CHEW THIS! Chocolate Buckeye Cupcakes

Chocolate Buckeye Cupcakes 

Buckeye Chocolate Cupcakes.JPG

The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, March 3rd 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Simply Scrumptious Cupcakes!
Blaise Doubman

I love developing recipes by combining two or more recipes to create one big fabulous recipe! That is exactly where this recipe came from. I took my recipe for chocolate cupcakes, developed a recipe for a smooth peanut butter frosting and combined it with my buckeye candy recipe for garnish and a new and exciting recipe was born! People go crazy when I make these! I have made these more times than I can count and every time I do, they never last more than 15 minutes. People who really know me, know that I cannot decorate a cupcake for anything! I have tried and tried, took a class, checked YouTube channels and just cannot do it! Decorating must not be in my DNA, but I have tried. I have even used fondant, disaster! So, when it comes to decorating, glitter and confetti are my best friends. Ha! Seriously though, I have worked my way around my “non-decorating” skills by trying to be clever about the situation. How?

Well for example, when making strawberry cupcakes, I simply place a huge strawberry on top of each. Malted milk ball cupcakes? I throw on some malted milk ball candy. Whatever is in the cupcake, or in the flavors, I place whatever that might be on top and guess what? People love it and it looks fabulous! I have done this method with Sour Patch Kid cupcakes, raspberry cupcakes and Red Velvet Oreo cupcakes. It is the same method with these cupcakes! Make the cupcakes, frost them and then top each with a big buckeye candy! How fabulous is that!? These must be one of my favorite cupcakes and I really think they will become your new favorites as well! These are perfect for parties, reunions, buffets and more! Whip up a batch today!

Buckeye Chocolate Cupcakes

These are best made and eaten the day they are baked. The buckeye candy, if any leftover, can be kept covered at room temperature for up to 4 days. This recipe is best if smooth peanut butter is used throughout.

For the cupcakes…
1 Devil’s Food Cake Mix
1 cup mayonniase
1 cup water
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules

For the frosting…
¾ cup confectioner’s sugar
¾ cup peanut butter
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup heavy cream

For the buckeyes…
2 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
1 cup peanut butter
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons solid vegetable shortening

Start by making the cupcakes. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line 2, 12-cup capacity cupcake molds with cupcake paper liners.

In a large bowl whisk together the cake mix, mayonniase, water, large eggs and instant coffee granules until smooth and combined. The batter will be shiny and bubbly.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake in preheated oven, 23 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool. While cooling, make the frosting. In a large bowl combine the confectioner’s sugar, peanut butter, soft unsalted butter, pure vanilla extract and salt until combined. This is best done using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Once combined, add in the heavy cream and mix only until smooth and combined. Do not over mix.

Frost the cooled cupcakes with the frosting and set aside at room temperature.

Next, make the buckeyes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl combine the confectioner’s sugar, peanut butter, melted unsalted butter, pure vanilla extract and salt. Combine until the mixture is smooth and combine. Roll the mixture into larger size teaspoon sized balls and place onto prepared baking sheet. Place a toothpick into each. Place in freezer for 30 minutes. In a large bowl melt together the semi-sweet chocolate chips with the solid vegetable shortening until smooth and glossy. Remove frozen peanut butter balls from freezer, dip the balls into the melted chocolate, leaving a little space on top, uncovered. Place dipped balls back onto parchment lined baking sheet. Place back into the freezer for 15 minutes. Remove and remove toothpicks from each. Using a knife gently scrap the holes closed on top of each buckeye candy.

Place a buckeye candy on top of each cupcake, pressing down gently. Serve immediately.

Ask and Answer: I have been getting a lot of questions about the new Kennard Senior Living facility in Kennard, located where the old Kennard Elementary School was located. Their “Olde School Café” is officially opened 8am-2pm Monday through Thursday for breakfast and lunch specials. Their pizza shop, located in the same area, is opened from 5pm-9pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday. My “Blaise the Baker” baked goods are baked fresh and available for purchase on the weekends in joint operation with their pizza shop! Please stop by and give everything a try! Call ahead your order by calling 765-781-CAFÉ (2233). Hope to see you all there!

Buckeye Candy

Originally published on “Blaise the Baker” February 6th, 2014

The other day I ventured into the land of candy making – which I thoroughly enjoyed. Even sent a couple of text messages signing myself off as “Candyman”. Ha!

I had been promising myself I would make this confection since last October and decided that today would be the day. I started off (as I usually do before making anything) researching my recipe collection and by talking with my Grandma Barbra. I had made buckeye candy one time and used a Paula Deen recipe from her “Southern Bible” – but it did not work out. The butter measurement in that recipe needs to be checked – it can not be right. It didn’t call for enough butter. I know…shocked since it was a Paula Deen recipe, but the results of that batch were very dry and crumbly.

I passed on Paula’s recipe and used one that my Grandma suggested from an old Kennard Friend’s Church cookbook – I believe the date of the book was around the 1960’s? The recipe looked simple enough – but called for paraffin wax. My Grandma explained to me (from her years working at Good’s Candies in Kennard and their refusal to use wax in their candies) that I could omit this – so I did.

The results were fantastic! Now – I did manage (as I sometimes do) to change the recipe a little, so the following is “my” recipe adapted from the original. I also made the buckeye candy about a size smaller than a golf ball – I tend to make my cupcakes, cookies, etc. on the LARGER side…and these were no exception.

They are a RICH dessert – so eat wisely!

Homemade Buckeye Candy

1 18oz. jar of Reese’s Creamy Peanut Butter
2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter
5 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 12oz. bags of chocolate chips
Parchment paper
Toothpicks

Line a baking sheet (13 X 9) with parchment paper. In a medium sized bowl (microwave safe) unwrap and melt 2 sticks of butter. Don’t melt them completely down – but take them well past the “softened” stage. Allow to cool for about a minute. Then to the melted butter, add the whole 18oz. jar of Reese’s Creamy Peanut Butter. Stir well to combine both.

NOTE on peanut butter – I used Reese’s brand. Any brand would work here. I also used creamy peanut butter. I have heard of people making buckeye candy with crunchy – but I can not say that I am one of those people that would like it.

After you have combined the butter and peanut butter – measure out 1 cup of the confectioner’s sugar and add to the butter and peanut butter mixture. Slowly combine. Do this until all 5 cups are used. The mixture will turn stiff and hard to stir. This is when you may want to use your hands. After about the 3rd cup addition, I started mixing with my hands and continued to do so for the other two cups. Add the 1 tablespoon of vanilla and mix until thoroughly combined.

Next is to start making the balls. Roll them in whatever size you desire – although I recommend the smaller the better. About the size of a real life buckeye (which of course is where this recipe got it’s name – from the Ohio State Buckeye). I rolled mine into a larger ball, and although the results were delicious – some people can not pack such a rich punch all at once. So it really depends on who you are making these for.

Line the balls on the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Have them fairly close to each other – but not touching. Once you have all the balls rolled and lined on the baking sheet, next is the toothpicks. Insert a toothpick into the top of each ball – pushing most of the way through.

Once the toothpicks are all inserted, put the baking sheet into the freezer (deep freeze) for at least 45 minutes.

Once 45 minutes is up – melt the 2 12oz. bags of chocolate chips in a medium sized bowl (microwave safe) for 3 minutes, in 30 second intervals. Make sure you stir the chocolate between each trip into the microwave.

Now, there is a trick for the perfect buckeye candy. Make sure the buckeye candy is really cold (hence the reason they are in the freezer) and make sure the chocolate is really warm. You will need to try and work fast here.

Take the buckeyes from the freezer, and one by one (holding onto them by their toothpick) dip them into the warm chocolate – and then return the candy to the parchment lined baking sheet. Do this one at a time until all the buckeye candy is coated with the chocolate. Leave the top of the candy chocolate free – to make sure it does look like the traditional “buckeye” candy.

Once the dipping process is complete, remove the toothpicks from each buckeye candy. Return the baking sheet to the freezer (deep freeze) for about 30 minutes. After the time is up, take them out and enjoy!

Some people like eating these a little frozen, some people refrigerate them, or some people like them room temperature. I like to eat them in all varieties of the above – but the batch I made this time, I will be leaving room temperature.

Enjoy!

Note: Since this recipe was published I have developed an even BETTER recipe for buckeye candy that can be found in my cookbook, “Blaise the Baker Dessert First”.