Buckeye Candies

Chocolate and peanut butter come together in buckeye candies.
••• Image: Getty

Buckeyes! Buckeye candy is typically referred to as simply a buckeye. Have you ever had a buckeye candy? It's a treat of sweetened peanut butter dipped in chocolate. A circle of the peanut butter fudge remains visible at the top of the candy.

Why Are They Called Buckeyes?

The candies are called Buckeyes because they look like the nut from the buckeye tree. The confection hails from the state of Ohio, where the buckeye tree is the state tree.

But, as we all know, good things are known to travel and the deliciousness of a buckeye candy could not be contained by the borders of Ohio. Neighboring Kentucky has taken to the candy and you will often see buckeyes on holiday tables and Kentucky Derby parties around Kentucky.

Where Can I Get Buckeyes?

You can buy Buckeyes or you can make Buckeyes. It is up to you! There are plenty of candy stores in Louisville who make buckeyes but many opt to make the delight at home. If you would like, try both, then compare

Buckeye Recipe

Of course, there are plenty of buckeye recipes out there. Below is a basic recipe that you can adjust to your preference.

Ingredients:

2 cups confectioners' sugar 
1 cup smooth peanut butter
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 ounces chocolate
1 teaspoon vegetable shortening

Directions:

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Set aside.

Sift the confectioners' sugar into a medium-sized bowl. In a small pan, melt the butter. With an electric mixer, beat together confectioners' sugar, peanut butter and vanilla together. Once the mixture is blended, scoop small mounds (about the size of a nut, hence the name) into your hands and roll into small balls.

Place the balls on the lined cookie sheet and refrigerate. Chill the balls until they are firm, about a half an hour. Of course, you can do this step a day in advance if needed.

Next, the chocolate needs to be melted. You can do this in a double broiler or in a microwave. A microwave is the fastest option, simply add the chocolate and shortening to a microwave-safe bowl and heat in small increments. Stir and make sure the chocolate is smooth and ready to be used as a dip.

Remove your peanut butter balls from the refrigerator and stick a toothpick in each ball. Dip each peanut butter ball in your melted chocolate—remember to keep a circle of peanut butter at the top! After dipping, place the ball back on your cooke sheet. After all the balls are dipped, chill again.

Once the chocolate is firm, remove the toothpicks. There will be a small hole at the top of the candy, but it is easy to smooth out with a knife or your fingertip.

Serve and watch 'em disappear!

Best Coffee Shops in Louisville

What is a great pairing with a sweet treat? Coffee, of course. After you've made your buckeye candies be sure to grab some local beans. Brew up a fresh cup (or two, or three, depending if you feel social or not) and allow the heat of the coffee to melt the smooth cool Buckeye.

Sounds like an ideal afternoon.

Louisville Gifts

Are you interested in buckeye candies because you are looking for a Kentucky-themed gift? If so, know there are places to pick up Kentucky trinkets and Kentucky Derby items throughout the year. These locations are go-to spots during the holiday season when everyone is on the prowl for gifts, but you will also find plenty of gift ideas for anniversaries, birthdays, corporate occasions, weddings, and more. Sometimes a box of bourbon balls or a fancy set of Mint Julep glasses (complete with a cocktail recipe book, of course) is just the gift you need.