Chocolate-dipped peanut butter balls with creamy peanut butter fudge centers are candy perfection.
These candies which look like buckeyes are quick and easy to make and are a great treat to serve during the holidays or any time of year.
I've lived most of my life in Ohio, the birthplace of the chocolate peanut butter buckeye, and have had hundreds of these peanut butter fudge balls dipped in chocolate in my lifetime.
Some of the buckeyes that I have eaten over the years tasted great while others had gritty, dry, or overly sweet peanut butter fudge centers and were coated in low-quality chocolate. The worst buckeyes I've ever eaten were dipped in a combination of chocolate chips and wax. Yes, wax!
That's the same paraffin wax used to make candles. People add wax to their melted chocolate to help it firm up so the buckeye candies can be left at room temperature without getting too soft. But, why would you want to eat wax? I recommend making your buckeyes without wax!
I've had a buckeye recipe in my recipe box for over 40 years, but wanted to make sure I was using the very best peanut butter fudge to make my chocolate buckeyes, so I conducted a taste test.
You can check out my taste test results in my Peanut Butter Fudge Balls recipe post. I had 20 people taste 8 versions of the peanut butter fudge filling to find the most popular recipe to use.
I wanted to determine if the peanut butter fudge I used to make my artisan chocolates decorated with chocolate transfer sheets, Peanut Butter Fudge Easter Eggs, or peanut butter fudge. was what people wanted to have as a buckeye center.
The result? People loved that recipe which is made with peanut butter chips, white chips, and peanut butter, but it wasn't what they were used to when biting into a chocolate buckeye. The tasters preferred a traditional buckeye filling that was made using powdered sugar, butter, and peanut butter.
I found just the right ratio of ingredients to use to make the very Best Buckeyes!
Making homemade chocolate buckeyes is relatively easy and only requires 4 ingredients.
How To Make Chocolate Peanut Butter Buckeyes?
Be sure to watch the video to see how to dip your peanut butter balls to look like buckeyes.
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- Peanut butter is the star of the show, so use a brand of peanut butter that you love to eat by the spoon. I use Jif.
- It's best to use creamy peanut butter that does not require you to stir in the separated oil.
- You can use natural peanut butter, but your buckeyes may become a bit greasy as the oils separate.
Confectioners Powdered Sugar
- Confectioners sugar, also known as powdered sugar, adds sweetness and structure to the buckeye filling.
- You cannot substitute granulated sugar for powdered sugar.
- When you measure the powdered sugar, scoop it into the measuring cup, and level it off. Then, sift it to remove the lumps.
- I highly recommend sifting the powdered sugar. I've eaten plenty of buckeyes that had lumps of powdered sugar in the middle. You'll get a much smoother fudge filling if you sift the powdered sugar.
- For the very best-tasting peanut butter fudge filling, use European-style salted butter like Kerry Gold or President Butter.
- European-style butter contains more butterfat (meaning more flavor) and less water than American-style butter.
- The salt in the butter enhances the flavor of the fudge too. If you use unsalted butter, you can add a pinch of salt to the butter before melting it.
- Melting the butter will make blending it with the peanut butter and powdered sugar easier than if the butter is just softened.
- Use a good quality, great-tasting, semi-sweet or bittersweet, pure chocolate to coat the fudge balls.
- I suggest using chocolate bars or chocolate callets or pistoles. If you use chocolate bars, chop the chocolate into very small pieces. It will melt more quickly and evenly.
- Normally, I would recommend dipping the fudge into tempered pure chocolate so that your candies have a beautiful shine and snap, but these fudge balls are practically impossible to dip unless they are really cold and you shouldn't dip chilled centers in tempered chocolate as they are much more likely to crack.
- Chocolate that is not tempered will remain rather soft, but you will store these candies in the refrigerator so the chocolate coating will remain hard when chilled.
- When you serve the peanut butter buckeye, the chocolate will soften as it sits at room temperature. It's fine to leave the buckeyes out at room temperature for up to 3 days, but otherwise, they should be refrigerated.
Step 1 - Blend the peanut butter fudge ingredients together.
- Stir ½ cup peanut butter, 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, and 3 tablespoons melted salted butter together using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon.
- Once the ingredients come together you can use your hands to do the final mix until it forms a ball.
Step 2 - Scoop and roll your fudge.
- Use a 1 tablespoon scoop or measuring spoon to scoop out the peanut butter fudge filling.
- Roll the fudge into balls.
Step 3 - Chill the fudge balls.
- Chill the rolled fudge balls in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. The firmer the better! I left mine in the fridge overnight.
Step 4 - Melt your chocolate.
- Melt 12 ounces of pure finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate using short bursts of high power in the microwave or in the top of a double boiler.
- See my chocolate-making tips page for chocolate melting instructions.
NOTE: You will not actually use all 12 ounces of the melted chocolate, but you will need to have enough in your cup or bowl to dip all of the fudge balls.
Dip fudge balls in chocolate.
- Insert the flat end of a thin 6-inch wood skewer into a very firm (cold) fudge ball.
- You can use a toothpick, but the pointed end of a toothpick is more likely to poke through the fudge ball.
- Dip it into the chocolate leaving about a ½-inch circle around the skewer uncoated. This will make it easy to remove the skewer later and it will give the peanut butter fudge ball the look of a buckeye.
- Lift the fudge ball out of the chocolate and allow the excess to drip off.
- Set the buckeye on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Once you finish dipping all of your fudge balls chill them in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Remove fudge balls from the skewers.
- Gently pull the skewer out of the fudge balls.
- Pinch the fudge over the hole, then smooth it out using your finger.
- Chill in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve the candies.
NOTE: You can dip one buckeye in chocolate using the skewer then remove the skewer and use it to dip more buckeyes, but you can accidentally touch the wet chocolate, smearing the edges. I find it easier to use one skewer per buckeye and to remove it once the chocolate has hardened.
Printable Recipe: 4-ingredient buckeyes
Creamy peanut butter fudge is scooped and rolled into balls then dipped in semi-sweet chocolate. Each buckeye candy looks like a Buckeye tree nut and is a popular Christmas candy that's easy to make.
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons European-style salted butter, melted
- 12 ounces pure semi-sweet chocolate, melted
Spoon the peanut butter into a mixing bowl.
Sift the powdered sugar over the peanut butter and pour the melted butter over top.
Stir until well combined.
Scoop out twenty 1-tablespoon-size portions of the fudge.
Roll them into balls and set them on a parchment paper-lined (or wax paper-lined) baking pan.
Chill the peanut butter fudge balls for at least 2 hours until really firm.
Insert the flat end of a thin wooden skewer into a cold peanut butter ball.
Dip the fudge ball into the melted chocolate leaving about a ½ inch circle uncovered around the stick.
Lift the fudge ball out of the chocolate and gently shake allowing the excess chocolate to drip off.
Set the buckeye on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Once you have all the fudge balls dipped in chocolate, chill them in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Remove them from the fridge and gently pull out the skewers.
Pinch the hole in the fudge between two fingers, then smooth the surface out by brushing your finger over the top of the fudge.
Keep refrigerated until you are ready to serve your buckeyes.
- Store these chocolates in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a few weeks.
- The buckeyes can sit at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- The chocolate is not tempered, so it will get soft as it sits at room temperature.
- You can temper your chocolate so it will stay hard at room temperature, but the candies contain butter and should not be left at room temperature for more than a few days.
More Peanut Butter Fudge Recipe Ideas
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