October 20, 2010

One of the most wonderful things about our truly amazing babysitter Erika, is the friends she has brought into our lives.  Basically every single person who has every babysat for my kids is a friend of Erika’s.  Catherine is our other regular and our boys love her as much as Randy and I do.  She is a southern girl making a fulfilling life for herself in Seattle.

Catherine brings her sweet spirit, cute accent, and beautiful smile to our house about every other Friday for a date night.  She is a very enthusiastic eater of my food so I love having little things hidden away for her in the refrigerator or in the cookie jar.  When Catherine turned 30 last fall, she asked me to cater a dinner for her.  I was very touched that she asked and had a lot of fun deciding on a menu.  Graham loved sharing his house with 20 beautiful women dressed in their best party clothes.  After the holidays, Catherine brought me two huge bags of pecans from her parents’ tree.  Yes, we love her.

I made these crack-like concoctions the other day for our yoga retreat and, since Catherine babysat on Friday night, I saved her a few.  She walked in and really, before saying hello to me or the boys said with wide eyes, “Are those Buckeyes?”  A Southern girl who knows her treats.

Being an almost lifelong Pacific Northwesterner, I had never heard of Buckeyes.  My loss!  These over-the-top treats are a mixture of cream cheese, graham crackers, butter, and peanut butter dipped in chocolate.  It may not surprise you to know that I got the recipe from the new Baked cookbook.  It may also not surprise you to know that the other treat I made for the retreat also came from that cookbook.  And if neither of those things surprise you, then you probably know that I want to make every single thing in that book, like, tomorrow.  I think it may even surpass the first one in terms of decadence and all around yuminess.

One Year Ago: Fettucine with Oil-Cured Olives, Tomatoes and Goat Cheese
Two Years Ago: Gnocchi with Winter Squash and Seared Radicchio

Baked Explorations
Makes 36 to 42 buckeyes

¼ cup cream cheese, softened
1½ cups peanut butter
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 9 full graham crackers)
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
10 tbsp. (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
12 ounces good quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

Make the candy
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter until combined.  Add the graham cracker crumbs and beat on medium speed for 10 seconds.  Add the confectioners’ sugar and butter.  Beat at low speed for 20 seconds to prevent the sugar from spilling over, then gradually increase the speed until the mixture is completely combined.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat again.  The mixture will feel slightly dry.  Set the peanut butter filling aside while you melt the chocolate.

In the top of a double boiler set over hot water, melt the chocolate, stirring frequently until it is completely smooth.  Pour the chocolate into a small, deep bowl.  Let cool to tepid (about 100ºF, body temperature) while you shape the peanut butter centers.

Assemble the Buckeyes
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.  Scoop out slightly more than 1 tablespoon’s worth of filling and use your hands to form it into a ball.  Place the ball on the prepared sheet pan and repeat the process until all the filling has been shaped.  The balls can sit fairly close to each other, just make sure they are not touching.

One by one, using a fork or large skewer, dip each ball into the chocolate.  Roll the ball around from side to side to cover almost the entire peanut butter center, leaving a small amount uncovered.  Manipulate the buckeye so that the dripping chocolate covers the holes made by the fork.  Let the excess chocolate drip back into the bowl and return each chocolate-covered buckeye to the pan.  Refrigerate the entire sheet pan for about 30 minutes to set the chocolate before serving.

(Buckeyes will keep for up to 3 days, tightly covered, in the refrigerator.)


  1. These are always so good!

    Comment by Maria — October 20, 2010 @ 2:12 pm

  2. I’ve never had a buckeye, but they sound incredibly good! Love how they’re dipped. Goes to show I’m a native NW girl!

    Comment by Jacqui — October 20, 2010 @ 2:29 pm

  3. i love that you bring these to yoga class. you would be a person i would say HELLO to at yoga class…that is, if i ever went to a yoga class. LOL

    Comment by vanillasugar — October 20, 2010 @ 2:43 pm

  4. My fiancée’s favorite Christmas treat. He looks forward to his mom’s buckeyes every year, a family recipe passed down through many generations of Iowa women. I’ll have to compare your recipe to hers, and make them if he okays it — though I know for a fact he’d never turn down a buckeye, no matter the recipe! They look perfect!



    Comment by heather — October 20, 2010 @ 2:56 pm

  5. Yum. If it’s peanut butter and chocolate I love it. :)

    Quick tip that you probably already know: when you put the chocolate-covered buckeye (or any dipped candy) back on the parchment, run a toothpick around it through the chocolate that leaks onto the paper. Perfectly shaped candies – and you can nibble the excess chocolate. ;)

    Comment by Jess Tudor — October 20, 2010 @ 4:25 pm

  6. now those sounds delicious

    mmmm num num

    well done – on great treats :)

    Betty Bake Blog

    Comment by Betty Bake — October 20, 2010 @ 4:28 pm

  7. I am absolutely positive that I would love these and yet I never remember to make them–yours look perfect, I would gladly babysit in exchange for treats :)

    Comment by natalie (the sweets life) — October 20, 2010 @ 4:32 pm

  8. I made vegan buckeyes for a friend and they were really good….but with cream cheese? I’ll bet they are awesome. Yum!

    Comment by kickpleat — October 20, 2010 @ 4:46 pm

  9. Ooh I had never heard of these either, but I am on a sugar kick and holy crap they look good!

    Comment by fresh365 — October 20, 2010 @ 5:51 pm

  10. Buckeyes – totally new to me but I want one!
    I will definitely have to try this at the holidays. Thanks for the great ideas, daily.

    Comment by Katie — October 20, 2010 @ 6:11 pm

  11. My best friend who moved away to Ohio made me some of her buckeyes and I totally miss them (friend and goodies haha) Thank you for the recipe, I’ll try to make some for her when she comes to visit!

    Comment by Shannon — October 20, 2010 @ 6:54 pm

  12. I’ve actually heard from a few people that they think this second Baked book is better than the first. Obviously I need to get both of them and then gain fifteen or so pounds from eating everything within their covers. Obviously. These look amazing.

    does catherine have any siblings she wants to send to NYC to baby-sit for my very-far-in-the-future kids?

    Also, I texted you about tomorrow! I will also send you an email but I wasn’t sure if you would have access!

    Comment by Joanne — October 20, 2010 @ 9:46 pm

  13. I feel so ignorant of Southern treats. Every time I discover a new one, however, I wonder how I could live without it. I am now wondering this same thing about these treats. They look wonderful! And, you are very lucky to have a wonderful babysitter. I am already in the market ;)

    Comment by redmenace — October 21, 2010 @ 1:43 am

  14. Ummm so is it bad that more than I want those yummy crack-like concoctions is the contact info for your babysitters? :) Our regular is always regularly booked. :)

    Comment by Lindsey — October 21, 2010 @ 5:07 am

  15. Oh, my. Oh, my, my, my! I must try these. Why haven’t I heard of them before? Silly me.

    Comment by Penny — October 21, 2010 @ 2:50 pm

  16. I just got the new Baked book, and I agree, it looks even better than the first. These little treats look pretty irresistible!

    Comment by lisaiscooking — October 21, 2010 @ 9:30 pm

  17. Being a born and raised Buckeye, I assumed that everyone knew what Buckeye candies were. Your recipe is definitely different than mine, which doesn’t include the cream cheese or the graham crackers, but you’ve got me intrigued enough to try it and see how the taste differs. They look marvelous!

    Comment by Mags — October 22, 2010 @ 1:25 am

  18. I love it. And I love that Spencer said “Oh my gawsh (gosh)” when you gave him one that night!

    Comment by Catherine — October 23, 2010 @ 5:53 am

  19. And thank you for your sweet words.

    Comment by Catherine — October 23, 2010 @ 5:54 am

  20. I laughed when I saw SK’s last posting. You beat her to the buckeyes, but not the squash salad. :)

    Comment by Sandra — October 31, 2010 @ 12:46 am

  21. Ohhh yum I’ve never made buckeyes but I definitely must. I’m adding them to my Christmas baking list this year!

    Comment by Ashley — November 26, 2010 @ 12:06 am

  22. The ones you made are beautiful looking and it goes to show why you have the blog and I am trying to pay attention! Did you use the dark chocolate for its melting capability or simply its qualtiy? I used a makeshift double boiler and my dipping step was a delicate balance. But with these treats, if someone can forgive you for how they look the first time you attempt. the recipe, the taste soon makes up for it!

    I just made them for Thanksgiving at my boyfriend’s family, and my sister in law (among myself and others) couldn’t keep her hands off of them. She is about to have her second baby and she announced, “I’m going to give birth to twins: one will be a girl, the second will be a buckeye!”

    Chocolate and peanut butter, how can you go wrong?! Thanks Dana for a great recipe! xx

    Comment by Darcie — November 29, 2010 @ 3:34 am

  23. I just made these (well, not quite done) and they taste amazing. I browned my butter. yes. Thanks for posting the recipe.

    Comment by Ashley — February 4, 2011 @ 10:53 pm

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