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Jun 4, 2009 10:34 AM

Ohio Buckeye cookies

Something brought to mind the Ohio buckeye cookies. I know I had a book with a recipe for them and a great picture. (It may have been the Rose Berenbaum Christmas cookie book but it doesn't show up in the index to that on amazon.)

Apparently, these are an unbaked type cookie with a peanut butter center that is dipped in chocolate (but not completely so it kind of looks like buckeye nuts -- hence the name.)

Has anyone seen that picture and know what book I'm thinking of?

Has anyone made these? Any tip? In particular I'm wondering how they made them nice and round and evenly dipped so they look nice.


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  1. I think the peanut butter is mixed with powdered sugar to make them firm and moldable. Then placed on wax paper and melted chocolate poured over. The part that's on the wax paper doesn't get the chocolate, but I'm not sure how they get the chocolate edge perfectly smooth.

    2 Replies
    1. re: starbucksbrew

      The buckeyes I have had in Ohio and Michigan are more of a candy than a cookie--A peanut butter center dipped in chocolate. I don't have a recipe, but if that's what you are looking for, you may want to look in candy books.

      1. re: dct

        Me too. I assumed the OP meant cookie and candy interchangeably.

    2. One of my childhood friends' grandmother made these. Her recipe: 2 c. creamy peanut butter, 1 1/2 boxes confectioner's sugar, 2 sticks unsalted butter, 2 tsp. vanilla extract, 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, 1/3 bar paraffin Mix the first four ingredients together until smooth. Roll into balls. Melt chocolate and paraffin in a double boiler until smooth. Dip the balls into the chocolate mixture and place on waxed paper to harden.

      Mrs. Stone's instructions were actually a bit more succinct, so I clarified a bit, but that's basically how she made them 25 or more years ago. She was a cook for a successful restaurant before she married in the forties, and said she'd had the recipe since then, if I remember accurately. I don't think there's anything like this in Rose Levy Beranbaum's Christmas Cookie book, though. There is a peanut butter thumbprint recipe with Hershey's kisses in the centers--could that be what you're thinking of?

      ETA: I also wanted to mention that King Arthur Flour Co. in Vermont sells chocolate tools, designed to turn out smooth candies after dipping.

      1. I get them every Christmas, so I've never actually made them myself. Here's the recipe that I have on file:

        1 lb. creamy peanut butter
        1 1/2 lbs. powdered sugar
        1/2 lb margarine
        1 1/2 T vanilla extract
        2 (12 oz) packages chocolate morsels

        Blend PB & margarine, then mix in vanilla, then beat in powdered sugar. Roll into 1" balls and freeze on cookie sheet overnight. Melt chocolate in double boiler and dip PB balls with a toothpick (leaving nickel-sized space undipped to look like an actual buckeye). Dry on a rack and keep refrigerated in tight container. The better quality PB and chocolate you use, the better these come out.

        1. here's my aunt's recipe-1 1/2 cup peanut butter, 3 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, 1 T vanilla, 1 stick butter, melted, 1 12oz pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1/4 stick paraffin.
          Mic together peanut butter, conf. sugar, vanilla and butter. chill slightly so not so sticky. Form into 1" balls (or desired size), place on baking sheet lined with wax paper. Melt together chocolate and paraffin on top of a double boiler, dip balls in chocolate using toothpick, place on wax paper. chill to harden before placing in container. can be refrigerated or frozen. makes about 60.
          I make this every year around the holidays, and now I can't stop making them because everyone loves them so much! Enjoy!

          10 Replies
          1. re: andieb

            You answered the question I was going to ask -- whether you need to refrigerate these to store. It seems like that's a good idea.

            I'm intrigued with both the toothpick and dipping tool ideas. Think I should start with the toothpicks before buying another kitchen tool.

            1. re: karykat

              The toothpick makes a little hole which is why I thought they were called Buckeyes? But I never did that, just rolled in melted chocolate. Never added vanilla but that opens up a whole new world. How about Godiva liqeuer?And no parafin, just melted choc chips to coat. I make them every Christmas and keep them in the garage, they last for weeks it seems.

              1. re: coll

                You dip and leave about a 1/2" diameter hole of pb showing. It's called a buckeye because it looks like the buckeye nut, Ohio State tree. A dipping tool probably works best but forks can also work if you're careful. I agree, no paraffin.

                1. re: chowser

                  Yep, one of my co-workers is from Ohio and every Holiday season, she makes Buckeyes (and other lovely taste treats) for us...buckeyes are not cooked and you can see the little hole where I *believe* she uses a toothpick with which to dip the peanut butter thing into the melted chocolate stuff...*oy*...they ARE delicious! Never even heard about them til she showed up in our office, which I am very glad she did!

                  1. re: Val

                    If anyone is interested, here is a link to a "cookie" buckeye....I've actually made a similar recipe which was great. I just can't find the recipe I've tried, but this looks very similar.


                    1. re: Buddernut

                      those cookies look very similar to the another cookie called magic in the middle.

              2. re: karykat

                I always have some remaining chocolate so I drizzle the rest with a spoon to make pretty lines on top and it also fills in the hole and the exposed area.

                1. re: andieb

                  If you cover the exposed area, then I would think of it as more of a bon-bon, not a buckeye.... Small difference, I know....

                  1. re: jazzy77

                    Funny... I had an old relative that used to hang on the wall of Revere Beach back in the day and referred to ladies and bikini tops as "bon bons". I always thought he did this as a reference to "sweets" or "candy", but your reasoning would apply to this much better ; i.e. "cover the exposed areas....bon bons !"
                    Thanks for jogging a nearly 40 year old memory :) And to keep on topic so I don't get deleted... I go to Cracker Barrel off 495 and buy their buckeyes. It's one of those irresistable things. I eat the entire pack and feel tons of shame. I actually had a lower fat version that a colleague from Atlanta made with low fat Nilla Vanilla Wafers and light peanut butter . She moved back to Atlanta and I never got the recipe.

                    1. re: Buddernut

                      I will feel very risque when I make them the traditional way.

            2. I grew up in Ohio and have made them every Christmas for as long as I can remember, no exceptions - some of my earliest holiday memories were being a kid helping my mom roll platters laden with pb centers.

              As far as consistency of size, I just measure out a tablespoon of the peanut filling and roll them into rounds with my hands (dusted with powdered sugar).

              The toothpick is just what people have always had around to dip the peanut centers - there is no special tool necessary or recommended. The only thing that I recommend is storing the centers in the fridge for a little while so they get nice and cold before you try to dip them. They will stick to the toothpick better. And they release better from waxed paper.

              I always dip mine using Nestle's chocolate chips with paraffin - people make a face when I tell them that the shiny, thin, crisp chocolate coating is because I put a significant amount of paraffin in the chocolate before covering, but that hasn't once deterred anyone from gobbling them down. IMHO (and I admit I'm picky) eliminating the paraffin affects both the taste and texture negatively, but, if you ask ten Ohioans how they make their buckeyes you'll get ten different answers.

              Lastly, don't bother buying expensive chocolate or pb to make them - I used Callebaut and organic pb once and they weren't even edible. Jif creamy or crunchy and Nestle's chocolate...and the paraffin.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jazzy77

                I found my recipe already typed out! I must have already given it to someone sinced it's pretty detailed. Here it is:

                1 large jar peanut butter
                1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
                2-3 bags of Confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)
                Melted butter (as necessary)
                36 oz. Nestle’s Semisweet Chocolate chips
                1 block of Paraffin Wax
                Double boiler (glass bowl over a simmering pan of water)
                Wax paper

                Place 1 stick of butter in a mixing bowl and mix until soft. Add in all of the peanut butter. Let it mix until all the ingredients are incorporated and heterogeneous. Add in a splash of vanilla. Add in most of one bag of confectioner’s sugar and mix it up until it forms a dough.

                When the dough is solid enough to handle you can put it out on a counter, or board, to knead. (Make sure you cover the surface with powdered sugar!) Knead the dough for a few minutes, adding the powdered sugar-or butter- as needed to adjust for dryness or wetness. The ideal mixture will be something you can roll in your hands without being sticky. It should hold the shape of a ball without drooping, but not be dry to the taste- and it shouldn’t ever be crumbly. (Something like marzipan.) If the dough is too wet, add more sugar. It it’s too dry, add some more melted butter. When the dough has a consistency that you like (and is not too soft/not too dry/can make a finite ball without drooping/tastes good), you can stop kneading.

                Pinch a small amount of dough off the large ball and make a smaller ball. Most people prefer smaller buckeyes to larger ones- I would say you would want something the size of a quarter, but they’re your buckeyes- make them the size of Christmas ornaments if that’s what you really desire (but you’ll need something larger than a toothpick to dip those!). I like to measure mine out with a tablespoon and then roll into a round ball. Place balls on a plate or cookie sheet.

                Put the balls in the refrigerator to chill thoroughly. Sit down and watch a football game or read a book. Make some other cookies. I’ve put them in the freezer for an hour during rather impatient moments. Nevertheless, they need to chill thoroughly.

                Melt your chocolate in a double boiler . Add some slivers of the paraffin wax to the melted chocolate to thin it. You know the consistency is correct when you lift the spoon or spatula out of the chocolate and there is a fine line of chocolate falling back into the pan leaving a three-count line in the choclate before dissappearing. Stick a toothpick into the top of the peanut butter centers and stick the center into the chocolate to coat everything BUT a small bit at the top (so it looks like a buckeye). Put the buckeye on the wax paper to dry. Eat. Enjoy.