Creamy peanut butter balls made with 5 simple ingredients are partially dipped in melted chocolate a sweet little no-bake treat named after the Ohio Buckeye nuts they resemble.
This is one of the first recipes published in 2016. It has been updated to include new photos and expert recipe tips.
I’ve been making buckeyes for over 28 years. It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t love the chocolate and peanut butter flavor combination. They’re like Reese’s peanut butter cups with extra filling.
They are easy to make, use common pantry ingredients, and are perfect for lunch boxes, after-school treats, and party snacks.
If you’re looking for a super-indulgent chocolate and peanut butter treat, try bacon-covered peanut butter balls!
There are only 5 ingredients in this recipe. You probably already have everything you need to make these.
Butter – I use salted butter. If you opt for unsalted butter, add a 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
Peanut Butter – I prefer to use regular peanut butter. You can use crunchy peanut butter if that’s what you like, they may not be as smooth. If you want to use honey peanut butter, go ahead. It will be fine.
- Peanut butter thickness will vary between brands. Some will need more powdered sugar than others. Adjust as needed.
Chocolate – you can use any kind of chocolate chips or melting chocolate you like. I prefer milk chocolate candy melts, but the traditional recipes use semi-sweet chocolate chips. Chocolate melts work the best.
When using chocolate chips you will want to add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil when melting. It will thin the coating a bit and make it go on more evenly. You could use shortening too, but I find that using shortening tends to make the coating softer.
You could also add some food-grade paraffin wax instead. You’ll need about 1 ounce of wax for every 12 ounces of chocolate chips.
Using a double-boiler (or like me, two saucepans stacked together) or a chocolate warmer will keep your chocolate smooth while coating. Your chocolate coating may need to be reheated if it gets thick. (This article contains affiliate links.)
Start by covering a baking sheet with parchment paper or non-stick aluminum foil for placing the candy after it has been dipped in chocolate.
In a large bowl combine 1/2 cup of softened butter, 1 1/2 cups of peanut butter, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Whip with a mixer until it is smooth and creamy.
Add 2 1/2 cups of the powdered sugar and mix until blended. Continue adding powdered sugar 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time until the mixture can be rolled into balls without sticking to your hands. The mixture may look a bit crumbly, but if it’s rollable it’s done.
- If you accidentally used too much powdered sugar and the dough is too crumbly to hold together, add peanut butter 1 tablespoon at a time until the proper consistency is reached.
Roll the dough into balls. Use a cookie scoop for evenly formed balls. Once all the balls have been rolled, place them in the refrigerator for at least 60 minutes and up to overnight. You want the balls to be completely firm before dipping.
Melt the chocolate using a double boiler set over medium-low heat. Alternatively use the microwave in 30-second increments, stopping and stirring every 30 seconds until it is just melted.
Using a toothpick, skewer, or candy dipping tools, dip about 2/3 of the balls into the melted chocolate. Allow excess chocolate to drip back into the melted chocolate and place it onto your prepared baking sheet.
There will be holes in the top and you can leave those, or you can gently use your finger to smooth over the holes.
Place the covered buckeyes into the refrigerator until the chocolate is completely hardened.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to
WHY ISN’T IT COMPLETELY COVERED IN CHOCOLATE?
This candy is only coated partially so it resembles a real buckeye nut.
But, you can cover the entire thing for peanut butter balls.
EXPERT TIPS/RECIPE NOTES
Use butter that has been completely softened so you don’t get butter pieces in the mixture.
Start with 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar and add more as needed to make a smooth dough that doesn’t stick to your hands when rolling.
A crumbly dough can be saved by adding additional peanut butter, 1 tablespoon at a time until a smooth consistency is achieved. Only add enough to bake a filling that won’t stick to your hand when rolling into balls.
Use a cookie scoop for uniform sized balls.
Use only cold filling balls.
As the rolled dough starts to warm it may fall apart or slide off of the toothpick. Stick the balls back into the refrigerator until firm. In a warm kitchen, you may have better luck when removing just a few balls from the refrigerator at a time.
Do not freeze the dough balls, they will sweat as they start to thaw. Chocolate won’t stick and you risk getting water into your chocolate and causing it to seize.
CAN I MAKE THESE IN ANOTHER SHAPE?
Yes, you can!
I do it all the time for the holidays.
Besides just covering completely for peanut butter balls you can use silicone molds that hold as much peanut butter as you like. I tend to use smaller ones that hold about 2 to 3 teaspoons of filling.
Measure the capacity of one of the molds and use that much peanut butter dough. Roll the dough into balls and press firmly into the mold.
Place the filled silicone molds into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or until the filling is firm. Pop out a few at a time and place them back into the refrigerator to keep them cold.
Buckeyes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week, in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks, and in the freezer for up to 3 months.
If frozen, place them separately onto parchment paper, don’t allow them to touch, until thawed. They may sweat, so allow some time for the sweat to evaporate before packaging.
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- Line cookie sheet with non-stick foil or wax paper sprayed with baking spray.
- Mix butter and peanut butter together in a bowl.
- Add 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar and mix until the sugar has disappeared.
- The mixture should be the consistency of a peanut butter cup center and doesn't stick to your hands when rolling. 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 the prepared cookie sheet.
- Place cookie sheet in the refrigerator and leave until balls are firm, at least 60 minutes.
- Melt chocolate in a double boiler set to simmer. A microwave can be used by microwaving chocolate and shortening in 30-second intervals, stirring in between each interval. This method may require reheating during the coating step.
- Place a sheet of wax paper, parchment paper, or aluminum foil on another cookie sheet and place it on workspace near the chocolate.
- Remove the balls from the refrigerator.
- Remove balls, one at a time using a toothpick or candy dipping tool.
- Dip 2/3 of the ball into the chocolate, leaving the top 1/3 uncoated.
- Let excess chocolate drip back into melted chocolate.
- Set coated balls on lined cookie sheet.
- Place the coated balls back into the refrigerator until the chocolate has set.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks, or the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Add 1/4 teaspoon salt if unsalted butter is used.
- 12 ounces of chocolate chips combined with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, or 1 ounce of food grade paraffin wax can be substituted for melting wafer.
- Use butter than has been completely softened so you don’t get butter pieces in the mixture.
- Add additional peanut butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to dough that is too crumbly to roll into balls.
- Use a cookie scoop for uniform sized balls.
- For the best results, only use peanut butter balls that are well chilled.
- If the dough becomes to soft to work with, lace it back into the refrigerator until well chilled.
- Frozen dough balls will sweat when coming to room temperature. Chocolate won’t stick and may seize from the water.
- Silicone mold can be used to form the dough into shapes and covered completely in chocolate for homemade holiday shaped peanut butter cups.