Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Buckeyes....Happy Birthday, Rachel!

The Occasional Oenophile made these for me for my bday!  See how she did it : )

1/2 stick of butter
1c peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
lots of powdered sugar (1 cup or more)
1 12oz bag semisweet chocolate chips (watch out for parrafin wax and hydrogenated oils)
1 extra tbsp butter
Mix the 1/2 stick of butter and the peanut butter together with the vanilla til blended.  Then add the powdered sugar a little at a time, so it blends.  It's best to do this part with your hands.  The peanut butter ball should be firm, and peices of it should break off more than melt away when you've added enough sugar, kinda like the consistency of the inside of a Reese's cup.  You'll end up with a giant ball of peanut butter dough.  Chill this in the fridge for at least 30 mins.  If you're in a rush, the freezer will do.
In a separate bowl, melt your chocolate chips.  Many cooks like to do this in a water bath, but I find that it saves time to just nuke them (sacrilege, I'm sure!).  The trick is to be very careful and methodical about the melting, or you'll end up with nasty, burnt chocolate.  I find that this works in my microwave: 30seconds on high, take out and mix, 30 seconds on high, take out and blend completely.  The morsels will continue to melt as you blend, so don't put it back in the microwave even if it doesn't look melted all the way.  Once your chocolate is smooth, mix in the extra tablespoon of butter until blended completely.  This adds a sheen to the chocolate that most American chocolate companies get by adding parrafin wax (ew!).
 Take the peanut butter out of the fridge. 
 Break off a small piece (1/2" diameter) and roll into a ball.  Be careful not to handle it too much or your dough will begin to melt in your hands, making the next step that much harder.  Once your ball is formed, stick a toothpick in the top, about halfway through. 
Holding the toothpick, dip the ball into the melted chocolate to coat the outsides. 
Carefully remove the ball without dislodging the toothpick (it usually helps to have a spoon ready in the bowl to catch defectors).  Place the finished product on a baking sheet covered in wax paper.   Repeat this process until you run out of peanut butter and/or chocolate. 
Chill your buckeyes on the baking sheet in the fridge or freezer overnight, and make sure to store them in a cool place.  I find that they keep in the freezer quite well.  If you allow them to melt, they'll start to stick together and fall apart. 
I feel compelled to warn you that they are addictive and contain 119 calories a piece, so pace yourself. :)
Happy Birthday Rachel!

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