5 from 1 votes

Buckeye Balls (Peanut Butter Balls)

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Summer is winding to a close, and believe it or not, it’s time to start thinking about the holidays, which is why I’m so excited to share my recipe for a holiday classic: the Buckeye Ball!  If you’re unfamiliar with these little desserts, prepare to enjoy this easy no-bake dessert.

holding a chocolate covered buckeye classic treat between fingers.

Buckeye balls taste like homemade Reese’s peanut butter cups: they’re creamy, peanut buttery, and dipped in chocolate. 

Best of all, these sweet treats, which include a combination of peanut butter and chocolate, don’t require baking or candy thermometers, making them a popular fall recipe choice around the busy holidays.

Why you will love making this Buckeye Cookie Recipe

Family Friendly: Buckeye Balls have only four ingredients and are a super easy recipe to make with the kids.  They will have a blast rolling out the peanut butter balls and dipping them in melted chocolate (who needs playdough, anyways?). 

Holiday Food Gifting: Buckeye Ball candies make great gifts for coworkers, friends, and neighbors, and they are a simple and fun addition to any dessert tray. 

There are many ways to decorate this classic treat recipe, and because they can be made in advance, it’s one more thing marked off your “To Do” list!

Ingredients

To get started, gather this handful of ingredients that make up the buckeye balls recipe:

  • Peanut butter: smooth peanut butter of the creamy variety.
  • Powdered sugar: also called confectioner’s sugar.
  • Butter: melted
  • Chocolate chips – There are various classic chocolate ways to ensure a great melt. Use cups of chocolate chips, semisweet chocolate chips, baking chocolate, dark chocolate, or even white chocolate. Pick one of the types of chocolate that you love! 
  • Wax paper – Wax paper or parchment paper works great to keep balls from sticking while they are firm.
  • Toothpicks – Dipping the peanut butter balls in chocolate works really well with toothpicks. Additionally, a fork may be used.

How to make Buckeye Balls

  1. Line a baking sheet with wax parchment paper. Set aside.  Mix peanut butter, butter, and powdered sugar together until combined well and smooth.
  2. Use a tablespoon portion scoop to scoop dough into balls.
  3. Roll tablespoon-sized balls into a smooth ball with the palms of your hands.
  4. Place peanut butter mixture onto prepared cookie sheet. Freeze for at least 1 hour or overnight to ensure a stiff dough before covering with milk chocolate. 
4 image collage of how to make buckeye balls.
  1. Place chocolate in a microwave-safe medium bowl and heat at 50% power for 60 seconds. Stir well and return to microwave for the same time and powder. Stir until completely melted.  Line a baking sheet or cutting board with wax paper (or parchment paper) and set it aside.  Dip the ball into melted chocolate, immersing about 2/3 of the way; use a fork to pick up the ball and scrape the bottom of the chocolate on the side of the bowl to get rid of excess chocolate.
  2. Place buckeye candy onto a prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate until hard and chocolate are set.
2 images of dipping peanut butter balls into chocolate.

Expert Candy Recipe Tips

  • The easiest way to dip the peanut butter dough into the melted chocolate is to use a toothpick.  Smooth out the toothpick hole after dipping.
  • Before rolling out the peanut butter balls, grease your hands with leftover melted butter.  This will prevent the dough from sticking as you roll it in your palms.
  • DON’T SKIP the freezing step!  I know it’s tempting, but chilling the balls is a MUST if you want the peanut butter dough to hold up to the melted chocolate when it’s dipped!
  • If your dough mixture isn’t sticking together well enough, you can add more powdered sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until you get the right consistency.
  • Coarse sea-salt and caramel are two delicious variations that can be added separately or together for a sweet and salty mix-up of peanut butter balls.
creamy peanut butter mixture.

FAQ’S

Why are they called Buckeye Balls?

These candies are called Buckeyes because they resemble the nut from the Buckeye Tree, the state tree of Ohio.  Lucky for us, the similarities stop there: while real Buckeye nuts are toxic, our peanut butter Buckeyes will only make you feel sick if you eat the whole batch in one sitting!

What type of peanut butter makes the best homemade Buckeye Ball?

Use creamy peanut butter rather than a crunchy variety.  Because you want the extra sweetness, I recommend choosing a type of peanut butter with added sugars, like Skippy or Jif, rather than a “natural” type. 

You’ll also want a variety labeled “no-stir,” which will give you the correct consistency.

How to store Buckeye Balls

Store your leftover Buckeye Balls in a zip lock bag or an airtight container (covered container) in the fridge for up to two weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months.  Defrost overnight in the fridge.

Can you decorate Peanut Butter Balls?

Buckeye Balls are easy to spruce up, and the decorations can be delicious and pretty.  Perfect as a substitute for holiday cookies, sprinkles, crushed nuts, or crumbled cookies will all work perfectly as an extra flavor and pretty decoration.   

Simply add your choice of decoration right after dipping the peanut butter balls in chocolate and allow them to set.  Alternatively, you can use white chocolate or colored candy melts instead of regular chocolate chips.

  • Christmas Holiday Party: regular chocolate with red/green sprinkles.
  • New Years: white chocolate with edible gold sprinkle stars.
  • Valentine’s Day: white chocolate with pink sprinkles.
  • Fourth of July: white chocolate with red and blue sprinkles.
group of buckeye balls on a cutting board.
5 from 1 votes

Buckeye Balls with Peanut Butter and Chocolate


Prep Time 25 minutes
This classic homemade treat that takes a delicious peanut butter and powdered sugar mixture and combines it into a creamy decadent peanut butter ball, dipped in chocolate, is the perfect make ahead, no bake holiday dessert. 

Ingredients
 

  • cups creamy peanut butter Jif
  • ½ cup melted butter equal to 1 stick
  • cups powdered sugar more as needed, see instructions
  • 12 oz. chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Line a baking sheet with wax paper or parchment paper. Set aside. Make sure there is space in the fridge AND freezer for the baking sheet. 
  • Mix peanut butter, butter and powdered sugar together until combined well and smooth.
  • Use a tablespoon portion scoop to scoop dough into balls and roll into a smooth ball with the palms of your hands. Place onto prepared baking sheet.
  • Freeze for 1 hour or overnight. Once peanut butter balls are solid, move to next step.
  • Place chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat at 50% power for 60 seconds. Stir well and return to microwave for the same time and power. Stir until completely melted. 
  • Line a baking sheet or cutting board with wax paper and set aside.
  •  Dip ball into melted chocolate immersing about 2/3 of the way, use a fork or toothpick to pick up the ball. Scrape the bottom of the chocolate on the side of the bowl to rid of excess chocolate.
  • Place buckeye balls onto prepared baking sheet.
  • Let stand for chocolate to harden or refrigerate until hard. Makes approximately 40 balls depending how big you make them.

Notes

What type of peanut butter makes the best homemade Buckeye Ball?
Use creamy peanut butter rather than a crunchy variety.  Because you want the extra sweetness I recommend choosing a type of peanut butter with added sugars, like Skippy or Jif rather than a “natural” type.  You’ll also want a variety that is labeled “no-stir” which will give you the correct consistency.
How to store Buckeye Balls
Store your leftover Buckeye Balls in a zip lock bag or an airtight container (covered container) in the fridge for up to two weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.  Defrost overnight in the fridge.
Can you decorate Peanut Butter Balls?
Buckeye Balls are easy to spruce up, and the decorations can be delicious as well as pretty.  Perfect as a substitute to holiday cookies, sprinkles, crushed nuts, or crumbled cookies will all work perfectly as extra flavor and pretty decoration.   Simply add your choice of decoration right after dipping the peanut butter balls in chocolate and allow to set.  Alternatively, you can use white chocolate or colored candy melts in place of regular chocolate chips.
  • Christmas Holiday Party: regular chocolate with red/green sprinkles
  • New Years: white chocolate with edible gold sprinkle stars
  • Valentine’s Day: white chocolate with pink sprinkles
  • Fourth of July: white chocolate with red and blue sprinkles

Nutrition

Serving: 2balls | Calories: 127kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 66mg | Potassium: 64mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 71IU | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.

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5 from 1 votes

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One Comment

  1. Vicki Murton says:

    Awesome! I made other candy this past Christmas and for the first time made these Buckeyes. My family told me that I don’t need to bother making any other kind of candy; just make Buckeyes. I totally agreed.

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