Every Christmas growing up, my mom and I would make the same Christmas goodies– cut-out cookies and peanut butter balls (not to be confused with Schweddy balls). I loved helping my mom make and bake these special cookies at Christmastime. I always look forward to traveling home and making these with my mom.
Now, I realize that some of you call these “Buckeyes” even though my version involves completely covering them in chocolate and true Buckeyes are bare on top, but I grew up calling them peanut butter balls, so peanut butter balls they are.
2 sticks real butter, softened to room temperature
1 regular jar (16.4 oz.) creamy peanut butter
2 lb. powdered sugar (1 box = 1 lb. or 1 bag = 2 lbs.)
1 tsp. vanilla
4 large Hershey bars + 1/4 – 1/2 cake paraffin wax
1 large + 1 small bag semi-sweet chocolate chips + 1/4 cake paraffin wax
Semi-sweet chocolate squares + 1/4 cake paraffin wax
1 package of Almond Bark (imitation chocolate that tastes great and is easy to melt and use)
Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper.
Using a hand mixer, cream together the butter and peanut butter. Add vanilla and mix.
Keep using the hand mixer as long as you can, but don’t burn up the motor. Incorporate all the powdered sugar into the peanut butter mixture. Continue with a strong wooden spoon or your clean hands until it’s all mixed. The dough will be very crumbly, but will come together into perfect balls as you grab about a teaspoon’s worth and roll into a ball between your palms.
Melt the paraffin in a double boiler on the stove top. Add the Hershey’s (broken into small pieces) or chocolate chips and stir until completely melted. If using almond bark, follow package directions for melting in microwave.
Drop one ball at a time in the melted chocolate, cover completely then scoop underneath the ball with a fork, allowing the excess chocolate to run off before transferring to the waxed paper. Let the chocolate dry and re-solidify before serving.
To make the balls look like buckeyes, insert a toothpick into the center of a ball and carefully dip 3/4 of the way into the chocolate leaving a small round bare spot on the top. Sometimes the ball will want to fall off of the toothpick, or the ball with break apart. Chilling the balls in the fridge for a 1/2 hour or so may help.