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Recently, we changed the name of The Buckeye State to Salted Peanut Butter with Chocolate Flecks to better reflect the ingredients.

What will never change is the ice cream’s original inspiration: Buckeye candies, those rich, chocolate-covered peanut butter balls that take their look and name from actual Buckeyes, the (inedible) nuts of Ohio’s official tree, the Ohio buckeye (Aesculus glabra, for you armchair horticulturists playing at home).

Buckeye candies are ubiquitous in the Buckeye State. As Jeni wrote in Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home, you’ll find them on the shelves of “every bakery, sweet shop, ice cream parlor, and gas station in the state.”

If you’re looking for something delicious to add to your dessert game, the Buckeye is it. Buckeye candies are perfect for potlucks, cookie exchanges, and—yes, O.S.U. Buckeyes fans—tailgate time. (That’s right, football season is near!)

Below are three Buckeye recipes from Jeni’s Test Kitchen to hone in your home kitchen. And when it comes to Salted Peanut Butter with Chocolate Flecks ice cream, we prefer the flavor and texture of natural peanut butter (ground roasted peanuts with no added ingredients), but feel free to use any peanut butter (and hazelnut butter) you prefer.

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dunk in chocolate

nearly completed buckeyes

Traditional Buckeye

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp honey
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups chocolate (68% cocoa content)

Hazelnut Buckeye

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup hazelnut butter
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups chocolate (68% cocoa content)

*Bangkok Peanut Buckeye

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 7 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp honey
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups shredded coconut, toasted
  • 1-1/2 cups chocolate (68% cocoa content)

Directions

  1. Combine nut butter, butter, salt, vanilla, and honey in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Cream on medium speed until completely incorporated and slightly fluffy, scraping the bowl with a spatula as needed.
  3. Add the powdered sugar and blend on the lowest speed until completely incorporated and the mixture is just beginning to crumble.
  4. Using a small cookie scoop, portion the buckeye mixture onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Let sit in the freezer 10 to 15 minutes to harden.
  5. Meanwhile, place chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat in 30 second increments, stirring after each round, until the chocolate is completely melted without lumps. Set aside to cool slightly.
  6. Remove the portioned Buckeyes from the freezer and give them a quick roll to smooth out the surface of the candy.
  7. Insert a toothpick into the center of a buckeye, dip into the melted chocolate and swirl in a circular motion until most all of the buckeye is covered leaving a small round of the candy visible. Place on a separate pan lined with clean parchment paper. Repeat with remaining candies. Refrigerate until the chocolate hardens and enjoy.

*Bangkok Peanut Buckeye Preparation Notes:

Coconut toasting: Preheat the oven to 325-F degrees. Place the coconut on a sheet pan and toast 10 to 15 minutes, stirring halfway through, until golden brown. Remove, let cool, and spread in an even layer on a sheet pan.

Bangkok Peanut Buckeye prep: Add the cayenne when you add the nut butter, butter, salt, vanilla, and honey to the mixer (Step 1). After dipping the Buckeyes in chocolate (step 7), set them atop the coconut, refrigerate, and serve.

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