Saturday, December 13, 2008


It all started with a 28 oz jar of Costco’s creamy peanut butter, the last half of a Costco two-pack. We were unhappy with its texture (too runny to take as PB&J on a hike), so had decided to give it away. Then I had a brainstorm - uh, oh.

I make only one kind of candy, Grandpa John’s Buckeyes, and only at Christmas, and only if a lot of non-dieters are around. The recipe calls for 2 cups of creamy peanut butter, so feeling both frugal and inspired, we decided to keep the peanut butter and make the Buckeyes as gifts for the PBT tech team (gift, or bribe??), some of the friends we have made here, the wonderful couple that runs Mission RV Park… and we’d eat a few, of course.

Today was cloudy and damp. As I worked on registering giveaway books on BookCrossing, Odel looked bored. He jumped up when I suggested he start on the Buckeyes.

Its not a complicated recipe. Beat half a pound of butter until fluffy. Beat in 2 c. of creamy peanut butter and 2 T. of vanilla. To that, add 1½ pounds of powdered sugar, beating it in well as the mixture stiffens.

A cook with a lifetime of experience has a difficult time remembering and anticipating issues that might arise for the less-experienced cook. Regarding the powdered sugar, I warned that attacking it with the mixer can create a white dust cloud sufficient to cover the kitchen. Odel handled it well.

Our powdered sugar was a mixture of old (too old) and fresh powdered sugar. By the time I checked the consistency of the mixture, the smooth butter/peanut butter fluff was dotted with hard knots of old powdered sugar, ranging in size from pea gravel to sand grains. Oops.

The amazing texture of this recipe is part of its magnificence. In spite of our grave doubts, we dug in, smashing the hard bits between our fingers, but soon saw it was hopeless. It tasted great, but the texture was ruined. Into the garbage…!

We had enough “new” powdered sugar left to make another batch, but not enough butter or peanut butter. While Odel headed off to the grocery store, I cleaned up our utensils, occasionally pinching a bit of lumpy peanut butter filling out of the garbage. Yes, pathetic, isn’t it? That old biological craving for fat and sugar, particularly strong on a wintry day. I’m preparing for hibernation.

Odel was soon back from the grocery store, hard at work with the mixer - and, experienced now, whipped up the second batch in record time. Next step: chill the rich mix of butter, peanut butter, and sugar. Break time!

While the candy chilled, we went to a matinee screening of Milk, the movie about San Francisco's first openly gay Supervisor, murdered along with Mayor Moscone by Dan White, another of the Supervisors. GREAT movie, very inspiring, excellent acting. We recommend it.

Home again, it was back to the candymaking. We rolled the filling into dozens and dozens of bite-sized balls. For the coating, melt 12 oz of semi-sweet chocolate bits with 4-6 oz of paraffin wax in a double boiler. Stick a toothpick in a peanut butter ball, dunk it 3/4 of the way deep in the chocolate glaze, pull it out, let it drip dry - and do another one. As Odel did the dipping, I rubbed out the toothpick hole, making a smooth finish.

The chocolate/wax mixture hardens to a nice, smooth coating, and looks just like a REAL Buckeye (real on the left, ours on the right).

Okay, we're ready for Christmas.


  1. Why have I never gotten one of those??? Frank says put some in the mail.


  2. Oh, how FUN!!! Remember when you were here the first Christmas and you, Joy and I made these -- and we almost ate them as fast as we made them!!!!!!!!!! Yummmmmmmy

  3. Being from Ohio originally, these are almost sacrament! Great job, they look beautiful.
    Go, Bucks!


  4. Oh, I would have a hard time keeping from rolling most of those balls right into my mouth!! They look delicious!!

  5. Makes my mouth water just looking at the photo, I love peanut butter & chocolate combo's. Can't wait to make some, thanks for posting !

  6. I'm so tempted to make some Buckeyes right now--as Tucson Snowbird said, it's almost mandatory for us Buckeyes!

    Perhaps I can cut the recipe down to tenths so that I'm only eating thousands instead of millions of calories?

  7. Did I hear right, you are mixing paraffin with the semi sweet morsels? So, in eating them, you are really eating the wax too? Well, they look really good and it sounds super easy, but, paraffin wax? Is that healthy?

    Hugs, Sharon & Ron

  8. Sharon, I had the same questions you did (Can you eat it? Is it safe?) about paraffin wax. Here is a good website for info on the subject:

    You might have to do some cutting and pasting of that long link. The gist of it is: yes, you can eat the paraffin, which is commonly used in chocolate coatings. Does seems strange, doesn't it? But probably no worse for you than and big bite of butter and sugar (and peanut butter) blended together!

  9. we're originally from ohio, like a few of your readers. I use to call it the armpit of america, but I stopped when my husband wondered, 'if ohio is the armpit, what is our current home (north carolina)?'

    our first year here, I made 2 big trays of buckeyes for his work party, and now he's not allowed to show up without them! my grandmother used paraffin, but I never have. I've never noticed a difference, other than mine may not be as shiny. yours look so yummy!!