Sunday, January 10, 2010

Kentucky buckeyes

The other day, a small package arrived in the mail, with a return address from Kentucky.

Since it was addressed to the husband, I placed it carefully on the bench in the front hall and tried to ignore it while I went about my business. But first, I shook it a little. Something rumbled around inside. The other hungry dog and I sniffed the box and looked at each other.

Bourbon balls? we wondered. A tiny jam cake?

When the husband arrived home a little while later, we followed him around until he opened the package, which turned out to be from his mother. He pulled out two ziploc bags.

"Buckeyes!" we exclaimed happily.

For those of you who may not know, a buckeye is basically a homemade Reese's peanut butter cup, rolled to look like the nut from this kind of buckeye. I don't need to tell you the joys of peanut butter and chocolate rolled into a bite-sized ball. And while we are not big on candy in this household, if we're going to delve into some kind of cheapo chocolate, the Reese's peanut butter cup reigns supreme. The husband claims they are elevated to the sublime when consumed with a Guinness, something I can neither confirm or deny.

In any case, back to our little buckeyes, made by the mother-in-law in rural Kentucky, packed snugly into a box, and shipped across the country to two hungry Californians. We unwrapped them and placed some on a plate.

Cute, aren't they?

I'm sure you couldn't possibly want to know what comprises a buckeye; it's really a bit troubling, especially during these post-holiday months when we're supposed to be running on treadmills and eating lightly-dressed salads. But just in case you're dying to know, I thought I'd post the recipe.

Kentucky Buckeyes

3/4 c. softened butter
1 c. smooth peanut butter
1 box (3 1/2 c.) powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients with your hands and form into small balls. Place on cookie sheets covered in wax paper. Let cool in the refrigerator for half an hour.

Meanwhile, melt 8 oz. semisweet chocolate with 1/4 sheet of Gulf Wax in a double boiler.

Dip candy into chocolate mix, leaving a spot in the middle so it looks like a buckeye.

These are best stored in the refrigerator.

Now, some of you might be wondering what the hell Gulf Wax is. So was I, when I read the hand-written recipe the mother-in-law sent to me on an index card. Despite her perfect handwriting, I was sure it was a mistake.

The husband patiently explained to me that Gulf Wax is a paraffin wax often used in candy making and is perfectly edible.

You learn something every day! And all the better if it comes in a peanut butter and chocolate package.


  1. These are so sinfully good. I remember I had my first one a few years ago. When I found out about all the fatty goodness in them, I thought, "Well, of course! No wonder these are sooo marvelous then!'' ;)

  2. Oh.My.Goodness. They look absolutely decadent. I'm not scared - 1 cup of PB and lots of icing sugar? Bring it on :) Thanks for the info on Gulf Wax, I definitely had never heard of it before.

  3. I love simple recipes like this, they are usually the best. Just 3 fabulous ingredients, yummy ones.

  4. These look amazingly yummy! And since I haven't yet made any New Year's resolutions I have given myself license to indulge on every whim that comes my way (like the 3/4 of a box of Entenmann's Glazed Popems I ate last night). I need these. I love your storytelling. Time to buy some Gulf Wax.

  5. Holy crap. Want. Want bad. With a Guinness. Heh.

  6. Hee hee, I grew up in Ohio, the Buckeye state . . . so I totally grew up with these. Of course, I think of them as Ohio Buckeyes. ;)

  7. What timing! I just took a cooking class on comfort food from the Heartland - and we made buckeyes! I did not want to reprint the recipe since these are a) addictive b) probably more addictive than crack c) probably the most addictive sweet EVER! The chef called them Ohio buckeyes...but I dont think it matters what state they are from: they are delicious!

  8. Food Gal: I didn't grow up with these either but was thrilled to learn about them as an adult--delicious!

    Kathleen: Thanks for stopping by!

    Shaz: I figured I couldn't be the only one who had never heard of GW.

    Heavenly Housewife: Right? Three ingredients you mix with your hands--perfect!

    cookbookapprentice: thanks for the compliment :)

    Bob: Well, even if you don't make buckeyes you can always enjoy a Guinness with a Reese's cup!

    A year on the grill: Thanks for dropping by! Looking forward to checking out your blog too.

    Jen: Oh, I think they are officially Ohio buckeyes. Just not the ones we eat in our house...

    Chef Aimee: That is great timing! Thanks for stopping by--I'm going to check out your blog too.

  9. Oh my! That's a deadly recipe! The three ingredients are all you need...I'm copying, but I'm not making until I have company to eat them! I don't dare.

  10. Can I leave the wax out? These remind me of the peanut butter balls we used to have at school when I was a kid. I loved them. If they'd been dipped in chocolate (with or without wax) I'd probably have failed a grade to stay at that school...

  11. mmmm, I want to make these. What a cute story!

  12. Barbara: good idea--these are perfect for sharing!

    Kate: Probably. The wax might just make them shinier. I'm a little freaked out by the wax too, if you want to know the truth.

    foodhoe: make 'em!

  13. Oh, these are delicious! These are a holiday staple at my parents house, as they were every year when I was growing up. My mom puts Rice Krispies in the PB-sugar-butter (she used margarine) mix for texture and to hold their shape better, and she dips them fully in chocolate for a thicker shell. She always uses Gulf Wax, too - for shine and some other reason ... they stay better out of the fridge for serving?? It's much better with than without (I recall the year without wax was a disappointment).

    And what a great mother-in-law to send these!

  14. Oh my gosh, these are ADORABLE. They remind me of a holiday treat my mom makes -- peanut butter balls w/ Rice Krispies, dipped in chocolate. They always make me think of Christmas and my family (sigh), but I've never had them with Guiness before. THAT sounds like a must-do!

  15. Hungry Dog, Love the post. I grew up with Buckeyes. After all Ohio is the Buckeye state. There was a chocolate shop in Pogues Department Store in downtown Cincinnati, they sold the best Buckeyes and my Grandmother would always buy us a bag on Saturdays.
    Kate, If you temper the chocolate, you need not add wax.

  16. nightowlchef: the Rice Krispies are genius--I'll have give that a try.

    denise: are you related to nightowlchef? Sounds like you guys grew up on the same goodies...

    Pam: I love that these buckeyes have reminded so many people of their childhoods! Good tip on the chocolate, too.

  17. You're right, that's not post Xmas feasting friendly but that's probably why they sound sodelicious!

  18. i like getting mail. i love getting packages. i practically do a jig when said package contains something edible and downright breakdance if that something edible is of the sweet variety. you're a lucky dog, no pun intended. :)

  19. I love buckeyes, my problem is that I can't stop eating them and end up drinking about 1/2 gallon of milk to help all of that peanut butter down my gullet.