Buckeyes might very well be the best thing that ever happened to Midwestern American cuisine. These indulgent treats are named for their resemblance to buckeye nuts from Ohio, their state of origin, but these are much more appetizing! Traditionally, these are made with a fudgy peanut butter candy, partially dipped in melted chocolate with the top left exposed. Sweet, salty, rich, and creamy—it’s like a peanut butter cup, but better!
I grew up eating these luscious treats every year at Christmas, thanks to some dear lifelong friends who make them as part of their own yearly traditions (and they’re nice enough to share 😋), and they were one of the treats I looked forward to the most. When my husband and I got together, though, I realized that his peanut allergy meant that I was going to have to make some adjustments.
Thankfully, I figured out that cashew butter is a fantastic substitute in more than one way. With these buckeyes, the cashew butter adds a nuttiness and a light sweetness that harmonizes beautifully with the bittersweet notes of the dark chocolate shell. After you try this for yourself, you might just find yourself going back for another one… and another one… and another one…
Hey, it’s the season for chocolate. Treat yourself.
Cashew Butter Buckeyes
1 1/2 cup creamy cashew butter
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
5 1/2 cups powdered sugar
16 oz dark baking chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup water
In the bowl of a mixer, blend the cashew butter and butter on medium-high speed until smooth. Adjust the speed to low, stir in the salt and vanilla, then add the powdered sugar in 4 batches, mixing thoroughly between each addition. Once the mixture reaches a doughy consistency, scoop into 1-TBSP balls, and roll into smooth balls. Arrange the balls on a wax paper-lined baking sheet, stick a toothpick in the center of each one, and freeze for at least an hour.
To melt the chocolate, pour the water into a small saucepan, put it on low heat, and fit a metal or glass bowl snugly on the saucepan. (Make sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t directly touching the water. If it is, pour out some of the water.) Pour the chocolate into the bowl, and stir over low heat until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Dip the balls in the chocolate, leaving the tops uncovered. Shake gently to drain excess chocolate back into the bowl, then place the candy on wax paper to let it set up. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Makes about 40 buckeyes.