The following “Chew This!” column originally appeared in “The Courier-Times” and / or “The Shelbyville News”. Check their websites for further information and dates.
My New Favorite Buckeye Recipe
Every so often, I develop a recipe that I absolutely love and then find myself re-developing that recipe and creating an even better version. Now, it does not happen very often, because before I share a recipe with anyone, either on my website or here in my column, I make sure the recipe is 100% perfected and tested over and over until perfection. Take for instance my buckeye recipe. You can find it on my website, listed under buckeye candy, and it was one of the very first recipes that I shared with everyone. As time went on and my experimentation sense kicked in, I found myself adding a little more butter, a little less powdered sugar and more vanilla. Eventually I found myself using this new “improved” recipe more than my original, so I thought it was time that I shared it with everyone. Some of my taste testers still love my original recipe, which is perfectly fine, but others prefer the newer version because of the flavor profiles.
When you are making buckeyes, the more peanut butter you add, you would think the more flavor but no. The more peanut butter you add, the drier the candy will be in the end. It is really a delicate balance between the butter, peanut butter and powdered sugar. I have found that adding a little more butter, keeps the candy really moist and flavorful. I also prefer using smooth peanut butter, not crunchy, for a smoother eating experience. I will, sometimes, use crunchy peanut butter, add a little more melted butter and even add in some crispy rice cereal, followed by dipping the balls in chocolate almond bark but that is a whole other recipe! Ha! To really take these over the top, you could always place them on top of chocolate and peanut butter cupcakes for one of the most delicious cupcake decorations you will find! I use semi-sweet chocolate chips but feel free to substitute milk chocolate or even white chocolate.
These can be made ahead, chilled and then brought to room temperature. After being brought to room temperature, they can be stored at room temperature, covered, for up to 3 days.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon solid vegetable shortening
Start by combining the melted unsalted butter with the powdered sugar, smooth peanut butter, pure vanilla extract and salt in a large bowl. Be sure to combine well.
Roll into small tablespoon size balls and place onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Place a toothpick into the center of each ball. Place into the freezer for 15 minutes.
In a large microwave safe bowl place the semi-sweet chocolate chips and solid vegetable shortening. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until smooth.
Remove the balls from the freezer and carefully dip each one into the chocolate mixture, leaving a small circle around the top. Place back onto the parchment lined baking sheet.
Place into freezer for 10 minutes.
Remove balls from freezer and remove toothpick from each ball. Carefully cover the hole up by lightly scrapping the hole on top with a knife before serving and enjoying!
Ask and Answer: I have been getting questions about salt lately and what types I use the most. For just about everything, I use Diamond Brand Kosher salt. This is the best salt for all of your cooking and baking needs. I also really like French sea salt and pink Himalayan salt. Do your research, online and in taste testings, to determine which salts you like best for what foods.