Servings: Makes about 50 1 1/2-inch buckeyes
Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours
1. Make the centers: Combine all the ingredients in the mixer bowl and beat on medium-high speed until completely incorporated and creamy-looking. Cover and refrigerate the peanut butter mixture until it has firmed up a little (it should be pliable but hold its shape), about 30 minutes.
2. Scoop up a tablespoon of the mixture, roll it into a ball with your hands, and place it on one of the prepared baking sheets; repeat with the remaining mixture. Once all the mixture has been formed, place the balls in the refrigerator until firm, about 30 minutes. (Any leftover peanut butter mixture can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored in the fridge for up to a week.)
3. Prepare the dipping chocolate: Temper the 4 cups dark chocolate (click here to learn how to temper chocolate) or melt it over a double-boiler. Place the melted chocolate in a large bowl.
4. Dip the buckeyes: Stick a toothpick into a peanut butter ball and dip it in the chocolate, but don’t submerge it—leave the top quarter undipped. This spot is what makes a buckeye a Buckeye! Transfer the buckeye to the second prepared baking sheet. Pull out the toothpick, twisting it gently, and either use your thumb to carefully smooth out the hole left behind or cover it with a few grains of coarse sea salt. Repeat with the remaining buckeyes.
5. Allow the buckeyes to set up until the chocolate is firm, 15 to 20 minutes. Store the buckeyes, layered with wax paper, in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.
NOTE: Nut flours are sold at specialty and health food stores. Bob’s Red Mill is a widely available brand; they have a great almond flour that works very well in this recipe, adding a delicate nutty flavor and hearty texture that we love. Peanut flour, which you can find online at Amazon, adds an extra-special peanutty kick that you should definitely try at least once.
LIZ SAYS: When we say “commercial” peanut butter, we mean the emulsified, no-oil-on-the-top kind. In the kitchen, we use Peanut Butter & Co’s Smooth Operator; it’s not quite as industrially shelf-stable as Jif or Skippy (don’t hoard it for the zombie apocalypse), but any minor separation that might occur can be ameliorated by placing the peanut butter in a microwave-safe dish and heating it gently in a microwave on High for 5- to 10-second bursts, stirring well between bursts. It should come back together.