The Best Buckeye Recipe

I’ve written about our homemade buckeyes before. How can I not? Of all the chocolate sweets that I love, buckeyes are the one I love the most. I’ve seen a lot of buckeye recipes around, but this truly is the best buckeye recipe. I promise! None of the others (even ones sold in stores) look quite as nice as these, nor do they taste as good.

My homemade buckeye love and expertise is due to several reasons.

1. Our family has a tradition of making these buckeyes. We’d gather around the table together, rolling buckeye balls, talking, laughing and sneaking dough as we did so. Growing up, my family would easily make 600 or 700 every Christmas. I currently make a more moderate number of around 400.

2. The Barz family is known for their perfect buckeyes. Yes, they taste as good as they look. We’re a little particular about it, if truth be told. We have a reputation to uphold! I’ve seen a lot of buckeyes sold in candy stores or other recipes online and they never look as good as the homemade buckeyes we make! That is how I know this is the best buckeye recipe. Well, that and everyone raves about them. See below.

3. Buckeyes taste incredible. They are the absolute perfect proportions of smooth peanut butter and dark chocolate. Even Reese can’t compare to a delicious buckeye. I give these to countless teachers and friends every year, and they are always loved.

Buckeyes are actually a simple recipe to make. It is a little time consuming – due to the individual dipping of each ball – but it is worth it. Are you ready? I’m going to tell you all our secrets so you, too, can make the best buckeyes you’ve ever tasted!

Here it is. The best buckeyes recipe.

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read more in my disclosure policy. 

Buckeye Ingredients:

1 cup butter, melted
1 jar (15 ounces) smooth peanut butter
4.5 – 5 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet Ghiradelli chocolate chips
1/3 bar paraffin

How to Make Buckeyes:

First, stir together the melted butter and peanut butter in a large glass bowl.

Next, stir in the powdered sugar. Once you have added 4 cups, add the last bit of powdered sugar slowly, a quarter of a cup at a time. You don’t want your dough to be too sticky or too dry. It will probably take between 4.5 and 5 cups. Use your hands to get the powdered sugar completely mixed in!

Roll the dough into balls. The buckeye balls should be quarter size or smaller. Place the peanut butter balls on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Chill in the refrigerator for one hour, or until they are firm enough to hold a toothpick.

While the buckeyes are in the refrigerator, melt 1 1/2 cups Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips with 1/3 bar paraffin in a double broiler. Yes, the paraffin is important so don’t skip it. That’s our secret for getting our buckeyes so smooth and shiny. You can’t taste the wax but you will see the difference. It’s also important to use a double boiler so that water does not touch your chocolate.

When the chocolate is melted and the buckeyes are firm to the touch, it’s time to dip the buckeyes. Put a wooden toothpick in the middle of a buckeye. Gentle lower your buckeye into the chocolate and rotate so the buckeye is covered with a small hole remaining around the toothpick.

Lift the buckeye carefully out of the chocolate. Allow the excess chocolate to drip into the pan. Then, place the buckeye on a plate covered with wax paper. Remove the toothpick and repeat. Again and again.

My Uncle Phil (who also makes a lot of buckeyes with this same recipe) recommends sticking toothpicks in all your buckeyes at once, rather than transferring toothpicks. He sticks toothpicks in all his chilled peanut butter balls, then dips them all, then removes the toothpicks. Either way works!

One batch makes around 80 buckeyes. Store your buckeyes in the refrigerator or freezer.

Additional Buckeye Making Tips:

Buckeyes can be made with margarine or butter. I used to make them with margarine (name brand Imperial is the best) but now use butter. Occasionally margarine leaves moisture on the top of your buckeyes, so I really recommend using butter.

Check the size of jar of peanut butter you are using. The original recipe called for 18 oz of peanut butter…before jars started shrinking. If you do use an 18 oz jar of peanut butter (the Aldi generic brand is still this size and works great), simply add a bit more powdered sugar. 

The amount of powdered sugar used will vary. I use around 4 to 5 cups. Add a cup of powdered sugar at a time and mix in. When you get to 4 cups, add in a quarter cup at a time until the dough is easy to roll without sticking. Then you know you don’t need any more powdered sugar.

You can roll your buckeyes one day, and store them in the fridge until you are ready to dip. I usually roll a batch one day and dip the next, so they are nice and firm when dipping. Plus, it breaks up the process a bit more.

Don’t skimp on your chocolate! I now only use Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips (rather than Nestle’s) for my buckeyes because they melt the smoothest.

You can find paraffin in the canning aisle. A box of Gulf Wax (brand name) sells for around $3 a box. Each box has 4 bars and since only a 1/3 of the bar is used for each batch, one box will last you for several years. If you can’t find it in your grocery store, you can order a box of Gulf Wax from Amazon here.

If you don’t have a double boiler, use a metal bowl place inside a pan on your stove. Put an inch or two of water in the pan, and place the metal bowl inside. The snugger the fit, the better. When the water boils, your chocolate will melt effortlessly inside the metal bowl. I did these for 7 years until I finally bought a double boiler insert last year. My double boiler insert is similar to this one and just sits over a regular pan. I love it!

Buckeye FAQ:

Do buckeyes need to be refrigerated?

Yes! They can be left on the counter for several hours for serving at a party, but otherwise, store them in the fridge. Leaving them on the counter will cause the chocolate to separate from the peanut butter ball.

Can you freeze buckeyes?

Absolutely! Buckeyes freeze great! This is really helpful because buckeyes do take awhile to make. You can get a head start on your buckeye making and store them in the freezer until you are ready to serve. Take buckeyes straight from the fridge to the freezer. I like to freeze them in metal tins with tight sealing lids. Place a layer of waxed paper in between each row of buckeyes, so you can stack your buckeyes several layers deep without smudging the chocolate. Put them back in the fridge the night before you are ready to serve…although they can be eaten straight from the freezer in a pinch!

How long do buckeyes last in the freezer?

Buckeyes will easily last 3 to 6 months in the freezer if they are frozen in a tightly sealed container. They will probably last longer if you can keep yourself from eating them all before then!

Like I said earlier, this really is the best buckeye recipe. These buckeyes are absolutely delicious and well worth the time it takes to make. Your buckeyes may not turn out as perfectly as mine the first time you make them, but remember that I have made thousands of buckeyes already. Everyone has to start their buckeye making somewhere!

Once you’ve made them, let me what you think. Don’t you think it really is the best buckeye recipe?

Oh, and if you like buckeyes? Be sure to check out this recipe for buckeye cake. It’s also amazing!

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Best Buckeye Recipe

This simple recipe for homemade buckeyes is the perfect combination of chocolate and peanut butter. Buckeyes are sure to become a often requested family favorite!

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 jar (15 ounces) smooth peanut butter
  • 4.5 – 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet Ghiradelli chocolate chips
  • 1/3 bar paraffin

Instructions

  1. First, stir together the melted butter and peanut butter.
  2. Stir in the powdered sugar. Gradually add powdered sugar until mixture is not sticky. Mix until smooth, using your hands.
  3. Roll the dough into balls. The buckeye balls should be quarter size or smaller. Place the peanut butter balls on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Chill in the refrigerator for one hour, or until they are firm enough to hold a toothpick.
  4. While the buckeyes are in the refrigerator, melt 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips with 1/3 bar paraffin in a double broiler.
  5. When the chocolate is melted and the buckeyes hardened, it’s time to dip the buckeyes. Put a wooden toothpick in the middle of a buckeye. Gentle lower into the chocolate and rotate so the buckeye is covered with a small hole remaining around the toothpick.
  6. Lift the buckeye carefully out of the chocolate. Allow the excess chocolate to drip into the pan. Place the buckeye on a plate covered with wax paper. Remove the toothpick and repeat.
  7. One batch makes around 80 buckeyes. Store your buckeyes in the refrigerator or freezer.

Notes

  • Check the size of jar of peanut butter you are using. The original recipe called for 18 oz of peanut butter, before jars started shrinking. If you do use an 18 oz jar of peanut butter (the Aldi generic brand is still this size and works great), simply add a bit more powdered sugar. 
  • The amount of powdered sugar used will vary. I use around 4 to 5 cups. Add a cup of powdered sugar at a time and mix in. When you get to 4 cups, add in a quarter cup at a time until the dough is easy to roll without sticking. Then you know you don’t need any more powdered sugar.
  • Buckeyes freeze great! Simply layer waxed paper between the layers and store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 buckeye
  • Calories: 102
  • Sugar: 9.5g
  • Sodium: 41mg
  • Fat: 6.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.8g
  • Carbohydrates: 10.8g
  • Fiber: 0.3g
  • Protein: 1.6g
  • Cholesterol: 6mg

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25 Comments

  1. A Christmas tradition for me to make. They are so good if you like peanut butter and chocolate. I have made thousands of them over the years to give as gifts to teachers and friends. They are different than a traditional cookie and are always well received. It takes some patience and a little practice, but anyone can master the skill of this perfect buckeye recipe. They freeze well, so you can make them in advance.

  2. This is the perfect buckeye recipe! Always a Christmas favorite! They take some time to make, but the recipe itself is easy.

  3. Yummy!
    Your recipe is the best!
    Have you ever tried making the choc dip without the paraffin – having a hard time getting it these days.

    1. I’m so glad you like it, Callie! I have tried making buckeyes without paraffin, and it works…but the chocolate doesn’t dip quite as smoothly, and it doesn’t have the same shine on it. You can also try a tablespoon of shortening to help thin the chocolate a bit, if you can’t find paraffin. I know this is what some other buckeye recipes recommend. And thanks for the heads up! I will add paraffin to my shopping list to make sure I can find some before buckeye season is here!

  4. My first job was at a popcorn shop and I made these along with some other sweets and I love how easy and delicious they are! I can’t wait to try it with the paraffin!

  5. The Barz family Buckeyes have and will always be one of my favorite desserts. No holiday season or potluck is complete without them!

  6. Where I grew up in Ohio, every 5th grader learned to make this version of the beloved state nut. This has been my recipe since 1976 & it never fails. People give a strange look when I tell them about the parafin!

  7. Ooh! I love buckeyes! My grandmother used a similar recipe and used to make hundreds of them! I think I used to eat hundreds of them, too! Thanks for the memories. . . and the recipe! Happy Holidays!

  8. Hi! I made these last year for the OSU championship game & they were a hit! Quick question – have you ever had success in freezing the finished buckeyes? If not, what do you think the shelf life is (not frozen) after making them? Thanks!

    1. I’m so glad to hear the buckeyes were a hit! And yes, I make and freeze these all the time! They freeze great! It will save you a lot of time, making and freezing them ahead of time. I’m glad to hear of someone who else enjoying our buckeye recipe!

    2. These freeze beautifully. Here are some helpful tips I got from other websites.
      Freeze in single layers in a Tupperware container with a tight fitting lid, with layers of wax paper between. Be sure to thaw them in the fridge for several hours, so that your chocolate doesn’t marbleize.
      I actually just keep these in the fridge after thawing, and then when you go to serve them at holidays, they warm up a little while they are sitting out on the table. I have not had a problem with them getting too warm and melty, in part, I think, to the gulf wax. They stay glossy and pretty. 
      I so love this recipe, and I have to tell you, they are my very favorite holiday treat to make. To the lady who commented below about feeling stressed out about holidays, I hear you. Sometimes it gets so bad, I just want them to be over. Especially when some of your treats turn out horribly lol. Buckeyes are my calm time, I think, in part, because of the story Kristen shared with us. Feels like you’re a small part of their tradition 🙂 Not to mention these are super easy and are always a hit 🙂
      thanks so much for sharing your secret family recipe!

      1. Thanks, Brit! They are super easy and always loved! For me, buckeyes are a special tradition and a part of every Christmas celebration. I’m glad to hear you enjoy making and sharing them, too! And yes, you described perfectly just how I freeze, thaw and serve them! 🙂 Happy buckeye making!

  9. Thanks for the easy, detailed recipe! My first time making these and it was so easy. Love the small, manageable batch size–definitely gonna have to make a few more!!

    1. You’re welcome, Stella! I’m so glad you found the recipe helpful – and delicious! It’s one of our favorites, and I always make several batches every Christmas too! 🙂

  10. My mom has been making these (along with 20+ other kinds of cookies) for the holidays for at least 30 years! She has to hide them on us so she has enough left to make trays of cookies for family and friends. They are SO delicious! Always the first to be eaten!

    1. These are always the first ones to be eaten at my parties, too! I have to hide some in the freezer for the same reason. 🙂 I hope your family enjoys your buckeyes this holiday season, again!

  11. I have to tell you, I make Buckeyes every year and this year I changed to YOUR family receipe. Weare originally from Ohio but now live in South Carolina. So it’s a definite tradition.
    I not only finally got them to roll perfect but the chocolate w the parfin was perfect! I did use Nestles. And Peter Pan peanut butter. Yum! They taste creamy and delicious.
    My boys and all their friends ask for them every year. This year I won’t even have to make any excuses like the crumbly/ lumpy messes I’ve given them in the past. Lol. I did use real butter though and melting first was a huge key! Thank you and Merry Christmas !
    OH-IO! Go Buckeyes! Cathy

    1. Oh, Cathy, I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed making my buckeye recipe! I’m so glad to hear that you’ve found a winner with this one. I hope you and your family continue to enjoy making (and eating) these buckeyes for years to come!

  12. Coming from the Buckeye state, these were a staple of holiday cheer. Kristen, can I make the buckeye dough one day and dip the next?

    1. I taught in Ohio for 5 years, so the Buckeyes are clearly a treasured treat there! 🙂 Yes, Amy, you can certainly roll the balls one day and dip the next. I often do that, because it makes them firmer for dipping. In fact, I’m planning to roll another batch tonight, and dip them tomorrow. Enjoy your Buckeyes!

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