Way back in the 90’s, we were living in a suburb of Seattle, Washington called Maple Valley. We were in the best cul-de-sac. Almost everyone in our neighborhood had children and they were similar in age to mine. So, we all bonded and had our little ones go from home to home to visit and play. Before I go on, let me tell you a little about the vicinity. It wasn’t very established yet. There was a Safeway not too far with a coffee shop next to it and a few churches. I am not sure the public school was even built then. We had no need for a fence in the backyard because there was a small wooded area behind us, The Forest. We never went past the edge of The Forest for we didn’t know what might live in there. The truth is that it was about one block wide. We probably could have walked through it to get to the next street but it was heavily treed, so we didn’t dare. Now The Forest is full of houses, a new development went in after we left. A few blocks away was an equestrian center that we would visit often. We, my husband and I, always talked about getting the kids into riding horses but they were too little at the time. There wasn’t much between our little Safeway strip mall and the nearest city. The roads were narrow and it took about 45 minutes to get anywhere. There was a lake close by and we would go and feed the geese. I really loved it there.
We didn’t live there long because my husband got transferred to California. His company was downsizing and he was stepping down in position. Money was tight. That Christmas, I decided to bake cookies for all the families in the neighborhood and the tradition has stuck ever since. Now, I keep trying new recipes every year but there are a few that are customary and this is one.
My Buckeye Balls recipe comes from a November 1978 Redbook Magazine. I remember that I made them for my husband one Christmas because he was from Cleveland, Ohio and a fan of the Buckeyes football team. They have become a permanent part of the Christmas gifts that I pass along every year.
1 1/2 cups Creamy Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Lightly Salted Butter, at room temperature
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 – 16 oz. package Confectioners’ Sugar
1 – 6 oz. package Semisweet Chocolate Chips
2 Tbls. Vegetable Shortening
Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. In a medium bowl, mix Peanut Butter, Butter, Vanilla and Sugar with your hands.
Taking 2 teaspoonfuls of the dough, roll into balls. Place on the wax paper and refrigerate.
Using a double boiler over simmering (not boiling) water, melt the Chocolate and Shortening. When smooth, remove the Peanut Butter balls from the refrigerator.
Insert a wooden toothpick into a ball and dip into the Chocolate so that three-fourths of it is coated. It should look like a buckeye.
Return to the wax paper, chocolate side down and remove the pick. Repeat with the rest. To remove the hole left by the toothpick, or as I refer to it, the bellybutton, just pinch the sides of it with your fingers until it comes back together. Refrigerate 30 minutes or longer, until the chocolate is firm. These can be stored in plastic containers with wax paper between layers.
These are great fun to make and little ones can help. Tried and true, I hope you will enjoy them.
I usually listen to Christmas carols as I make these. This year it was Mariah Carey Merry Christmas II You CD.
Makes 30 Buckeyes, each at 198 Calories, 11.9 grams Fat, 21.0 grams Carbs, 2.8 grams Protein
This is a little high because it’s hard to calculate the chocolate coating. I just added all the ingredients in.