I remember growing up, my best friend’s mom would make huge batches of these peanut butter chocolate balls, and hide them from me in their outdoor freezer. I would sneak into their garage late at night with my friend just to snack on a couple of these. If these buckeye candies sound familiar to you, its because the buckeye candy is named after the Ohio buckeye nut tree which they resemble. I veganized a batch last Christmas season to fill the nostalgia void in my heart, and now I perfected the recipe this year! These make a tasty party snack, or even edible gift. They keep in the refrigerator, where you’ll be going back every 20 minutes to snack on one of these just like I used to.
Ingredients (makes about 45):
1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (I used Jiff Natural Creamy)
1 cup vegan butter, room temperature (see notes)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
3-5 cups powdered sugar
1-2 bags Enjoy Life vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips
toothpicks (see notes)
- Mix peanut butter and vegan butter evenly. Then, mix in vanilla and sea salt. Mattering on what kind of peanut butter or vegan butter you used you may need another 1/4 tsp vanilla.
- Begin mixing in the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time. You want enough to make the balls stick without crumbling. For me, this happens at about 3 cups. You can add more sugar for consistency or taste. The mixture should look fluffy but stiff.
- Set a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Scoop peanut butter mix no larger than 1 inch and roll into balls. Stick each with a toothpick and set in freezer for at least 30 minutes.
- While balls are freezing, begin melting the chocolate chips. Start out by microwaving the first bag in a microwave safe bowl 30 seconds at a time, and stirring in between until fully melted (about 2 minutes all together). Sometimes the first bag covers all of the peanut butter balls, but sometimes you may need to add another 1/2 bag to get them all.
- Dip peanut butter balls about halfway into the chocolate and then add back to the parchment paper. Once all are dipped in chocolate, refreeze for at least another 30 minutes.
- These can be stored in the fridge for the next month to snack on, and can be frozen after wards for another month or so. These also make a perfect edible gift for the holidays!
- I used Miyoko’s cultured vegan butter, if you can’t find that brand I suggest using “I can’t believe it’s not butter, Vegan” or another good tasting vegan butter. It is important to use a vegan butter that tastes good and similar to dairy butter since that ingredient plays a big roll in this recipe. I also like Miyoko’s because its relatively healthy for something made from a bunch of oils. I suggest against using earth balance, which I have tried for this recipe but I don’t think it gives the best taste.
- I only use plastic toothpicks for cooking, so they are easy to rinse off and reuse for recipes like this or to test if cakes are baked through. Don’t create a bunch of waste for this recipe, so make sure to rinse and save your toothpicks! If you don’t want to buy toothpicks for this you can just use a fork after the balls are well frozen to dip into the chocolate.