Chocolate-dipped peanut butter balls or Buckeye balls are so easy to make at home with this easy Buckeye recipe. An essential for any cookie tray!
Photography Credit:Irvin Lin
The combination of chocolate and peanut butter is an obvious winner for anyone who has ever tasted a peanut butter cup, and peanut butter balls, or buckeye balls, are no exception.
Named for their resemblance to the nut of the buckeye tree, these chocolate-dipped peanut butter balls are easy to make at home with very little work using the buckeye recipe that follows.
Video! How to Make Peanut Butter Balls (Buckeyes)
Discovering Buckeye Balls
Even though I grew up in the Midwest, where Peanut Butter Buckeye balls are popular, I was strangely oblivious to them until I moved to California. One day, a co-worker at my day job brought a tray of Buckeyes into the office, and I quickly devoured a few too many, rendering myself relatively useless from the sugar aftershock for the rest of the afternoon.
I remember going home and proclaiming my love for this new confection to my partner. He gave me the side eye. “How have you never heard of Buckeyes before?” was his response. Apparently, I have been missing out all my life.
Why are they Called Buckeye Balls?
These chocolate-coated rounds of sweetened peanut butter look nearly identical to the nut from a buckeye tree, a tree native to the midwestern United States and the state tree of Ohio. This explains why the peanut butter balls are so popular in Ohio and the surrounding states like Indiana, where my partner is from.
The candy looks so much like the nut that, when he was a kid, my partner’s parents would always instruct him, “Now, remember, you can eat these peanut butter ball candies, but don’t eat the actual buckeye nuts on the ground!” To this day, he still remembers that warning and repeats it every time he eats one.
Thie Buckeye recipe makes quite a few balls, so my own warning is to limit yourself to eating just a few of these Buckeye balls at a time. Otherwise, you may find yourself falling into the same sugar aftershock that I did when I initially discovered my love for these delicious little peanut butter balls!
More Peanut Butter Treats!
- Peanut Butter Cookies
- Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies
- Easy Peanut Butter Fudge
- Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
- No Bake Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cookies
Peanut Butter Balls (Buckeyes) Recipe
It may sound fussy, but make sure to sift the powdered sugar into the peanut butter using a strainer or you'll wind up with clumps in your buckeyes balls.
Also, keep in mind that you need to chill the peanut butter balls after forming them, and again after you dip them in the chocolate, so plan accordingly.
Buckeye balls can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for several weeks, or (wrapped tightly) in the freezer for several months.
- 1 1/2 cups (390 g) smooth peanut butter (not "natural")
- 1/2 cup (115 g / 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 1/2 cups (400 g) powdered sugar
- 3 cups (525 g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Make the peanut butter filling: Place the peanut butter, melted butter, vanilla and salt in a large bowl and stir until well blended. Sift 2 cups of powdered sugar into the bowl using a fine-mesh strainer and stir until the sugar is absorbed. Sift the remaining powdered sugar and mix in and a smooth stiff paste forms.
2 Shape the filling into balls: Scoop up a small portion of dough (a small cookie scoop is great for this!). Form 1-inch balls by rolling them between your palms.
Place on a rimmed baking pan lined with a piece of parchment paper. Repeat until all the peanut butter filling is gone.
3 Chill for at least 1 hour or overnight in the refrigerator so the balls become firm enough to dip.
4 Melt the chocolate for the coating: Once the peanut butter balls have chilled, place the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30 second increments on high power, stirring between each cook cycle, until the chocolate has melted and is smooth.
5 Dip the peanut butter balls in the melted chocolate: Skewer one of the peanut butter balls with a toothpick and dip it in the melted chocolate until 3/4 of the ball is covered in chocolate. Leave the top of the ball uncovered so you can see a little of the peanut butter. Place back on the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining balls.
6 Chill the buckeye balls: Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight for the chocolate to solidify. Once the chocolate is solid, wet your finger and smooth over the hole the toothpick has formed with your finger.
7 Store buckeyes in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to eat. Buckeyes can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for several weeks, or (wrapped tightly) in the freezer for several months.
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Keto Peanut Butter Balls (Buckeyes)
Lately, I have been testing out a few dessert recipes that can be eaten in just one bite&hellip like these almond flour brownies bites or these mini cheesecake bites. They tend to be a perfect size so it satisfies my sweet tooth and helps keep me within my carb limit.
So, whenever you crave something sweet, make a batch of these delicious keto peanut butter balls.
They taste like chocolate truffles, but are high in protein and fiber &ndash which makes them low in net carbs!
The Best Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls A.K.A. Buckeyes
Although there are many similar versions of this No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls recipe, ours is extra special. We’ve added a touch of cinnamon for an even more festive and flavorful Buckeye candy!
Something about the spice of the cinnamon accentuates the richness of both the peanut butter and the chocolate, giving these Buckeye candies that little extra something for the holidays.
I highly recommend that you make at least two batches this season: one for gifting to family and friends, and one to keep for yourself!
Tips for success
- Make sure to use creamy peanut butter in this recipe. You won’t get the same result with a natural, drippy type.
- Semi sweet chocolate is my favorite, however dark chocolate would taste delicious too.
- I use a small cookie scoop to evenly form my buckeyes. Then roll them in my hands to create a super smooth texture.
- I prefer using longer toothpicks when dipping my buckeyes into chocolate. They’re easier to hold and less messy.
- If you don’t want to see the toothpick hole, just press down gently once they are set and they will close. I like to keep them there, because that’s how the ones that are sold in Ohio look.
Ingredients for Peanut Butter Buckeyes Recipe
I’ve made healthy vegan buckeyes in the past—with no butter, no dairy, and the option to use a sugar free sweetener—and they’ve always turned out tasty. But, when I’m wanting to indulge in a treat, I tend to prefer the real deal. I want all of the indulgence and sweetness and scrumptious flavors!
That being said, I also value my health and want to keep in mind what I’m putting into my body. I have to find the healthy substitutions and compromises that I’m willing to make, without sacrificing the flavor or my enjoyment of the treat. And, since this buckeye peanut butter balls recipe is one of my all-time favorites, I’ve made sure to find the middle ground that works for me.
My belief is that, if you’re doing what feels right for you and for your body, then you’re doing wellness “right!” For me, that means making this chocolate peanut butter buckeyes recipe with actual butter as well as milk chocolate instead of dark. I love the luscious texture and rich flavor from the real butter, and I just enjoy milk chocolate WAY more than the bitterness of dark!
But, I’ve adjusted this peanut butter buckeyes recipe by replacing the standard powdered sugar with Truvia® Confectioners! It adds the fluffy texture and sweetness that I crave, but it lowers the calories and sugar in my peanut butter buckeye balls overall. And, most importantly to me, it tastes amazing.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Buckeyes Ingredients
¾ cup peanut butter (or nut butter of choice)
½ cup butter, softened
¼ tsp vanilla extract
2½ cups of Truvia® Confectioners (add more as needed to adjust consistency)
2 cups chocolate chips (milk or dark)
1. In a small mixing bowl, mix up the first three ingredients, including the softened butter, creamy peanut butter, and powdered sugar.
2. Take about a tablespoonful of the peanut butter mixture and begin to roll it between your hands. Shape it into a round ball and place it on a baking sheet lined with wax paper.
3. Continue rolling until all of your peanut butter mixture has been rolled into peanut butter balls.
4. Add toothpicks (for dipping) to each ball.
5. Chill the peanut butter balls in the fridge or freezer for about half an hour.
6. Melt the chocolate according to package directions.
7. Once your chocolate is ready to go, you can remove the peanut butter balls from the freezer, and start dipping right away.
8. As you partially dip each buckeye into the chocolate, using a toothpick or dipping tool, place it back on the wax paper-lined cookie sheet.
9. Chill the chocolate covered peanut butter balls in the fridge or freezer ’til set, probably about 15-20 minutes.
10. Then remove all the toothpicks and cover up the holes with your finger (optional step).
11. Store them in an airtight container or festive Christmas tin (lined with wax paper) in the fridge.
In the video, the creator uses chocolate wafers. You can use chocolate melts or any other quality dark chocolate and melt it in your microwave or in a double broiler.
Peanut Butter Protein Buckeyes A Buckeyes Recipe Packed with Protein! These Vegan Peanut Butter Protein Buckeyes are super easy to make and coated in dairy free dark chocolate. Gluten free with a Paleo and Lower Sugar option. A classic Buckeyes Recipe with a healthy boost! No baking required so make as many as you can, mmm k? I’m going to be completely honest with you. I yet to make a real Buckeye Recipe … Buckeye Ball err… bite… candy? And I mean, that’s kinda shameful since I make a TON OF NO BAKE BITES (aka Healthy Bites)! But you wanna know what’s worse? Even with all the Healthy Bites and Balls I make, I managed to totally butcher these bites by trying to make them look like legit buckeyes. Man, people who make buckeyes got SKILLZ! How do they make the chocolate coating go on so evenly? So I apologize for my imperfections shining, but hey, that’s what good Friday’s are for, right? Honesty and forgiveness? YES! Speaking of GOOD FRIDAY…. segue time. This Vegan Peanut Butter Protein Buckeyes Recipe is brought to you by my GOOD friend Arman. But you all may know him as THE BIG MAN’S WORLD! And ya’ll, I am so thankful to know this dude! He’s super talented, supportive, and just plain awesome! I’m pretty sure our blogging friendship began when we chatted about vegemite, hokey pokey, afghan cookies, and all things FOOD from that my Kiwi Husband adores from New Zealand. Being that Arman is from Australia, he could relate and joke. Love it! Okay total tangent there, you get the gist. I have super talented awesome blogging buddies & friends. Friends that make amazing healthy food and put it in an EPIC cookbook!! Da da da da da... I present to you Arman’s CLEAN SWEETS Cookbook! His Clean Sweet Cookbook is 100% gluten free and packed with d ietary friendly sweet treats! Single serving recipes too. He also includes a Paleo , Vegan and Sugar-Free option for the majority of his recipes. That Arman, he’s so clever. There are 50 NEW recipes in his Clean Sweets Cookbook. Um, that’s 50 different HEALTHY recipes! Including breakfasts, cakes, crumbles, mug cakes, cookies, muffins, no bake recipes, frozen desserts/treats, and small batch snacks like PROTEIN BUCKEYES yo!). I honestly had the hardest time trying to decide what to make first. The Buckeyes recipe stood out to me because it’s a no bake recipe! You know me and no bake snack bites. LOVE THEM! But also, as mentioned above, I had never tried making Buckeyes. That had to change! Arman mentions in his this recipe that he had never tried a buckeye before either. That was until he spent time living in Ohio, obviously! This version of Buckeyes recipe is protein packed, gluten free, vegan, and even has a paleo option. Yes, dietary friendly to boot! Not to mention HOLY MOLY CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER YUM! I actually used a coconut peanut butter in this recipe, which made it even more to my liking. Can’t go wrong with that combo, right? So here we go, let’s get the “ball” rolling on this buckeyes recipe. Haha! Store: Leftover buckeyes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Freeze: Up to 3 months in an airtight container! Eat frozen or let them to come to room temperature before serving. If your peanut butter dough seems too wet or sticky add more powdered sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. If the dough seems too stiff add more peanut butter 1 tablespoon at a time until you can easily form a ball. I love making these buckeyes all year round however if making for christmas I love dipping these in melted white chocolate and decorating them with red and green sprinkles. You could also dip these buckeyes in crushed up candies right after they are dipped in the melted chocolate and are still wet. Here are some of my favorite: Reese’s, Reese’s pieces, crushed oreo’s, chocolate jimmies, mini peanut butter chips. For easiest dipping I recommend placing a toothpick in the peanut butter ball then dipping it in the chocolate. Remove the toothpick and smooth over the hole with your finger. This makes it so much easier to coat the peanut butter ball! To help making the dipping easier I like to make sure the peanut butter filling is very cold and the melted chocolate is warm. Don’t let the melted chocolate sit out for too long or it will harden. How to dip buckeye balls
Before dipping, place your peanut butter balls in the fridge for 1 hour or the freezer for 20 minutes to chill. The key to successfully dipping the balls on a toothpick are COLD buckeye balls.
To dip the balls, stick a toothpick halfway into the peanut butter ball, then lower into the melted chocolate, swirling as needed. Traditional buckeye balls aren’t fully covered in chocolate, but have a peanut butter “eye”. Gently scrap the bottom of the ball on the edge of your container that’s holding the chocolate to remove excess chocolate. Then place the dipped ball on a silicone baking mat. Use a second toothpick resting on top of the ball to help remove the toothpick that’s inserted into the ball.
PEANUT BUTTER BALLS VS BUCKEYES
“Buckeyes” is another common name for these chocolate peanut butter balls.
The main difference is that these peanut butter truffles are completely coated in chocolate, instead of just 3/4 of the way.
The reason buckeye balls are only partially dipped, is so that they resemble the nut of a buckeye tree, the state tree of Ohio. Which is how the chocolate-dipped peanut butter treat got its name.
I’ve adopted that name for several of my peanut butter and chocolate desserts including buckeye brownies, buckeye cookies, and a buckeye dip too.
Regardless of what you call these peanut butter and chocolate treats, they are a MUST make for the holiday season.
Throw them in a cute cellophane Christmas bag and they make easy neighbor gifts too.
Easy Buckeye Candy is simple to make, and is a fun treat for kids and adults alike!
The sacred flavor combo of peanut butter and chocolate is something that I’ve loved since I ate my first snickers bar. I can’t even remember when that was, but it was love at first taste. My first Reese’s peanut butter cups were also a revelation. Those were not common in New Zealand at the time.
But of course I’m not alone. There’s a reason why that flavor combo is a classic. And I love buckeyes so much, I even made a peanut butter and chocolate cheesecake (buckeye brownie cheesecake) for my Secret Layer Cakes cookbook!
This buckeye recipe comes together in minutes. And because it’s such a simple and quick recipe, you’d likely have to resist all temptation to gobble ’em up as you’re making them. Or is that just me? What I also really like about these peanut butter balls is that they have more peanut butter flavor, and are less sweet than other recipes out there.
What is buckeye candy?
If you’re wondering what the hell is buckeye candy… it’s basically a ball of peanut butter fudge that’s partially dipped in chocolate. If they are fully covered in chocolate, then they’d be called peanut butter balls.
So why are they named buckeyes? The candy was named after the Ohio Buckeye tree (Ohio’s state tree). The seeds from this tree resemble a buck’s (deer) eye (kind of), and so does the candy.
Not sure why anyone thought the mental image of eating a deer eye as confection would be fun… but here we are.
How to make buckeye candy
This peanut butter ball recipe is easy! Simply mix the ingredients in a large bowl (except for the chocolate). Mix until you have a smooth mixture like a soft dough.
This mixture might seem a little soft because I use more peanut butter in my recipe than other recipes do, and comparatively less confectioners sugar as well. The reason is simple. I just prefer more peanut butter flavor, and less sweetness.
But if you like your peanut butter balls to be more stiff, you can add more powdered sugar. Or for a healthier option, you can add some ground flaxseed to make the mixture stiffer as well.
You can use a small cookie scoop to portion out the mixture, and then roll into balls. A cookie scoop is not necessary though. It’s pretty easy to roll these babies into 1.5 inch diameter balls by hand.
Once you’ve made the balls, you have two options.
- Insert toothpicks into the tops of the balls and let them set in the fridge for a few hours. This will make it easier to make buckeye balls, with the traditional “iris” at the top.
- Let them chill in the fridge without any toothpicks. These balls can be fully dipped in chocolate to make peanut butter balls.
As you can see in these picture, here I’ve made traditional buckeye candy, using toothpicks.
When the peanut butter balls have been chilled, they are ready to take a dip in a chocolate bath.
Which type of chocolate should I use for dipping?
I used to prefer semisweet chocolate, and that is what I’ve used in these pictures. However, I now prefer to use 70% chocolate (bittersweet chocolate). I love that slight bitterness you get from the chocolate shell, balanced by the sweetness from the peanut butter ball.
But you can use WHATEVER chocolate YOU like to eat! Choose between white chocolate, milk chocolate, semisweet or bittersweet.
Should I temper the chocolate?
Ideally, yes. This is the guide I use to temper chocolate because I love using Callebaut chocolate.
If the chocolate is not tempered, then you may end up with a chocolate coating that has white spots (or fat blooming). It doesn’t affect taste, but it definitely has an impact on texture, and they likely won’t look as tempting either. However, you only need to temper chocolate if you’re using couverture chocolate.
If you use compound chocolate, then you don’t have to worry about tempering.
To melt the chocolate, you need to be careful NOT to introduce any water into the mixture. I prefer to melt the chocolate over a double boiler, and I ALWAYS take the chocolate off heat when 70 – 80% of the chocolate has melted. Then I just stir to melt the rest of the chocolate. This prevents the chocolate from burning as well. With couverture chocolate, I would be checking the temperature of the chocolate too.
If you’re using compound chocolate (like store-bought chocolate chips), you can add a little coconut oil to the mixture to keep the chocolate more fluid (and easier to dip).
Notes to remember about the chocolate
- If you use coconut oil to make the chocolate more fluid, keep in mind that the chocolate coating on the buckeye candy will soften faster at room temperature, so they will likely need to be stored in the fridge.
- The chocolate coating will remain hard at room temperature if you only use chocolate. However, there is a chance that the coating will be thicker.
When you’re dipping the peanut butter balls in the chocolate, make sure to dip them just enough to cover about 75% of the ball. The top of the ball should not be coated, so that it looks like the “iris” of an eye. Disturbing, I know.
Make sure to let the excess chocolate drip down after you dip the balls in the melted chocolate. Then place the dipped peanut butter balls on a parchment paper-lined baking tray (or wax paper). Then return them back to the fridge so that they set completely this might take about 20 minutes, but I like to keep them refrigerated for longer, so that they are completely chilled.
Can I use almond butter instead of peanut butter?
Absolutely! I use all natural creamy peanut butter, so make sure you use all natural creamy almond butter, with no added sugar or salt.
You could even try crunchy peanut butter, but the candy will not be as smooth.
The toothpicks leave holes, how can I fix that?
- Use an offset spatula to smoothen the top. You can warm the tip of the offset spatula to make this process easier.
- Make sure to leave a little of the peanut butter ball mixture. Then use a little bit of this mixture to plug the holes and make them smooth with a spoon or spatula.
How to store buckeyes
If you added coconut oil to the chocolate, these will need to be stored in an air-tight container and kept in the fridge.
They will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Or keep them in the freezer for even longer. They can be kept at room temperature for a couple of days.
This recipe for buckeye candy is a little different in that the peanut butter balls are not as sweet. They also have deep peanut butter flavor, and salt to enhance that flavor even more! Plus these babies are melt-in-your-mouth soft!
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