Every year, for the last 25, my family has gotten together one Saturday in December and made Christmas cookies. It's a tradition I've been a part of for the last 20 years (approximately, it may be closer to 17). This year, our cookie day is tomorrow. My mom, grandma, and I, along with a friend of the family, will be baking probably around a dozen different kinds of cookies.
Over the next few weeks, I'll be sharing the recipes I made along with some family favorites that we make nearly every year. Some recipes get skipped some years for various reasons, but these recipes have been passed down and are almost expected in the Christmas cookie trays.
The first recipe in this group is Buckeyes. Buckeyes are basically chocolate and peanut butter in a ball. Most of the peanut butter is dipped in chocolate, but a small amount on the top isn't. The candy looks very similar to the nut of the Buckeye tree, also called a Buckeye. Fun fact: The Buckeye tree is the state tree of Ohio.
Buckeyes are a family tradition, but they take quite awhile to make and are getting skipped this year (I'm making a cookie based on them, though, so watch for that recipe!). Instead, I'll share the recipe with you and if you want, you can make them.
Oh, next VERY IMPORTANT thing to note: This recipe is supposed to make 36 dozen buckeyes. No, I'm not kidding. That is over 400 little round chocolate and peanut butter balls. Even when we make them anymore, none of us ever make the full recipe. I am giving you the full recipe so that you can either A. Make all 432 buckeyes for your family and friends or B. Can cut down the recipe properly to make a whole lot less.
1 lb of butter
2 lbs of peanut butter
2 lbs of confectioner's sugar
2 bags of chocolate chips
1 block paraffin (optional)
Yes, I mean lbs and not cups. Please remember, 36 dozen. 36 dozen!
Melt the butter and peanut butter in a saucepan. Once melted, mix with the confectioners sugar and mix and mix and mix and mix and mix until thoroughly incorporated. It will happen, but it will take FOREVER. No, I'm not kidding. Trust me on this!
Melt the chocolate chips and paraffin if you are using it. Note on the paraffin: it doesn't effect the taste, it simply holds the chocolate together better once the buckeyes set. It's not needed, but it makes life easier when you are eating them.
Roll the peanut butter mixture into a ball about 1 inch around. Using a toothpick, dip the ball into the chocolate, covering between 1/2 to 3/4 of the peanut butter ball. Place the ball onto a cookie sheet lined with wax or parchment paper. Repeat until you have the cookie sheet full. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for up to 2 hours (or outside if the weather is well below freezing. We used to do this when we lived in North East Ohio, it saves freezer space. This doesn't work now, in Southern California.) Repeat this until you have made all of the buckeyes. The chocolate may start to set while you are waiting for available cookie sheets/freezer space. Simply stick it in the microwave for about 15 seconds to remelt it. If it doesn't completely remelt in 15 seconds, stir and microwave for another 15 seconds. Repeat as necessary.
I promise, these taste really good and are worth the time, but this recipe will easily take you all day long. When we made this in previous years, someone always started it first thing in the morning and you knew you'd still be working on it well into the evening.