I was raised on the idea that: if you want a treat, you best learn how to make it yourself. And, if you want to learn how to make it correctly (or in other words: taste like my mom’s), you must follow the recipe exactly. The first part, I agree with- but the second part… bah. Not so.
Beginning when I was just fifteen I had started veganizing all of my mom’s, grandmother’s, aunts’ and cousins’ recipes out of an old box that my mom kept on the very top shelf of her highest kitchen cabinet (good thing I was one heck of a climber). Buckeye Candy*- popular here in the state of Ohio, where the magical buckeye trees flourish- is one of the first recipes I got my little vegan hands on.
I happen to think these vegan buckeye candies taste just as they should: incredibly unhealthy, rich and so so so delicious.
* I added the cardamom for extra yumminess, ’cause that’s how I roll.
Buckeye Candy ~ Vegan & Gluten Free
makes 30 buckeyes
- 1 1/2 cups natural peanut butter (no hydrogenated oils)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) vegan margarine (used Earth Balance in these), softened to room temp
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 – 1 1/2 tsp cardamom
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 5 3/4 to 6 cups vegan confectioner’s sugar
- 1.5 bags vegan chocolate chips (about 3 cups)
Mix together peanut butter and softened margarine until super smooth. ( If you’re margarine isn’t soft (because you are impatient- like I sometimes am) then feel free to whip these two ingredients together using a mixer until no margarine lumps remain. I wouldn’t recommend doing it this way, though.)
Stir in vanilla extract, cardamom, and sea salt.
Using electric mixer, slowly incorporate the confectioner’s sugar until little crumbles form. The mixture should go from very creamy to looking like pulverized, dry cookie dough… very very crumbly.
Take a pinch or two of the powder/dough and using your hands work to form into 1 inch balls. If they appear kinda uneven, keep working them in your hands until smooth and spherical.
Place each onto a cookie sheet and insert a toothpick into the center. Gently pat around the toothpick to kind of “seal” it into the peanut butter ball.
Chill in freezer for about 40 minutes, or until very firm. This prevents the toothpicks from sliding out while dipping.
Using a double boiler (or microwave) melt your chocolate until super smooth. Remove peanut butter balls from the freezer and carefully swirl the ball into the chocolate, taking care not to let the toothpick slide out. Place onto wax paper and repeat until all are covered.
Let stand at room temperature until chocolate has firmed up. Remove toothpicks and seal over the tiny hole in the middle.
….. I love to eat two in a row and then chug a gigantic glass of Almond Breeze. Heavenly.