Baked Explorations: Buckeyes

Being married to a native of Ohio, I had heard of Buckeyes before. I had eaten them in their natural habitat and even made them. They are meant to resemble the nuts of the buckeye tree and, trust me, they do. I don’t know how old they are but I suspect they pre-date Reese’s cups and perhaps inspired them in their ingenious pairing of peanut butter and chocolate.  Lacking the will to do an exhaustive search of Buckeye history, let’s just say the two are related in some way.

The Baked version of these candies is straightforward and delicious. I like that ground up graham crackers and cream cheese are added to the traditional peanut butter and confectioner’s sugar that usually forms the center. They cut the sweetness just a bit but add tanginess and make for a more interesting texture. Although the recipe calls for melting the chocolate over a double boiler, I cheated and microwaved it and it worked fine.

Candy making really doesn’t get much easier than this.  After combining peanut butter, cream cheese and graham cracker crumbs, confectioner’s sugar and butter you form the mixture into balls (I use a small ice-cream scoop for consistency).  You then dip them in the melted chocolate and swirl them around to coat most of the peanut butter ball and set on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  The sheet goes into the fridge for at least 30 minutes for the chocolate to harden.  And that’s it. 

Although all of the recipes in Baked list ingredients by measure vs. weight, this is one instance where weight would be extremely helpful.  After all, who wants to measure 1-1/2 cups peanut butter, or 1/4 cup cream cheese in measuring cups?  Being the extremely helpful blogger that I am, I weighed the ingredients so here they are for your cooking pleasure: 1/4 cup cream cheese = 2 oz., 1-1/2 cup peanut butter is approximately 18 oz., 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs is yielded from 5 oz. of whole crackers, and 3 cups confectioner’s sugar = 13 oz.

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