Peanut Butter Buckeyes

Buckeyes #recipe by @browneyedbaker ::

I absolutely love Christmas baking, and it will probably come as no surprise to you that my very favorite Christmas recipes involve the combination of chocolate and peanut butter, namely peanut butter blossoms and these peanut butter buckeye candies. I’ve adored them ever since I was a kid; how could you not love something that is basically a homemade version of Reese’s peanut butter cups? These buttery, sweet peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate are so easy to make and the recipe yields a TON, the combination of which makes them absolutely perfect for holiday baking.

This is my cousin’s recipe, and I follow it to a T, with the exception of adding vegetable shortening to the chocolate so that it coats the peanut butter balls a bit better. It makes for a super smooth coating and I highly recommend using it, but if you’re opposed to using shortening, you can substitute refined coconut oil in its place.

There are still plenty of baking days left before Christmas next week, and I highly recommend you add these to your to-do list!

Buckeyes #recipe by @browneyedbaker ::

Peanut Butter Buckeyes Recipe

Yield: 7 to 8 dozen buckeyes

Prep Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour

The classic! Sweetened balls of peanut butter dipped in chocolate.


1½ cups creamy peanut butter
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
4 cups powdered sugar
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
¼ cup vegetable shortening


1. Line cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, stir together the peanut butter, softened butter, vanilla extract, and salt with a wooden spoon. Add the powdered sugar a little bit at a time, stirring it into the peanut butter mixture until it is completely incorporated.

3. Roll the peanut butter mixture into 1-inch balls. Set them on the prepared cookie sheet and insert a toothpick into the top of each ball. Chill in freezer until hard, approximately 30 minutes.

4. In a heatproof medium bowl, combine the chocolate chips and shortening. Place the bowl over a small saucepan with 1 inch of water placed over low heat. Stir occasionally, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Keep the bowl over the saucepan of barely simmering water. Using the toothpick as a "handle", dip the peanut butter balls into the chocolate, leaving a small circle exposed on the top of each ball. Place the balls back on the cookie sheet and refrigerate until the chocolate is set, approximately 2 hours.

5. Once the buckeyes are set, remove the toothpicks and if you'd like, you can use your finger to smudge the peanut butter dough together on the top of the buckeye to cover the hole where the toothpicks were. Store the buckeyes in an airtight container with wax paper between layers in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.


108 Responses to “Peanut Butter Buckeyes”

  1. katie102006 on December 18, 2007 at 9:39 am

    Cute! I’ve never seen these treats before! They looks super yummy!


    • Laura on December 18th, 2014 at 6:53 am

      I saw these at a Christmas party and was amazed at how good they were. They looked just like these! I kept eating them and felt a little guilty for being such a piggy. So I’m going to make them this year so I don’t have to feel so bad (not for the calories but for hoarding food!) Yours looks unreal yum!


  2. kayte on December 18, 2007 at 9:52 am

    these look incredible chelle! i have seen these in magazines before and yours look truly gourmet. how sad that you had to stop eating something that you enjoyed so much 🙁


    • Sarah on December 18th, 2014 at 6:50 am

      Seen these in mags too and was craving them. Who doesn’t love peanut butter and chocolate? Like, all men. Would make perfect gift bags for all the men (okay, I don’t have that many and I meant dads! in my life) Awesome. Nicely presented too!


  3. Jennifer on December 18, 2007 at 10:43 am

    One of my all-time favorites! My great aunt used to make a very complicated version of these. I did get her recipe, but I eventually found one similar to yours. Much easier and so, so good. Happy holidays!


  4. Aud on December 18, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    These look so good! And being the good friend that I am, I will gladly eat any chocolate / PB combinations for you you. 🙂


  5. Joanne on October 15, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    Ooh these look yummy. Could you eat cashew butter as a substitute? I think it’s similar to peanut butter…


    • Bob on December 28th, 2012 at 10:36 pm

      I use soy butter because I’m allergic to nuts and it tastes great.


  6. caseyew on December 3, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    I grew up making buckeyes with my mom at Christmas time. They tend to get very soft and hard to work with, since they’re so full fo fat! We always rolled the balls, stuck in toothpicks, then froze them so that the toothpicks stayed and the pb balls didn’t fall into the chocolate.


  7. Penny Wolf on September 21, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    A dear friend CAN NOT have peanut butter. I found that Sunbutter comes very close in taste to peanut butter but behaves equally well for baking cookies.
    Giant Eagle does carry it.


    • Michelle on September 22nd, 2010 at 7:33 pm

      Penny, thank you for the tip on Sunbutter!


  8. Angie on September 25, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    Another way you can do the chocolate which my grandmother used to do when making hers was use a whole bag of semi-sweet chocolate morsels (Toll House) and then 3/4 bar of Parrafin of wax. The chocolate does not get too thick and it adds a nice bite to your chocolate. She also used to use 2 cups of JIF Peanut Butter. I think it makes a big difference. Even though these are time consuming to make they are DELICIOUS!


    • Michelle on September 28th, 2010 at 7:02 pm

      Thank you for the additional tips Angie!


    • AmyP on December 5th, 2015 at 12:06 pm

      My mom’s recipe used paraffin. Paraffin wax is something they used to use in candy making, but it is a by-product of petroleum and shouldn’t really be consumed. Vegetable shortening, compound coating, or just proper tempering are all good alternatives.


    • Sally on December 13th, 2015 at 2:32 pm

      My mom’s recipe uses the paraffin wax as well. It gives the candy a nice shiny professional look, and keeps the chocolate coating smooth and even. I prefer the wax over shortening. I am not worried about it killing me, not enough is used to cause harm.


  9. Joann on September 27, 2010 at 6:53 am

    Since you’re starting your holiday baking now does that mean you can freeze the buckeyes now and they’ll be good by December? I never seem to have enough time to make all the things I’d like to make during the holidays so I would Imagine this is the way to go – start early and freeze it. . . I may need to purchase a freezer!

    Thank you for any help on the freezing of all baked items plus the candies.


    • Michelle on September 28th, 2010 at 7:04 pm

      Hi Joann, I’m not actually starting my holiday baking yet; I like to start early, but not this early! These do freeze well, but I would say for up to 1 month.


    • PattyZR on January 11th, 2015 at 3:05 pm

      I’ve been making Buckeyes for over 20 years. I’m a Buckeye so I make a huge batch at the beginning of football season and I freeze them. I make up a plateful for every game. You can freeze these for months. I just place in tupperware and place in the freezer.


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  12. Tania on December 10, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Hi again Michelle! Just a quick question: I’m going to be making these and happen to have some of the butter flavored Crisco shortening on hand (I think it’s the best for pie dough as opposed to butter). Do you think the flavor would be terrible if I used that instead of plain shortening?


    • Michelle on December 10th, 2010 at 2:34 pm

      I think that would be okay to use. Enjoy these!


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  14. debbie on December 21, 2010 at 9:35 am

    Made these this morning – if you add an extra 1/2 cup of peanut butter your mixture will not be crumbly. I mixed it up in my KitchenAid and it worked beautifully. Thank you for the recipe – I am going to have some very happy friends and neighbors this Christmas!


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  18. Firstfall on August 31, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Just use your finger to smooth over the toothpick hole. It’s a tip in a lot of Buckeye recipes I’ve seen. (So is the ‘freeze the balls with the toothpicks in them, then dip’ tip) From Ohio, & these are VERY popular there! 🙂


  19. Marisha on September 22, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    I stumbled across your website today while looking for a decent sandwich bread and I haven’t been able to leave! So far I’ve added a bunch of things to my “To Bake” List 🙂 I too had a love for peanut butter until a couple of years ago when I realized every time I ate anything with peanuts I had a difficult time breathing 🙁 It made me so sad when I first found out and I’ll admit even now I still crave the occasional PB M&M. I haven’t really heard of many other people developing adult onset allergies like I did. Any who, the reason I’m sharing is that I found a decent PB replacement- SoyNut Butter (made in peanut free facilities). I know it doesn’t exactly sound tasty but it brings me right back. . . I also find that it reacts in baking etc the same as PB; I’ve been known to switch it for PB in many recipes and no one noticed!! Maybe I’ve just been PB deprived for too long but I really enjoy it and wanted to share in case you haven’t discovered it yet!


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  21. Karen Motsinger on December 5, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    I’ve always added about a cup and a half of Rice Krispies to my Buckeye recipe – they have a little crunch in them and the RK’s don’t add weight to the mix. You might need to adjust (add) a little bit more peanut butter for the dry RK’s to keep your dough together. And yes, pat a finger dipped in a little powdered sugar over the toothpick hole, you’ll never know it was even there.


  22. Andrea Parello on December 11, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    My daughter-in-law introduced me to your website. I absolutely love it!!

    I made your turkey, muchroom & wild rice soup with the left over turkey from Thanksgiving. It was delicious!!

    I would like to make nut rolls. apricot rolls for Christmas do you have a recipe for any of these? My mom always used to make them but her recipes are very hard to understand and since she’s no longer around, I can’t ask.

    Thanks – Andrea


  23. Amy Bailey on December 14, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Yum! I love these. I put crushed Rice Krispies in mine to give them a little bit of crunch.


  24. Brianna on December 17, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    My best friend jokingly told me she wanted a whole batch of buckeyes for Christmas – they’re a candy from her childhood, but I’d never heard of them. I was so happy to find your beautiful website and I tried this recipe out this weekend. These are fabulous!! Everyone who has tried them loves them, and I’m sure she’ll be thrilled to get a box full of these!! Thank you for the recipe!


  25. Sally on February 4, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    I am an alumni of Ohio State University-thus a true Buckeye. When visiting family in St.Paul at Thanksgiving, I know I can ‘t get off the plane without a container of candy Buckeyes! Yum!


  26. Sue on February 19, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Am I the only one that had to use shish kabob sticks to fish out my peanut butter balls from the chocolate?! lol. STILl- YUM YUM YUM!!!!


  27. Marsha on February 24, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Instead of making your own go to Marsha’s Buckeyes website and order them. We have been in business for 28 years. We don’t close the holes because it is our trademark.


  28. Mary on June 7, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    My family makes these every year. I recommend using almond bark instead of having to mess with chocolate chips and shortening. Also to help the almond bark melt faster grate it or chop it up small.


  29. Cheyenne on August 10, 2012 at 11:22 am

    How many dozen does this make? I’d love to use these at my wedding.


    • Michelle on August 10th, 2012 at 11:38 pm

      Hi Cheyenne, This makes about 3 to 4 dozen (based on how large you make them).


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  31. Julia on September 27, 2012 at 7:33 am

    I tried to make these this morning with my boyfriend, who’s living in Sweden. He wanted to make an American treat to bring to dinner at a friend’s. The peanut butter balls turned out just lovely, but the chocolate + butter situation was as thick as frosting, and entirely undippable. Next time I’ll definitely just be melting the chocolate alone or making more of a ganache.


    • Michelle on September 27th, 2012 at 10:16 am

      Hi Julia, It sounds like you used butter in place of the shortening for dipping the buckeyes? This is likely the problem – vegetable shortening helps to thin the chocolate and make it suitable for dipping. Butter, on the other hand, will in fact thicken the chocolate and create more of a ganache. You want to use vegetable shortening here.


  32. Karen on October 20, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Ahh, where is the Rice Crispies? These are NOT PB balls without Rice Crispies!!


    • NEOhioan on November 7th, 2012 at 1:19 pm

      That’s cuz these are BUCKEYES, not PB balls. Buckeyes NEVER have a crunch. You can put rice cereal in yours, just don’t call them Buckeyes! 😉


  33. Selina on October 21, 2012 at 11:21 am

    I have not tried this recipe, yet, but I will say these things are so yummy and so addictive!!!!!!!!! That being said, my MIL makes the BEST buckeyes EVER!!!!!!!!! I think she uses parafin wax in hers. But they are melt in your mouth, so soft and fluffy!! You definitely cannot just eat one (unless of course it’s the last one)……………….Don’t tell anyone, but somehow a few always end up hidden in my nightstand so Ii can eat them later!


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  36. ANGIE KELLEY on December 16, 2012 at 11:51 am

    This was a crumbly mess! I can’t roll the balls – can squeeze them into shape, but I think 6 cups might be too much. Trying to figure out how much more PB to add to the recipe to save it…


  37. Jessica on December 18, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    Would it be ok to use margarine sticks or the stuff in the round container like country crock?


    • Michelle on December 19th, 2012 at 10:29 am

      Hi Jessica, I would not recommend substituting the butter with margarine or a spread, it just won’t taste the same, especially since all of the ingredients remain “raw” and aren’t baked into anything.


  38. Paula Brophy on July 25, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    My son ( a buckeye fan) want to provide these delicious buckeyes as wedding favors. We need 600. Tired already. My question is, can I freeze them after dipping? The wedding is one month away. I’m afraid they will sweat during defrosting. Wedding is Aug. 24. Help!


    • Michelle on July 25th, 2013 at 11:13 pm

      Paula, What an awesome mom you are! I have frozen buckeyes, but I honestly can’t remember if they sweat or not when they were defrosted. If you do it a day or so in advance, I think you’ll be just fine.


  39. NikiCholette on October 4, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    That is a lot of sugar, my husband would hate them if I made them like that. I use 2 cups peanut butter and 2 cups icing sugar. Was plenty sweet with that much sugar.


  40. CarlyA on December 9, 2013 at 12:52 am

    I’ve been put in charge of making buckeyes for Christmas this year. Love your site, and definitely using your recipe. Could coconut oil replace the shortening?


    • Michelle on December 9th, 2013 at 12:32 pm

      Hi Carly, You can substitute coconut oil, as long as you are aware that a slight coconut flavor will be there.


  41. Trixy on December 13, 2013 at 9:44 am

    What happens if i mix up ingredients and use shortening with the peanut butter not the butter??

    I’ve had it in the fridge for a bit but it doesn’t seem to be getting hard. and i don’t think i’m going to be able to roll it into balls


    • Michelle on December 13th, 2013 at 10:59 am

      Hi Trixy, You should not use the shortening with the peanut butter mixture. It might end up being too soft. It is meant to thin the chocolate so that it can coat the peanut butter balls easily.


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  46. Jessica on April 28, 2014 at 12:50 am

    Made these for my baby shower yesterday and they were great 🙂

    I used about a cup less powdered sugar, just because I like them a little less sweet and a tad softer. (Just personal preference 🙂 ) I also decided to go with crunchy peanut butter this time 🙂

    Yummy recipes from your site as always! Thanks!


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  48. Tracey l on December 18, 2014 at 6:48 am

    I make a different version but I melt chocolate with some paraffin wax (prob 1/2-3/4 stick for that amt of chips. They come out shiny and doesn’t melt in your hands as much.


  49. Becky on December 18, 2014 at 8:36 am

    I’m just enjoying the fact that you put a recipe up here with “Buckeye” in the title. O-H-I-O!


  50. Terri on December 18, 2014 at 9:29 am

    My version of these has crispy cereal in the parent butter mixture and melted Hershey bars and parafin wax along with chocolate chips for the coating.


    • Terri on December 18th, 2014 at 9:37 am

      Dang auto correct – I meant peanut butter!!


  51. Jessica @ Golden Brown and Delicious on December 18, 2014 at 10:17 am

    These are one of my favorites, but I almost never make them because I hate dipping things in chocolate. It always stresses me out because I don’t have a ton of success. Maybe not using shortening is the thing I’ve been doing wrong!


  52. Laina Turner on December 18, 2014 at 11:30 am

    This looks amazing. I love chocolate and peanut butter combinations.


  53. Rosene S. on December 18, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    I love me some Buckeyes!!!


  54. anna on December 18, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Love these, we make a similar version but we use half creamy half crunchy peanut butter and we use 3 cups of rice krispies in the mix as well. Makes for a crunchier filling. I’ve used parafin wax in the past for the chocolate coating and have always been a little weirded-out by it, so I think I’ll try the vegetable shortening. Thanks for the tip!


  55. Char on December 18, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Could I use canola oil instead of the vegetable?


    • Michelle on December 21st, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      Hi Char, There is no oil called for in the recipe, so you should not use canola oil.


  56. Jennifer @ Show Me the Yummy on December 18, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Why is pb and chocolate the best thing that ever happened?!


  57. Jen @ Fresh From The... on December 18, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    We’ve made these as Peanut Butter Balls in my family since I was a kid, but we like to add some butterscotch chips to the chocolate topping for a little something extra! 🙂


  58. Mandy on December 18, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    Hey Michelle! Funnily enough I searched your site for truffles and things to make for Christmas a couple of days ago and I already added these of my list of things to make! I did have a question though! Have you ever made chocolate or sugar swirl things to top cupcakes/truffles with? I am not finding a recipe and I was just wondering if you had any tips! I’m trying to go a little fancy this year!


    • Michelle on December 21st, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      Hi Mandy, I’m not sure what exactly you’re referring to, but I have never made cupcake toppers, so I guess the answer is no!


  59. Meghan on December 18, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Oh these sound the best!


  60. Alley @ alleys recipe book on December 20, 2014 at 12:46 am

    Being from Ohio, and loving both chocolate and peanut butter, these are a staple game day and Christmas treat. Everyone always asks for them! I use a fork to hold and dip the pb balls in the chocolate. The chocolate drips through the fork and you don’t have a weird hole in the middle of the buckeye. 🙂 this year I made buckeye bark instead because it is so much faster.


  61. Jessica on December 20, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    I added some baker’s wax to the chocolate. It helps to hold it together better and it doesn’t melt nearly as quickly in little fingers. I also omitted the salt. No need for it really to be in there. Otherwise great recipe!


  62. Julie on December 20, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    I’ve been meaning to try these for years and your simple recipe finally pushed me to do it. I made half a batch and I made them smaller than one-inch, maybe like big marbles. I got 75, which was plenty. I’ve never added shortening to dipping chocolate before but it worked perfectly. We like Reese’s cups very much, so I added extra salt to these and my 18-year old son gives them 3 thumbs up! Thanks!


  63. Emily @ Life on Food on December 21, 2014 at 6:37 am

    I don’t know why I never make these. I always get super happy when some appear in front of my as a gift.


  64. Debbie on December 21, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Made these last year without the shortening, and this year I will use the shortening. My Mamow made these every year for Christmas Eve, with a big pot of chili. Everyone ate as they felt like it. The Buckeyes were always gone quick so you ate those when you came in. She too used to make some with Rice Crispies, but made sure everyone knew they were not “real buckeyes”, but we really enjoyed them too!!! I am doing this very thing this year….in honor of My Mamow. I do leave mine in the freezer for at least an hour, before dipping. The thicker pointer toothpicks seem to work better than the thin little ones too.


  65. Debbie on December 21, 2014 at 8:50 am

    I have a question also. Do you think I could make up the mixture for the balls and then refrigerate until Wednesday. This is Sunday. It would sure make it alot easier on me Wednesday since I have to work part of the day.Hope you can answer this for me.


    • Michelle on December 21st, 2014 at 3:46 pm

      Hi Debbie, Yes, you could do that!


  66. Lisa S on December 21, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    These look so good! I would love to make some for my neighbors – do they absolutely have to be refrigerated?


    • Michelle on December 21st, 2014 at 3:47 pm

      Hi Lisa, It’s not imperative, I just find that it keeps them from getting too soft and the chocolate melty if someone has a warmer house.


  67. Laura C. on December 22, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    I’ve made these for years and they are always a hit! I do use a slightly different recipe, but one thing I do is instead of choc. chips and veg oil, I use baking chips..Ghiradelli dark..that way I don’t need to add anything to the choc. and then I put them in the freezer on the cookie sheet for 5 min to set the chocolate. I also melt them in the microwave for 15-30 sec increments and stir until bowl is cool. My 15 yr old son has a love/hate relationship with these, lol..he says keep them away from me…I can’t stop my self from eating them!


  68. Jules on December 23, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Couldn’t remember my ancient recipe off the top of my head this year. Something happens to your brain when your kids become teens. This is the closest to my old recipe and I’m so glad I found it. But a few tips as someone who’s been doing it a long time. I would add the extra 1/2 cup of peanut butter if they are too dry or not pb enough tasting for you. Next sift the sugar. It helps. I also pop the dough in the fridge for a while before forming the balls and coat my hands in powdered sugar. (Probably more necessary with the increase in pb) I leave them in the freezer for an hour and only use one toothpick over and over instead of freezing with a ton of them. Lastly and a big one..use and ice cream scoop for the dipping! Scoop up the choc and then dip the ball with a toothpick in the ice cream scoop of chocolate. No digging it out if it falls. No worrying about your choc bowl being too shallow as the choc starts to run low. Also I microwave the choc just because i find it easier.


  69. Brian on December 24, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Loved these! What a fun project for me and my daughter (they were tasty as well). She was the designated “chocolate dipper” and had a blast. I love recipes that we can do together and this one fit that bill perfectly. Thanks for posting!


  70. Nancy Goldstein on July 7, 2015 at 11:34 am

    with the extra melted chocolate, I dip a fork into mixture and quickly wave it back and forth over the finished candy. Not only looks like store bought but hides the toothpick holes. I also have always used paraffin,as it has a little crunch when bitten into.


  71. Gloria Schofield on September 23, 2015 at 9:18 am

    Hi – I haven’t tried these yet, but I was just wondering if there is any reason why you couldn’t substitute butter for shortening in the chocolate coating. I don’t normally buy shortening, so I was hoping not to have to buy a whole thing of it, most of which I would probably end up throwing away. Any thoughts?


    • Michelle on September 23rd, 2015 at 9:12 pm

      Hi Gloria, Yes, there are specific properties in the shortening that help it keep a smooth coating and set properly. Butter won’t work here. If you want to substitute for the shortening, you can use coconut oil (the refined version will not impart a coconut taste).


  72. terri on October 18, 2015 at 10:43 am

    Need to know what’s the best way to pack these in a suitcase for a plane ride.


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  75. Ronda on December 6, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    If u just mix the peanut butter mixture how long can u keep them n freezer for I wanted to do mine now so all I had to do was dip them.


    • Michelle on December 7th, 2015 at 10:48 pm

      Hi Ronda, You could keep them for up to a couple of months in the freezer.


  76. jayne on December 7, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    Love these , Iam from the UK ,what could I use instead of shortening as we dont have that here

    Many thanks x


    • Michelle on December 7th, 2015 at 10:49 pm

      Hi Jayne, You could use refined coconut oil.


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  78. Julie on December 17, 2015 at 7:31 am

    Can I use crunchy peanut butter



    • Michelle on December 18th, 2015 at 8:59 pm

      Hi Julie, Definitely! You just may not have super smooth buckeyes.


  79. ann on December 20, 2015 at 9:24 am

    my peanut butter is to sticky to form into balls.. what can i do


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