My hubby was in the kitchen the other night rustling some papers around, but I didn’t give it much thought since I was engrossed in the hockey game (I’m an avid Red Wings fan). Well, guess what? It turns out my hubby – aka Emeril – was looking for our recipe for buckeye balls. For those of you who have never heard of buckeye balls, they’re peanut butter confections dipped in chocolate that resemble buckeye nuts. (Nuts, balls, they’re all the same to me.) Anyway, they’re also another one of those Pennsylvania traditions we make every year like the sauerkraut and pork I told you about.
Okay, you’re probably wondering why Pennsylvanians claim the tradition of buckeye balls when the buckeye tree is native to Ohio and they’re known as the Buckeye State. The answer is: I don’t know, and I don’t care. I just know that my hubby insists that we make buckeye balls every year when we do our holiday baking since that’s what Pennsylvanians do.
Anyway, making buckeye balls is on the agenda for this weekend. Our goal is to have 10 dozen balls by Sunday night. Hubby will bring 5 dozen to work, which the guys will suck down in about 15 minutes, and we’ll give 3 dozen to a good friend of ours. That leaves my husband 2 dozen buckeye balls for himself. Me? I hate peanut butter. I’ll pick up a few bags of Hershey Kisses – that’s my idea of a bona fide Pennsylvania tradition!
UPDATE: The buckeye balls are finished and nestled in their tins! Check out the pictures for yourself to see the finished product.
Here's the recipe in case you’d like to make some buckeye balls. It makes about 3 dozen.
½ cup butter, melted
1 pound powdered sugar
1 ½ cups smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon shortening
Combine melted butter, powdered sugar, peanut butter and vanilla together and mix well. Dough will be stiff. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Roll into 1 inch balls and place on waxed paper.
In the top half of a double boiler, melt the chocolate and shortening. Stir constantly until smooth. Use a toothpick to dip balls into melted chocolate, but leave a small area uncovered so the ball resembles a buckeye nut. Place back on wax paper and refrigerate until chocolate is firm. Transfer to storage container and keep refrigerated.