A dear friend of mine was celebrating a mile stone in her life, and I wanted to do something special for her. I had in my mind earlier in the week that I wanted to try out a recipe that I had not yet made, so the timing worked out well. But, for me, what worked out the best was the reason. The recipe was for my grandmother's Buckeyes, which are peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate, otherwise known as a homemade Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. I was thrilled when I was recently given this recipe, as I felt it was a memory of mine, of my grandmother, that I could recreate and share. Like many that pass on, I miss my grandmother everyday. When I was struggling during the marathon portion of the Ironman, I looked up to the sky and started talking to her. There are things that I will never be able to say to her, face-to-face. She will never meet my children, nor will she see me walk down the aisle. I will never be able to look her in the eyes again, to tell her how much I love her and I will never again hear those word from her. I'll never hear her tell me that she's proud of me for the choices that I've made in my life, nor will I hear anymore of her hilarious jokes. She would tell us "at her age, she has earned the right to say whatever I want!" But, I can tell the people that are in my life now just how much they mean to me. I can tell my friends that I'm proud of them and I can show up to celebrate. I can give my friend a hug when she's accomplished great things in her life. And I can show up with a box of homemade Buckeyes, recipe by Gran, made with love and delivered with a pretty bow on top.
4 cups of powdered sugar, sifted
2 sticks of butter
1 1/4 cup of peanut butter (I used the natural peanut butter, which provided the recipe with a bit more oil)
1) Cream the peanut butter and butter in a mixer
2) Add the sifted powdered sugar a little bit at a time. Do not pour all of the sugar in at once. If you see the mixture getting dry, you have added enough and may not require all 4 cups.
3) Once the ingredients have formed a mousse like texture, place in the freezer for an hour.
4) After removing the bowl from the freezer, take a spoonful of the mixture and roll it between your hands to make a small ball. The mixture will be frozen, but the heat from your hands will soften the mixture enough to form a ball.
5) Put the Peanut Butter balls back into the freezer as you temper chocolate over the stove. You can use a double boiler or simply place a pot with 1-2 inches of water on the stove, and put a bowl on top of the pot. Make sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water.
6) Stir the chocolate constantly, until it melts, adding 1-2 tablespoons of milk or cream.
7) Once the chocolate has melted, use a toothpick to pick up the peanut butter ball and dip it into the chocolate. You can also use a spoon to spoon chocolate onto the top, to ensure that the whole piece is covered. Another option is to not cover the top with chocolate, to let the peanut butter show through.
8 ) Once they have all been covered in chocolate, place them back into the freezer to harden.
If the peanut butter balls become soft as you're dipping them, put them back into the freezer for 10 minutes. I would suggest dipping one plateful at a time, which another plate of balls remain in the freezer until you're ready to use them.