It's that time of year. Back to school?..you're thinking. Fall maybe? No, it's the time of year for those of us in central Ohio where we start seeing scarlet and gray everywhere we go along with OSU's mascot- the buckeye. On the radio today I heard the Ohio State fight song, in the grocery store throughout football season they play the fight song all day on Saturdays. Yesterday at the grocery store bakery the free cookies they were giving out to kids were...scarlet and gray sugar cookies. Yes, Ohio State football season is in the air.
But I have a confession to make: I never even knew what a buckeye was until we moved to the Columbus area a couple of years ago. Now I know that although the plant is actually poisonous, this die hard Ohio State area has created a variety of foods involving the name 'buckeye'. Out here if something has the word 'buckeye' in it, you can assume that means a combination of peanut butter and chocolate. The most popular is of course a chocolate created to resemble an actual buckeye. It's a delicious ball of sweet peanut butter yumminess, dipped in chocolate. Who can say no to that? It's like a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup in a different shape. They are incredibly easy and everyone loves them.
1/2 C butter, room temp (I prefer sweet cream unsalted, and don't you dare use margarine)
1 lb powdered sugar
1/2 C Peanut butter (I prefer chunky)
1 t vanilla- please, I'm begging you, use the real stuff!
2 C ghirardelli chocolate chips
1 T white shortening (optional, only do this if you aren't up for tempering your chocolate)
Combine the butter, confectioners' sugar, peanut butter and the vanilla together and mix well. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Roll into 1 inch balls and place on waxed paper.
Melt the chocolate chips and shortening, stirring constantly. You can do this in a double boiler, or if you're lazy like me, I use a heavy bottomed sauce pan over low heat on the stove and keep a vigilant eye on it stirring constantly. Use a toothpick to dip balls into the melted chocolate, leaving a small uncovered area so balls resemble buckeyes. Place balls on waxed paper. Use fingers to blend in toothpick holes. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm. Enjoy!