Peanut Butter Buckeyes Recipe

This classic Buckeyes Recipe is a family favorite; peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate only require a few ingredients and are a holiday staple. No Christmas cookie tray is complete unless it is overflowing with peanut butter buckeyes!

Peanut butter buckeyes on a wire rack, some bitten into.

I absolutely love Christmas baking, and for my entire life my very favorite Christmas recipes involve the combination of chocolate and peanut butter, namely peanut butter blossoms and these peanut butter buckeyes. 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 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.

How to Make Buckeyes

I have been making this buckeyes recipe for as long as I can remember; it comes from my dad’s cousin, and it has been gracing our holiday dessert trays since I was a baby. The recipe is super simple, only requires a handful of ingredients, and you do not need any special equipment. Here’s what you do!

MY OTHER RECIPES

First, use a wooden spoon to stir together softened butter, peanut butter, salt, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar. You can bust out a stand or hand mixer if you want, but it’s just as easily accomplished with a plain ‘ol wooden spoon. This filling tastes so much like a legit peanut butter cup that I could just eat it with a spoon. SO GOOD.

Peanut butter and powdered sugar mixture in a glass bowl.

Using a tablespoon or small cookie scoop, portion out the peanut butter filling, and roll them into balls. Once you’re done, stick a toothpick into the center of each one and pop them into the freezer until they’re nice and firm, about 30 minutes.

You want them to be able to withstand being dipped into warm melted chocolate, and not start to fall apart. This amount of time does the trick!

Buckeyes rolled into balls with toothpicks inserted on top.

Next, you’ll melt together chocolate chips and vegetable shortening, then dip the peanut butter balls so just a small circle at the top is still visible. The shortening helps to thin the chocolate and keep it from clumping up when melted, and I use it anytime I am coating something in chocolate (if you prefer not to use shortening, check out some alternatives in the recipe notes section below).

Finally, pop these babies into the refrigerator to make sure the chocolate is totally set (a couple of hours), then eat to your heart’s content!

Dipping a buckeye into chocolate with finished ones on a pan.

Buckeyes Recipe Notes

Some tips for making the best buckeyes, ever!

  • Do not use natural peanut butter for these, it is much too oily. You want to reach for a traditional jar of peanut butter such as Jif, Skippy, or your favorite brand.
  • You can use salted butter and omit the salt, if you’d prefer.
  • While the recipe calls for chocolate chips, you can also use the same amount of bar chocolate, finely chopped. Feel free to substitute dark chocolate or milk chocolate if you’d like.
  • I spoke above about the benefits of using vegetable shortening, but if you prefer not to use shortening, you can substitute coconut oil (use refined so the flavor is neutral and you don’t get coconut flavor in your buckeyes!). You could also substitute candy melts or something like CandiQuik for both the chocolate and shortening (though not nearly as delicious as real chocolate!). Follow the directions on the packaging for melting instructions.

Storage Tips

Make sure your buckeyes stay fresh for as long as possible!

  • The buckeyes should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator to keep them nice and fresh. Stored in this way, they will keep for about 1 month (although good luck keeping them that long without eating them all, ha!).
  • You can also freeze buckeyes in an airtight container or freezer ziploc bag for up to 3 months.

Assembled and dipped buckeyes lined up on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

So there you have it! One of my oldest, most-loved Christmas recipes, and it could not be simpler to make or a bigger hit wherever you take them.

Does your family make these? Is the recipe similar, or do you put a spin on them, like adding Rice Krispies? I’ve heard about that and am intrigued!

If You Like This Buckeyes Recipe, Try These:

A mount of peanut butter buckeyes on a white plate.

Watch How to Make Buckeyes

Peanut Butter Buckeyes Recipe

Author Michelle
Servings 84 buckeyes
Prep 1 hour
Total 3 hours
Course:Dessert
Cuisine:American

This classic Buckeyes Recipe is a family favorite! Peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate only require a few ingredients and are a holiday staple.

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

  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.

Recipe Notes:

  • Do not use natural peanut butter for these, it is much too oily. You want to reach for a traditional jar of peanut butter such as Jif, Skippy, or your favorite brand.
  • You can use salted butter and omit the salt, if you'd prefer. 
  • While the recipe calls for chocolate chips, you can also use the same amount of bar chocolate, finely chopped. Feel free to substitute dark chocolate or milk chocolate if you'd like. 
  • I spoke above about the benefits of using vegetable shortening, but if you prefer not to use shortening, you can substitute coconut oil (use refined so the flavor is neutral and you don't get coconut flavor in your buckeyes!). You could also substitute candy melts or something like CandiQuik for both the chocolate and shortening (though not nearly as delicious as real chocolate!). Follow the directions on the packaging for melting instructions.
  • Buckeyes can be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight container or freezer ziploc bag.

Nutrition:

Calories: 123kcal
Fat: 8g
Saturated fat: 3g
Cholesterol: 6mg
Sodium: 22mg
Potassium: 79mg
Carbohydrates: 11g
Sugar: 9g
Protein: 1g
Vitamin A: 1.4%
Calcium: 0.8%
Iron: 3.5%

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!

Update Notes: This recipe was originally published in December 2007. Updated in December 2014 with new photos, and refreshed in December 2018 with more new photos, a video, and recipe tips.

[photos by Ari of Well Seasoned]