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Chocolate Peanut Butter Buckeye Candy

Chocolate peanut butter ball bliss.

The best dark chocolate peanut butter buckeyes recipe. Easy, tasty, and fun to make, buckeye candies are a no-bake treat everyone will love.

chocolate peanut butter buckeye balls recipe

What Are Chocolate Peanut Butter Buckeye Candy Made Of?

My favorite candy — and candy, generally — is the Reese’s Cup. (I am not alone in this opinion. See this Halloween candy ranking from New York Magazine; it’s worth the read.)

So it is no surprise that I absolutely love, love, love buckeyes candy. These easy chocolate peanut butter balls of goodness are a no-bake dessert that looks great and tastes even better, with a soft, sweet peanut butter and brown sugar center with a hint of salt, enrobed in pure dark chocolate. Get the recipe.

You’ll also like: How to Hack Brownie Mix and The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

ingredients for buckeye balls candy recipe

Who invented the buckeye candy recipe?

According to buckeye candy legend, the chocolate peanut butter buckeyes recipe was created in the mid-1900s by Gail Tabor. According to Tabor, she invented the recipe and gave the peanut butter balls away to friends around the holidays. Tabor also made them for Ohio State-Michigan football games, to much acclaim. The recipe eventually got out, and now we can all enjoy these tasty treats.

Are buckeyes an Ohio thing? Yes, and more.

Buckeyes are the official desserts of Ohio, designed and named after Ohio’s state tree: You guessed it, the buckeye. The buckeye tree and its nuts are toxic. Luckily, this lookalike dessert is most decidedly not (barring a peanut allergy).

how to make buckeyes candy dipped in chocolate

What do buckeye balls taste like?

I think of buckeyes as having the flavor of the very best of peanut butter blossom cookie dough and Reese’s Cups, all rolled together.

To make buckeyes a little more elevated than a simple candy, I coat mine in a good quality dark chocolate, such as Valrhona, and garnish with flaky sea salt to put them over the top.

picture of buckeye nuts from Ohio buckeye tree
Buckeye nuts from an Ohio buckeye tree. (See the resemblance?) / Photo by Kathy Smith, SENR, CFAES

This Easy Buckeye Recipe: Notes

Buckeye balls do not have many ingredients. Mixing the peanut butter dough is simple, but you do want to get a couple of techniques right for best results.

Here are some essential tips for this buckeye recipe:

  • Chill the peanut butter dough thoroughly. They will be much easier to skewer, and will hold their shape when you dip them.
  • Use good-quality baking chocolate, not standard chocolate chips, which contain emulsifiers
  • Skewer the top of the peanut butter balls and roll them in chocolate. It will leave a hole in the top, but you can smooth it back over with your finger.
  • After dipping the peanut butter buckeyes in chocolate, drain them on a cooling rack instead of on a baking sheet. A rack allows excess chocolate to drip through. If you put the chocolate-dipped buckeye balls on a baking sheet, they will form little pools of chocolate, which will result in “feet” instead of a clean-looking chocolate ball.
chocolate pb easy buckeye balls recipe
Buckeyes, all dressed up as homemade holiday candy.

What Chocolate to Use for This Buckeye Candy Recipe

I use Valhrona dark chocolate, though any good-quality dark chocolate will do. Do not use melted chocolate chips, which will not set up with the same high-quality hard outer shell.

Want to really do it right? Temper the chocolate. Here’s my article from Food52 on how to temper chocolate in the microwave. It’s easy, and you will get a smooth dark chocolate coating with real snap.

How long to buckeyes last?

Buckeye candies will keep for several days at cool room temperature in an airtight container. Don’t keep buckeyes in the fridge. The humidity and cold could cause the chocolate to fall out of temper and become sticky and discolored.

chocolate peanut butter buckeye candy balls recipe

Love Chocolate Peanut Butter Buckeyes? You will also like:

wooden dish with chocolate peanut butter balls buckeyes

Easy Dark Chocolate Buckeyes Candy

The best buckeye candy recipe, period. These chocolate peanut butter buckeye balls are like homemade Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, but better with dark chocolate and sea salt.
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
Cooling Time1 hour
Course: candy, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keywords:: buckeyes, buckeyes candy recipe, candy, chocolate, chocolate peanut butter buckeye balls, dessert, easy, football food, no-bake, peanut butter
Servings: 16 to 20 balls (depending on size)
Print

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon peanut butter (not natural)
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 ounces (a little less will do) dark chocolate, chopped. Do not use chocolate chips.
  • flaky sea salt, to garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • Mix the powdered sugar, peanut butter, melted butter, vanilla, and salt until combined. I use my electric mixer with the paddle attachment, starting on low until crumbles form, then on medium until the mixture becomes more cohesive.
  • Scoop the peanut butter mixture into balls. Chill fully, covered, for about 1 hour, or overnight.
  • Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave in 30-second increments.
    PRO TIP #1: Do not get any water in your chocolate. Water is chocolate kryptonite and will make the chocolate seize up.
    PRO TIP #2: If using the microwave, melt the chocolate in 30-second increments until it is about halfway melted, then at 10-second increments, stirring, until fully melted. Chocolate can burn, so err on the side of checking and stirring often.
  • Skewer the peanut butter balls and dip in the chocolate to coat 3/4 high. Place on a cooling rack. If desired, sprinkle the chocolate with a touch of flaky sea salt before it sets up.
  • Serve chilled or at room temperature. Will keep, covered, for several days.

Notes

Buckeye candies are such a fun no-bake dessert project. They're great for homemade Halloween treats, and are a lovely edible gift or treat at the holidays, too. 
Buckeyes will keep for several days at cool room temperature, in an airtight container.

6 comments

  • Julie Shields

    4 stars
    My filliing was way too dry, so I added peanut butter. The chocolates stuck to the cooling rack. I think parchment paper or wax paper would be better, even though the buckeyes will have flat bottoms. I found it tricky to keep the chocolate at the proper temp while dipping. The first half of my batch was tempered; the rest I had to store in the freezer.

  • Christmas BUCKEYE p’nut butter

  • Stephanie

    How do you keep the bottoms from gluing to the rack as they drip dry, and not have them rip off?

    • Unpeeled

      Really good question. This is a little bit inevitable, unfortunately, but I find that scraping the excess chocolate from the bottom before putting them on the rack helps eliminate the problem to some degree.

  • 5 stars
    OMG these are so addictive! They really do taste like Reeses cups but better.

  • 5 stars
    I love buckeyes so much, and first ate them in Ohio at an in-law’s house. This recipe is wonderful with the dark chocolate. I do think that the quality of chocolate matters.

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