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Buckeyes

This post comes with a shout out to my sister-in-law Becky, who lives entirely too far away — in Ohio.  Man, we miss her.

She got married this past summer to and Ohio State grad, which means she too is now a Buckeye.  It’s funny how all of us now are just a little more tuned into Buckeye life: sports scores, events and even controversy (um, hello Tresselmania).  While most of us in the family still claim to bleed blue, I think we like that Becky and Terry have made us fans of another university as well.  Although I don’t think all of us will be carrying a real buckeye around in our pocket like a certain someone sometimes does. 🙂

We attended the annual family Christmas party over the weekend, so I made Buckeyes for the occasion.  I mean, if part of our family can’t be there, they should at least be represented, right?  Even if it is only in dessert.

I’ve wanted to make this recipe for a while.  It comes from the second cookbook from those genius bakers at Baked in New York City.  Heaven help me the next time I get to New York.  I’ve got a list of bakeries to visit that is far too long.  And Baked is at the top.

If you look at other recipes for Buckeyes, they typically call for twice the amount of sugar that this one does.  This recipe also includes crushed graham crackers, which deviates from the ‘traditional’ one.  But you know what?  The result is phenomenal.

Not just delicious.  Like over the top awesomeness.  It’s such a good blend of peanut butter and chocolate.

I struggle when it comes to dipping things in chocolate, so after reading a few tips from different bloggers I inserted toothpicks into each peanut butter ball and put the tray in the fridge.  After about 20 minutes the peanut butter balls were dipped in chocolate and the toothpick was removed.  Once the chocolate hardened I just barely got my fingertip wet and rubbed it on the spot where the toothpick had created a hole.  Voila!  The hole was gone.

I’m leaving all of that out of the printable recipe, because you’re probably a lot more skilled at dipping than me.  But, if not, this is a pretty foolproof method.  Think ‘dipping for dummies.’

Buckeyes
Slightly adapted from Baked Explorations

1/4 cup (2 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
12 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72%), coarsely chopped

Make the filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter together until combined. Add the graham cracker crumbs and beat for 10 seconds. Add the sugar, vanilla  and butter, and mix on the lowest speed until it stops floating off everywhere, then increase the speed until the ingredients are combined. Scrape down the whole bowl well, then mix again. The mixture will be quite sturdy and a little dry — perfect for shaping. Set it aside while you prepare the coating.

Make the coating: Melt the chocolate either over a double boiler, stirring until it is completely smooth or in a microwave in 30 then 10 second increments, stirring before you start it again until it is completely smooth. Let it cool a bit while you shape the peanut butter centers.

Assemble the candies: Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Scoop out slightly more than one tablespoon’s worth of filling (I used my smallest cookie dough scoop). Use your hands to form it into a ball. Place the ball on the prepared sheet and repeat the process until all of the candies have been shaped. They can sit close to each other but make sure they are not touching.

Using a fork or large skewer, dip each ball into the chocolate and roll it about so that almost the entire candy is coating, leaving a small circle uncoated.

Chill the buckeyes until they are set, about 30 minutes.

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