Happy Thanksgiving! I took these into the office today along with a pumpkin pie to so that my non-American colleagues could finally taste some authentic American classics.
Buckeyes are the nut off of the state tree of Ohio (and mascot of Ohio State University) and this might as well be the official state candy because every good Ohioan knows how to make a mean buckeye. I’m not from Ohio but learned how to make them from my Stepdad’s family in Ohio and I’ve been making them for Thanksgiving potlucks and holiday parties for the past few years.
I’ve always made the traditional buckeye candy recipe but this year decided to try Smitten Kitchen’s because she uses less powdered sugar and adds graham cracker crumbs, which I thought could add some extra texture. Since I am living in Australia and can’t find graham crackers anywhere, I did quite a bit of research (including taste testing with my few remaining imported graham crackers) and discovered that digestive biscuits are almost identical in taste to graham crackers. Win!
My boyfriend’s mom loaned me her #70 scoop that came from Uncle Stan Wigley’s Charters Towers Café in Northern Queensland who used the scoop to make milkshakes in the 1950s.
Buckeye Candy Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Yield: I made 77 with a #70 (1/2-ounce) scoop – and I measured the first few to make sure they were ½ ounce.
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
- 1 cup digestive biscuit crumbs (or graham crackers if you are in the U.S.)
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
- 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks or 5 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 12 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
- Beat the cream cheese and peanut butter together until combined with an electric mixer.
- Add the digestive biscuit (or graham cracker) crumbs and beat for 10 seconds.
- Add the sugar and butter, and mix on the lowest speed, 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.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Scoop out ½ ounce scoop of filling and use your hands to form it into a ball (make sure it is sturdy enough to withstand being poked with a skewer and dipped in chocolate).
- Place the ball on the prepared sheet and repeat the process until all of the candies have been shaped.
- Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before dipping in chocolate (optional but really makes them a lot more sturdy against the skewer and melted chocolate).
- 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 to tepid (about 100 degrees, though I’d go a little cooler next time for a thicker coating).
- 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. Smitten Kitchen recommends sticking the skewer in the side, angling the bowl towards it and making sure it is submerged as you roll the candy around.
- Chill the buckeyes until they are set, about 30 minutes.
Do ahead: Buckeyes will keep in the fridge for up to a week, or I’ve had highly restrained friends keep a stash in their freezer for a year!