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.
4. 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!
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Here it is. The best buckeyes recipe.
1 cup butter
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, put the butter and peanut butter in a large glass bowl. Microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds, and stir together. Continue microwaving in 30 second intervals until the butter and peanut butter mixture are completely combined.
Next, stir in the powdered sugar. Start by adding 3 cups of powdered sugar and stir with a wooden spoon.
Add the next cup and mix the powdered sugar in well with your hands. Once you have added 4 cups of powdered sugar, 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! If your dough is still sticky, add a bit more powdered sugar until your dough is easy to roll.
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 over medium heat.
Yes, the paraffin is important so don’t skip it. If you don’t know where to find paraffin in your local stores, here is the kind I use. It may sound odd but trust me on this. 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. A double boiler can be as simple as another metal pot. placed over a bot with boiling water. Or, you can buy a double boiler to use with any of the pots you already have at home.
To use a double boiler, add an inch or two of water to your pot. Put the double boiler over the pot. Add the chocolate chips and paraffin to the top part of the metal boiler. You want the temperature to be hot enough to boil the water below to melt your chocolate. When your chocolate is melted, turn the heat to low.
If your water evaporates (because the dipping is taking you awhile), be sure to add more water to the bottom pot so your chocolate stays melted.
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 ounce jar of peanut butter – before jars started shrinking. If you do use an 18 ounce 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. As I mentioned above, if your jar of peanut butter is larger, you will need a little 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. Trust me on this one, too. I use Nestle and generic chips for everything else. But for my buckeyes? Ghiradelli’s chips really are worth the extra expense. In fact, I have discovered that I can get several bags of Ghiradelli’s chips at once on Amazon for cheaper than in the grocery store! This is what I do now.
You can find paraffin in the canning aisle. A box of Gulf Wax (brand name) sells for around $5 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 are really, really, really concerned about using paraffin, some people have tried using candy melts like these and report good success. Your chocolate might not adhere the same and will not have the same shine, but it is an option for you to try, if you prefer.
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 of a double boiler, 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!
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.
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!
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?
Looking for more delicious chocolate desserts?
Be sure to check out this recipe for buckeye cake. It tastes just like buckeyes – in cake form!
This easy homemade chocolate frosting is my go to frosting. Once you taste it, I promise you will never go back to store bought icing again! It’s that good.
These chocolate chip shortbread cookies are one of my favorite cookies. They are a fun twist on traditional shortbread, taste amazing, and freeze great.