate. I like to freeze the peanut butter balls for about 30 minutes, making them easier to dip. While the peanut butter balls are in the freezer, it’s time to melt chocolate!
What Kind of Chocolate is Best for Homemade Candy?
I find that high-quality dark chocolate is best for dipping. Dark chocolate melts more smoothly and quickly than milk chocolate because it is closer to its natural state. The milk and sugars added to milk chocolate all have different melting points, which makes melting take a little longer.
Ghirardelli is often my go-to chocolate. They have melting wafers that are easy to use for homemade candy.
When using high-quality dark chocolate, you don’t have to use paraffin wax. You can also add a teaspoon or two of shortening to thin the chocolate if necessary. I highly recommend pure chocolate, though!
What is the Best Way to Melt Chocolate?
Although melting chocolate in the microwave might seem the easiest, a double boiler gives the best results. This is a pan that sits inside another pan. Water simmers in the bottom pan, and chocolate melts in the top pan from the heat of the water boiling.
A double boiler helps with even melting, allows the chocolate to stay hot, and helps prevent burning. Yes, you can burn the chocolate, and it is not pleasant when you do!
Keep some water in the bottom pot and on a low simmer to prevent burning. If the water boils too strongly it could seize up the chocolate.
Once the chocolate is mostly melted, take the double boiler off the stove and allow the warmth of the water to keep the chocolate smooth and melted while dipping peanut butter balls.
Dipping Buckeye Balls in Chocolate
I often find myself using a toothpick for dipping in melted chocolate. It makes a hole in the top of the buckeye, but you can easily use your fingertip to cover that hole. Buckeye candies shouldn’t have holes…although in my laziness, I’ve often left the hole. The candies taste just as good with or without it.
Once the buckeye ball is dipped ¾ of the way in the melted chocolate, allow the chocolate to drip off for a few seconds. You can use a spoon or knife to swipe the bottom of the ball to get the excess chocolate back in the pan.
Another way to keep excess chocolate from pooling under the buckeye ball is to dab the bottom on a sheet of wax paper before transferring it to clean wax paper to set it completely. Much excess chocolate will pool on the wax paper when you dab it there, keeping the bottom of the buckeyes cleaner.
The last step before storing or giving the buckeye candies away is to use your fingertip to smooth over any holes in the top. Allow the candies to set completely before packaging so they don’t stick together.
How to Store Buckeyes
Buckeyes can be frozen, stored in the refrigerator, or at room temperature if you eat them within a day or two. Simply store them in an airtight container wherever you choose to store them.
- ¾ c Creamy Peanut Butter Can also use crunchy for more texture
- 1 stick Butter softened
- 2 c Confectioners sugar
- ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
- ¼ tsp Sea Salt
- ½ lbs Bittersweet Chocolate
- Cream butter and peanut butter together
- Reduce speed to low, slowly add confectioners sugar
- Add vanilla, salt; mix together (mixture will be crumbly)
- Roll into 1 inch balls, place on the wax paper-lined cookie sheet, and place in freezer 15 minutes
- Using a double boiler, melt chocolate until smooth
- Using a toothpick, lower balls into chocolate until ⅔’s covered
- Place back on sheet and chill until firm