You can take the girl out of Ohio, but you can’t take Ohio out of the girl. I am, and always will be, an Ohioan. This means I am a diehard Browns fan, which is not an easy thing to be down here in Florida. I crave the Coconut Bars from Archie’s Bakery and am still trying to recruit a Clevelander to fly down with a box. So far, no takers, but I am the eternal optimist. And I would love Michael Symon to open up a Lola Bistro location down here, as it is a to-die-for restaurant in downtown Cleveland.
As you have probably figured out, I am a tad homesick for all things Ohio. Growing up there, I was fortunate to know a candy store named Draeger’s, which unfortunately closed its doors several years ago. I used to love their hot fudge sauce and chocolate turtles. To this day I still have a jar of Draeger’s hot fudge sitting in my refrigerator. I know that it has long since expired, but I can’t throw it away.
One food item I never tried was a Buckeye. I know the Buckeye tree is the official tree of the great state of Ohio, and I know that those who attend Ohio State University are called Buckeyes. Beyond that I could never have given you any other information about a Buckeye.
All that changed a couple of weeks ago. I was at a fellow Clevelander’s home and she was telling me about another Cleveland friend who had a recipe for Buckeyes. Luckily, she shares recipes. Honestly, I thought I was getting a recipe for a cookie, but quickly learned that Buckeyes are candies shaped to look like the nut of a buckeye tree.
I whipped together a batch, increasing the peanut butter because I found the original recipe to be a tad too sweet. When Shoshana walked in, I explained what I was making. Her response was along the lines of, “Those are just peanut butter cups.”
Shoshana has a point there, but they seem like so much more than a peanut butter cup. What my darling daughter does not realize is that when I make Buckeyes, I am connecting to Ohioans. Probably sounds weird, especially since I did not even know what a Buckeye candy was before a week ago; but I find comfort in it.
So, until I find that incredible friend who will bring me Archie’s Coconut Bars or one of Archie’s cakes, I will have to make my own Ohio food connections right here in sunny South Florida. The peanut butter and chocolate combination has always worked for me. Now I have a sentimental reason to love it even more.
|Buckeyes|| || |
- 2 cups creamy peanut butter
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips, melted
- For the buckeyes:
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place the peanut butter, butter, confections sugar and vanilla into a large mixing bowl. Beat until smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Use a small cookie dough scoop to measure out the balls onto one of the baking sheets. They may be very close to each other, as they will not be spreading. They will be too soft to shape evenly at this point. Freeze for 1 - 2 hours, until the scoops are firm enough to be rolled into balls.
- Insert a toothpick into a ball. Dip the ball into melted chocolate and swirl it around, holding onto the toothpick, so that only a bit of the peanut butter remains exposed.
- After dipping the balls, place them on the second lined baking sheet and remove the toothpick.
- Store in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Betsy's tidbits:
- Buckeyes will resemble the look of a buckeye nut with the light brown color of the peanut butter ball peeking out from the top of the dark chocolate shell.
- Milk and semisweet chocolate may be used instead of bittersweet chocolate.