How about a brief history lesson on the state tree of Ohio? The Buckeye is the state tree of Ohio. It produces small nuts, with a dark outer shell and a lighter interior, which is visible from the top. This confectionary version resembling the beloved nut is made with a creamy peanut butter center and a milk chocolate outer shell.
A holiday tradition in my family, Buckeyes make the perfect holiday gift for neighbors, teachers and friends. Their peanut-butter-cup taste appeals to a wide audience, and their easy assembly makes this no fuss for you, either.
2½ cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vegetable shortening
Line a baking sheet with parchment. Beat the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt with an electric mixer in a medium bowl until well combined. Scoop out 2-teaspoonful mounds and roll into balls; arrange them on the prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.
Microwave the chocolate and shortening in a microwave-safe medium bowl in 30-second increments, stirring in-between, until the mixture is completely melted and smooth—about 2 minutes.
Stick a toothpick or skewer into the top center of a peanut butter ball. Dip the ball into the melted chocolate, leaving a circle of peanut butter visible on top. Let the excess chocolate drip off, then return the buckeye to the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining peanut butter balls and chocolate.
Chill the buckeyes until firm, about 30 minutes. Smooth out the hole left by the toothpick with an offset spatula. Serve at room temperature or well chilled. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.