Saturday, January 27, 2007

a most american confection

the following confection is called buckeyes because it resembles the fruit of the ohio state buckeye tree of the united states. they are quite easy to prepare and depending on how many you want to make, you can easily adjust the recipe. they can be made with or without the flour addition but the flour, i find, adds a bit more stability to the fats from the peanut butter and the shortening or butter.

these are a great candy, or "bonbon" for those times when you need a sugar hit.

enough said.


a very american candy, these are hard to resist if you love peanut butter and chocolate. the recipe can be doubled and the fruits of your labour frozen, to be enjoyed over the next few weeks.


2/3 c smooth peanut butter [you may need a bit more]
3 1/2 tbsp shortening or margarine {or butter}
1/3 c AP flour [optional]
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
icing sugar, at least 500 gm [1 lb]

1 pkg chocolate chips or enough couvreture chocolate to equal that amount
1 tbsp vegetable oil


with an electric mixer, blend together the peanut butter, shortening or margarine {or butter} and vanilla.

when smooth, add the flour and blend.

add icing sugar by the HALF CUP and blend. add enough sugar until you get a mass which is thick like clay and from which you can make a ball which holds together nicely. it is hard to say how much icing sugar as i never really measure the amount; i just add enough until it is the right consistency. the picture below is only about at the half way point and needs more sugar to make a stiffer dough. it will also firm up some upon refrigeration.

when you have a mixture that is quite firm, test one to see if you need more sugar is needed. make a one inch ball and put it in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes [refrigerate the dough while you wait]. if it is still squishy once it's well chilled, then you need to add some more icing sugar.

if the ball tests okay and you don't need more sugar, let it sit in the fridge for a good hour or two for it to firm up. make balls by rolling them into 1 inch sizes with your hands. they will not be sticky but feel oily from the peanut butter. place them on a cookie sheet or plate and then return them to the fridge.

note that the dough should have the consistency of modeling clay and will be a light beige [buff] colour. if you added too much icing sugar, you can add some more peanut butter to lighten it up. it is very forgiving.

prepare a cookie sheet to put the chocolate coated balls on.

melt your chocolate carefully and add 1 tbsp vegetable oil. mix well. this is to add a sheen to the chocolate.

skewer each ball with a sturdy tooth pick or some other implement and dip each ball only partially into the chocolate. approximately 1/2 to 2/3 of each bonbon should be covered. place the balls on a cookie sheet and return them to the fridge to solidify.

these can be frozen for longer keeping.



Princess Jibi said...

this looks so delicious...
Your so dreamieee...
I mean your cooking is so dreamieeeee...

burekaboy — said...

pj -- LOL, thanks. i understood what u meant.

The TriniGourmet said...

never heard of/saw those before!... love pb n choc... must be like a fancy reese's cup

burekaboy — said...

sarina - they're very good and somewhat like reeses :) don't like PB alone by itself, but with choc, i could eat a ton.

TopChamp said...

I wish kids didn't have peanut allergies... these look do-able at Brownies (girls not cookies).

We're hoping to do a valentines day cooking thing with them so any suggestions you have for easy impressive biscuits or sweets would be much appreciated!

Vidya said...

Never heard of them, I can't wait to make them soon. I don't have an electric mixer, so I'm going to have to use some elbow grease, but I hope they will turn out just like your photos.

BTW, you have missed PB in the first step in the method section.

Pammie said...

Hi Burekaboy,

Those look very nice, although I hadn't ever heard of them either. Must be an Ohio thing. But I do love peanut butter and chocolate, which is a mix of flavours unique to North Americans I think. Australians look upon such a concept in horror. Do you know why peanut butter became so popular in the US?

beenzzz said...

Peanut butter is a huge thing here. Seems to be in all kinds of candies and cookies and it's oh so GOOD!

burekaboy — said...

tc - i know, this whole peanut allergy thing makes it difficult to use this product. i knew nobody when i was young who had this allergy and everyone had pb sandwiches. unfortunately, it's a deadly substance for some people and a common allergy these days.

as for the ideas for your valentines day event, i'll think of a few things and get back to you :)

vidya - hey there :)) LOL, caught another typo!! soon, i'm gonna have to start paying you. hehe. thanks for telling me; it's been corrected. don't need a mixer for this. just make sure the shortening or butter is room temp. i've made these many times by hand. they are a breeze to make and you shouldn't have any problems. take some pix!!

are u going to use teff in place of the AP? that should work nicely, if you do.

pammie - what?! you've never heard of these?? i thought it was some american tradition thing. maybe it is very regional. i only found out about these from a book i read many years ago. otherwise, i'd have probably never heard of them either.

have no idea why australians hate it. i mean, really... they eat vegemite!! BLECH. :((

so what's the story about PB's popularity in america?

beenzzz - my fave are reeses PB cups. i could eat them by the truckload! LOL. :)))

Pammie said...

Hi Burekaboy,

Actually I like vegemite too...but it took years, and being absolutely starving to death and sitting next to someone eating hot buttered toast with vegemite, and...Australians are fed crackers smeared with vegemite when they are teething, so it's the ultimate comfort food for them.

The reason why peanuts are so popular in the US is because cotton crops slurp a lot of nitrogen out of the soil. So they used to rotate the cotton crops with peanuts to replenish the soil. Which means they had all these peanuts to deal with, so, lots of peanut butter, peanut butter pies, candies, etc!

And also I never knew anyone with peanut allergies when I was a kid....I think North Americans are so hyper sanitary these days that they have totally weakened their immune systems!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Those cookies look very cute and terribly yummy!!!
I'm sure that's a speciality I'd love, especially if it contain peanut butter (my beloved paste) ;-P...

burekaboy — said...

pammie - thanks for the info. i knew about the nitrogen thing but didn't link the cotton crops to the peanuts. my fave thing in georgia is boiled peanuts. they're incredibly addictive and very, very southern. glad i'm not allergic to this legume.

rosa - you need to make these!

Vidya said...

I forgot to tell you...I made these and they were so wonderful. Of course I took a few liberties with the recipe...I mixed honey, peanut butter(the natural variety with no salt and where the oil separates on top), milk powder, cocoa and chopped walnuts. I know all this change probably makes it a totally different sweet, but your recipe was the inspiration. I had a jar of hardened peanut butter in the fridge, so I thought of using it to try something different and delicious. Thanks for the inspiration.

burekaboy — said...

hi vidya :) - glad to hear you actually made them and they turned out great. i had a feeling you'd have an interesting interpretation to this! they sound like they you could call them "vidya's peanut butter laddoo" ;p i imagine you could have even rolled them in dried coconut too instead of the chocolate (not sure if you did that part). anyway, i'm glad to hear it worked out. using the natural peanut butter is a much healthier choice. thanks for the feedback. miss your comments :D don't be a stranger!