Easy 4 Ingredient Buckeyes Peanut Butter Balls Recipe - Adventures of Mel (2024)

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by Mel Lockcuff

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How to make dreamy, creamy 4 ingredient buckeyes, peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate. Easy small batch buckeye recipe perfect for the holidays! It's the quintessential must have Christmas candy and holiday dessert.

Every Christmas since I was a little girl, I've made buckeye candy, or easy chocolate peanut butter balls with a creamy peanut butter center. If you've never had homemade buckeyes, they are the #1 must have Christmas candy.

this recipe

When I was a kid during the holiday season, we'd store all the Christmas candy, including chocolate-dipped peanut butter balls, in the stairs that led up to my room because there was no heat or insulation. So they'd stay nice and chilled, and they were pretty easy to access on the way to my room.

It just wouldn't be the holidays without a small batch of buckeye balls and Ritz crackers with peanut butter. In fact, this small batch buckeyes recipe is one of our family's favorite Christmas recipes. They're perfect for Valentine's Day too, especially if your significant other loves the combination of chocolate and peanut butter.

Sometimes I like to make them crispy too.Rice Krispie peanut butter ballswith Rice Krispies are just the ticket.If you want even quicker and easier (no rolling or dipping), you'll lovebuckeye bars.

Why I Love This Easy Buckeye Recipe

  • Classic peanut butter balls consist of a creamy peanut butter center inside a chocolate coating.
  • This buckeye balls recipe is super easy to make and only requires 4 ingredients.
  • Kids can get in on the fun of making them too, as it's a very kid-friendly recipe.
Easy 4 Ingredient Buckeyes Peanut Butter Balls Recipe - Adventures of Mel (2)

Is There a Difference Between Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls and Buckeyes?

Actually, yes, there is. And I didn't really think it was that big of a deal until a few years ago, when a friend from Ohio (where the state tree of Ohio is the Ohio Buckeye tree) educated me otherwise.

Chocolate covered peanut butter balls are just that… They're completely covered in chocolate. Buckeye candy is mostly covered in chocolate but with a bit of the peanut butter uncovered, so to look like actual buckeyes.

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Ingredients and Substitutions Notes

You'll need just a handful of ingredients to make this easy buckeye recipe…

  • Salted Butter – Be sure to give the butter time to soften and come to room temperature before mixing. You can also substitute plant-based or vegan butter if you need to make dairy-free buckeyes.
  • Creamy Peanut Butter – You can also sub crunchy peanut butter. I do recommend using a regular creamy peanut butter vs. a natural peanut butter, where you have to stir in the oil before using, because the chocolate will coat better with less oily peanut butter.
  • Powdered Sugar or Confectioners' Sugar
  • Chocolate Melting Wafers – You can use any type of melting chocolate, but I do recommend using a higher quality chocolate for better flavor. I have used semi-sweet chocolate chips, but an actual melting chocolate has better flavor, in my opinion.

How to Make 4 Ingredient Buckeyes Peanut Butter Balls

  1. Your first step will be to soften the butter and adding it to a large bowl. You can soften it by either getting it out of the fridge and letting it sit beforehand or putting it in the microwave for a few seconds.
  2. Add in the peanut butter with the butter.
  3. Finally, add in the powdered sugar.
  4. Mix everything together until it's blended well.
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How to Shape the Peanut Butter Balls

  1. At this point, you'll need to shape all of the dough into creamy peanut butter balls. You'll take about a tablespoonful or small cookie scoop of the peanut butter mixture and begin to roll it between your hands. Shape it into round 1-inch balls and place each one on a baking sheet lined with wax paper or parchment paper.
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  1. Add toothpicks (for dipping) to each ball.
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Once all of the dough is rolled into balls, chill the whole sheet in the fridge or freezer for about half an hour.

How to Melt Chocolate for Dipping

While your peanut butter balls are chilling, it's a good time to melt the chocolate and get it ready to go.

Depending on the chocolate you decide to use, you can melt it a couple different ways:

  • Melt it using a double boiler on the stove – This is basically a pan inside of another pan with boiling water in the bottom pan. It allows for more even melting without burning, and it also keeps the chocolate warm for dipping.
  • Melt it in the microwave – This is usually the route I go.
  • Use afondue potand make it a family affair.

Also, depending on the type of chocolate used, some people like to add vegetable shortening or paraffin wax to their chocolate as it melts. This allows for a thinner coat and stretches your chocolate a little further. If you use a good quality chocolate, you likely won't need this step.

I started using Ghirardelli Dark Melting Wafers a few years ago, and I love them so much better than almond bark. They're so much easier to work with, and they have fantastic flavor.

How to Dip the Peanut Butter Balls

  1. Dip the chilled peanut butter balls, leaving the very top part of each undipped, so to resemble an actual buckeye. We've used a regular table fork in the past, as well as tongs or toothpicks. You can also use a dipping fork or tool to dip your peanut butter balls into the chocolate.
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  1. At this point, you'll need to chill the buckeye peanut butter balls for about 15-20 minutes in the freezer; then remove all the toothpicks and cover up each toothpick hole with your finger (totally optional).
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As you can see in most of my pictures, I didn't really care about the holes being there… But if you do, just smooth it over.

Expert Tips and Recipe FAQ's

For best results, make sure the peanut butter you're using isn't a super greasy peanut butter. If it's too oily, the chocolate may not want to coat the peanut butter mixture.

Put the melted chocolate in a deeper dish for dipping; I prefer my 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup because I can use it in the microwave, and it's the perfect depth and breadth for dipping.

My homemade buckeyes usually have kind of a chocolate ring around the bottom of the buckeyes. You can avoid this by letting excess chocolate drip off the buckeye after dipping; and just lightly press the bottom of the buckeye on a separate sheet of wax paper before putting it back on your cookie sheet.

Can I use crunchy peanut butter to make buckeye candy?

If you like to have a little crunch to your peanut butter balls, you most certainly can use crunchy peanut butter. I've also used honey peanut butter, which really does make delicious peanut butter balls.

How do you keep buckeyes from sweating?

Keep them chilled. Freezing or chilling the dough before dipping, then after dipping, will make the buckeyes sweat if removed from the fridge or freezer. So when not eating, keep them stored in the fridge.

How should you store buckeye candies?

As noted above, be sure to keep this candy in an airtight container, lined with wax paper, in the fridge. They can be kept out, but they won't keep as long as they will if you keep them in the fridge.

Can you freeze chocolate peanut butter balls?

Yes, you can. You can freeze them before or after dipping. Just be sure to store them in an airtight, freezer-friendly container to avoid freezer burn. They should keep for up to 3 months.

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More Easy Candy Recipes:

If you love this small batch buckeye recipe as much as I do, you'll love these candies too…

  • Homemade chocolate covered cherries
  • Chocolate covered almond coconut trees
  • Chocolate peppermint bark
  • Chocolate peanut butter hearts

If you try this recipe, why not leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a reviewin the comment sectionfurther down the page? I always appreciate your feedback. You can also follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. And subscribe to my email list too!

Easy 4 Ingredient Buckeyes Peanut Butter Balls Recipe - Adventures of Mel (10)

Easy 4-Ingredient Buckeyes Recipe

How to make dreamy 4 ingredient buckeyes, peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate. Easy small batch buckeye recipe perfect for the holidays!

4.62 from 137 votes

Print Pin Rate

Course: Candy

Cuisine: American

Prep Time: 1 hour hour

Cook Time: 15 minutes minutes

Chill Time: 45 minutes minutes

Total Time: 2 hours hours

Servings: 24

Calories: 132kcal

Author: Mel Lockcuff

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, mix up the first three ingredients, including the softened butter, creamy peanut butter, and powdered sugar.

  • Take about a tablespoonful or small cookie scoop of the peanut butter mixture and begin to roll it between your hands. Shape it into as round of a ball as you can and place it on a baking sheet lined with wax paper or parchment paper.

  • Continue rolling until all of your peanut butter mixture has been rolled into 1-inch balls.

  • Add toothpicks (for dipping) to each ball.

  • Chill the peanut butter balls in the fridge or freezer for about half an hour.

  • Melt the chocolate according to package directions.*

  • Once your chocolate is ready to go, you can remove the chilled peanut butter balls from the freezer, and start dipping right away.

  • As you partially dip each buckeye into the chocolate, using a toothpick or dipping tool, place it back on the wax paper lined cookie sheet.*

  • Chill the chocolate covered peanut butter balls in the fridge or freezer ’til set, probably about 15-20 minutes.

  • Then remove all the toothpicks and cover up each toothpick hole with your finger (optional step).

  • Store them in an airtight container or festive Christmas tin, lined with wax paper or parchment paper, in the fridge.*

Notes

*For best results, make sure the peanut butter you’re using isn’t a super greasy peanut butter. If it’s too oily, the chocolate may not want to coat the peanut butter mixture. You can also use crunchy peanut butter.

*How to Melt Chocolate for Dipping:

  • Melt it using adouble boileron the stove – This is basically a pan inside of another pan with boiling water in the bottom pan. It allows for more even melting without burning, and it also keeps the chocolate warm for dipping.
  • Melt it in the microwave – This is usually the route I go. I like to use my 2-cup Pyrex Glass Measuring Cup for dipping. Whatever you do, put the melted chocolate in a deeper dish for dipping; I prefer my Pyrex measuring cupbecause I can use it in the microwave, and it’s the perfect depth and breadth for dipping.
  • Use a fondue pot and make it a family affair.

Also, depending on the type of chocolate used, some people like to add vegetable shorteningorparaffin waxto their chocolate as it melts. This allows for a thinnercoatingand stretches your chocolate a little further.

If you use a good quality chocolate, you likely won't need this step. I started usingGhirardelli Dark Melting Wafersa few years ago, and I love them so much better than almond bark. They're so much easier to work with, and they have fantastic flavor.

*My buckeyes usually have kind of a chocolate ring around the bottom of the buckeyes. You can avoid this by letting excess chocolate drip off the buckeye after dipping; and just lightly press the bottom of the buckeye on a separate sheet of wax paperbefore putting it back on your cookie sheet.

*They can be kept out, but they won’t keep as long as they will if you keep them in the fridge.

Can Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls Be Frozen?

Yes, they absolutely can. You can freeze them before or after dipping. Just be sure to store them in anairtight containerorfestive Christmas tinto avoid freezer burn.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 132kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 45mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g

Tried this Recipe? Tag us Today!Mention @mellockcuff or tag #aomrecipes!

Easy 4 Ingredient Buckeyes Peanut Butter Balls Recipe - Adventures of Mel (2024)

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