Dirty Buckeyes! No, I am not calling names at any NCAA sports team or school, even though we are SEC fans and might be caught talking smack about other divisions. Go Dawgs!! Imagine having to admit that right smack in the middle of Big 12 territory…….
Dirty Buckeyes are simply buckeyes covered in crunchy bacon bits. No, not the pinkish red salty smoky little rocks out of a jar, real bacon. Bacon that has been cut into small pieces, fried until crispy, drained, cooled, then fried again. Once you are done with them, they look like buckeyes that have rolled around in the dirt and dried leaves.
Is that a lot of work? Yes. Does it produce perfect little crispy nuggets of goodness that tastes amazing paired with peanut butter and chocolate? Yes!!
These are reserved for very special snacks, or very special guests. Bacon is not cheap, plus this is guaranteed to plug up your arteries if you eat too many of them. Remember, all things in moderation. Therein lies the rub for me, I don’t show moderation at times, so I can’t make these often at all.
When I do make them, I hide them in the freezer so they have to be eaten much slower.
Cut bacon in small pieces and cook over medium high heat until no fat is visible.
Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels.
Set bacon aside to cool.
Line cookie sheet with non-stick foil or wax paper sprayed with baking spray.
Mix together butter and peanut butter in a bowl.
Add powdered sugar and mix until sugar has disappeared.
Mixture should be the consistency of a peanut butter cup center. Add more powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time until that consistency is reached.
Roll peanut butter mixture into equal sized balls.
Set balls on prepared cookie sheet.
Place cookie sheet in freezer and leave until balls are firm.
While waiting for peanut butter balls to firm up, place bacon into a food processor and grind until only small pieces remain. This can also be done in a blender or finely minced with a knife.
Place bacon pieces into a clean skill and cook over medium heat until all pieces are completely brown, stirring frequently. More fat will be rendered during this process.
Once bacon is completely cooked and no more fat is being rendered, removed from pain and drain on paper towels again. Set aside to cool.
Melt chocolate and shortening together in a double boiler set to simmer. Microwave can be used by microwaving chocolate and shortening in 30 second intervals, stirring in between each interval. This method may require reheating during coating step.
Place a sheet of wax paper or aluminum foil on another cookie sheet and place on workspace near the chocolate.
Place bacon into a bowl and place near the chocolate station.
Remove peanut butter balls from freezer.
Remove balls, one at a time using a toothpick or candy making dipper.
Dip 2/3 of the ball into chocolate, leaving the top 1/3 uncoated.
Let excess chocolate drip back into melted chocolate.
Immediately set chocolate covered balls into bacon bits and cover wet chocolate with as much bacon as you would like.
Set coated balls on lined cookie sheet.
Allow chocolate to set completely before attempting to move them onto a serving plate. They can be refrigerated at this point for quicker setting.
Store at room temperature, refrigerator, or freezer.
Other Bacon Goodies to Try: