What’s a buckeye, you ask? You’d know if you lived in Ohio, where it’s the official state tree, so named because its nuts resemble a deer’s eyes. And you’d know if you went to the Ohio State University, where Brutus Buckeye is the beloved sports mascot. But in the test kitchen, the buckeye that matters is the chocolate-dipped peanut butter candy that resembles this nut. Buckeyes are made by rolling a mixture of peanut butter, confectioners’ sugar, and butter into balls and dipping each ball in melted chocolate. While chocolate and peanut butter is always a winning combination, the recipes we tested were bland and too sweet. To fix these problems, we adjusted the ingredient proportions, cutting back on sugar and butter and nearly doubling the peanut butter. While the flavor of these buckeyes was improved, they were now too soft to dip. To remedy this, we mixed a small amount of melted white chocolate chips into our base; once they solidified, they added structure. For the chocolate coating, we melted semisweet chocolate chips instead of chopped bar chocolate. The chips contain emulsifiers, so they harden into a sturdy coating. Don’t use natural peanut butter in this recipe.
- Yield: 40 candies
- ¼ cup (1½ ounces) white chocolate chips
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2¾ cups creamy peanut butter
- 3 cups (12 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Microwave white chocolate chips in bowl at 50 percent power, stirring occasionally, until melted, about 1 minute. Let cool for 5 minutes. Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter, peanut butter, melted white chocolate, sugar, vanilla, and salt on medium-high speed until just combined, about 1 minute. Roll peanut butter mixture into 1¼-inch balls and space them evenly on prepared sheet. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Microwave semisweet chocolate chips in bowl at 50 percent power, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth, 1½ to 2 minutes. Using toothpick, dip chilled peanut butter balls one at a time into melted chocolate, leaving top quarter uncovered. Return peanut butter balls to sheet and refrigerate until chocolate is set, about 1 hour. Serve. (Buckeyes can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month.)