These Peanut Butter Cup Buckeyes are the ultimate peanut butter and chocolate treat!
Oh, peanut butter and chocolate, how I adore you.
Seriously, those two should just tie the knot already. They’d totally win every “longest married couple dance” at every wedding from now on because they were just meant to be.
Peanut butter and jelly always seem to get all the attention, (I’m sure you know the phrase, “they go together like peanut butter and jelly”) and sure, PB&J’s are pretty darn great, but let’s be real, PB&J can’t hold a candle to PB&C. CAN I GET AN AMEN?!
Think about it – you probably know someone who doesn’t like chocolate (GASP!) and another person who doesn’t like peanut butter (check for antennae — they just can’t be human) but when you put the two together, EVERYONE is on board.
Which is what makes a buckeye just about the BEST — Cookie? Candy? Ball? — EVER.
Not sure what a buckeye treat is?
You may know it by the name “peanut butter ball” or “chocolate covered peanut butter ball” which, for all intents and purposes, is the same thing – a peanut butter fudge-like ball dipped in chocolate. BUT the difference with a buckeye is that they are not completely covered in chocolate – just a liiiiittle bit of the peanut butter ball is left exposed at the top to make the treats look like buckeyes. Aaaadorbs.
Due to growing up in Pittsburgh, PA and our proximity to Ohio (whose State University mascot and state tree is the buckeye) I had actually only ever been exposed to buckeyes and not “chocolate covered peanut butter balls — a fully coated peanutbutter ball? Why would you do that when you could make it CUTE instead?!? — and it wasn’t until my friend Lynn posted a Buckeye recipe that it even dawned on me that “buckeyes” were foreign to some people and needed to be explained.
While buckeyes are oh so commonplace in my hometown — you’ll always find them at bake sales, Christmas cookie spreads, and wedding cookie tables (one of my favorite Pittsburgh traditions!) — I hadn’t actually made them in YEARS. So, after one of our friends waxed poetic about his love for chocolate covered peanut butter balls for at least 20 minutes over dinner one night, I decided that whipping up a batch of buckeyes for him and his wife was the only appropriate way to say “CONGRATS” on the purchase of their first home.
To make the buckeyes, I turned to the trusty recipe from the Three Rivers Cookbook (volume II) — a Yinzer’s cookbook bible. And while they turned out to be flipping incredible as always, (I may have gotten a kiss on the feet when I delivered them. NOT JOKING. I heart my friends.) I couldn’t stop thinking for at least a week about how over the top they’d be if I added some chopped peanut butter cups to the mix.
PEANUT BUTTER CUPS IN CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BALLS?!?!
Yup, I went there. Because the only way to improve upon peanut butter + chocolate is with more peanut butter + chocolate. Obvi.
If you’ve had buckeyes or chocolate covered peanut butter balls before and thought they were life-altering, you’ve got a whooooole new thing coming your way, my friends.
And the best part is, the only extra step to take these buckeyes over the peanut butter + chocolate top is chopping up the peanut butter cups and dumping it into the peanut butter mixture. SO easy!
In fact, with only 6 ingredients total, and the fact that they are NO BAKE (!!!) these peanut butter cup buckeyes are a cinch to make — ok, other than the whole “dipping in chocolate” thing (a process I totally loathe). But do NOT let the dipping deter you. It’s worth every millisecond. Promise!
A little dipping pro tip: After you freeze the peanut butter balls, stick a toothpick in the top to assist with the dipping and coating, but only pull about 5 peanut butter balls out of the freezer at a time, otherwise they get too soft and will slip off of the toothpick mid-dip. As kids we used to choose to dip them with our fingers alone so we had an excuse to consume more chocolate – it has to be some kind of cardinal sin to wash chocolate off of your hands instead of licking it off – but this toothpick method is much more clean and efficient.
Another tip: If you’re a little bit of a
OCD crazy person perfectionist like me and the little toothpick hole on the top drives you absolutely bonkers, just leave the balls out on the counter for 10-15 minutes post-dip and smooth the hole over with your finger once the peanut butter portion has softened up a bit, and THEN transfer them to the freezer or refrigerator to let the chocolate set.
Ok, ok, I’ll stop blabbing already and let you get to peanut butter cup buckeye-ing because, let’s be real, you need these in your
life mouth ASAP.
PB&C = ❤❤❤❤
- 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter*
- 2 ¾ cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 20 mini peanut butter cups, finely chopped
- 12 oz. chocolate**
- Line 2 small baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl or your stand mixer, blend peanut butter, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla together until smooth.
- Add the peanut butter cups to the peanut butter mixture, and gently mix until evenly dispersed.
- Roll the peanut butter mixture into balls (about inch in diameter) and place on the one of the parchment-lined baking sheets. Once all the balls are rolled, place in the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- A few minutes before the peanut butter balls are firm and ready, melt the chocolate chips and transfer to a slightly deep and narrow bowl or dish.
- Take 5 peanut butter balls out of the freezer at a time. Insert a toothpick into the top of the peanut butter ball and dip the ball into the chocolate, coating all but the top ¼ - ⅛ of the ball. Place on the 2nd parchment lined baking sheet, and then gently remove the toothpick.
- Continue this process until all of the peanut butter balls are coated.
- Transfer to the freezer until the chocolate is set, or the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- Store in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.
** You can use semi-sweet or milk chocolate for these - whichever you prefer. Personally, I prefer a mix of half milk and half semi-sweet.