Happy October!

I hope you all had a great weekend!  I got to go home and see my cousin’s football game, play with my nephew, hang out with my family, and look at some wedding stuff for my best friend’s upcoming wedding in May.  It was a really great weekend!

And, like a lot of you, I watched a little bit of football.  In particular, I watched the OSU-Michigan State Game.  I’m a Buckeye at heart :)  Being born and raised in Cleveland, moving to Pittsburgh has required some diplomacy in the football area.  My stock response to  ”You love the Steelers, right?” – which gets asked way more often than it should – has become “Pro football is less important to me than college football.  As long as the Buckeyes win, I’m happy!”

One quick note though: as my family will tell you, I’m not a major football fan.  I enjoy watching the games with other people, and I really like going to them.  But, I usually don’t take the initiative to watch them on my own.  Marty’s not a big football guy (he’s more into soccer or individual sports like biking or snowboarding), so he won’t usually have the game on each Saturday either.  I really like football, don’t get me wrong, I just don’t want to give the impression that I’m a die-hard fan, because that would be unfair to the true die-hard fans.  Most of which, I think, are part of my family :)

Possibly the best thing about football, though, is that, for a mostly spectator sport, it requires a lot of food.  There’s almost always chips and dip, veggies and dip, and something sweet.  The sweet something varies from brownies to cookies to candy, but my favorite is homemade buckeyes.

Real buckeyes, just in case you didn’t know, are nuts from the buckeye tree, and they’re also the mascot for the Ohio State University.  They are, in fact, poisonous; they give each incoming freshman a buckeye and a warning to never eat it.  The candy buckeyes, though, are incredibly simple, although somewhat laborious to make.  The recipe that the picture links to isn’t a bad recipe at all, but it’s missing my family’s semi-secret ingredient: a drop of imitation butter flavoring.  I swear by all that is holy that it makes a difference.  I couldn’t tell you what it is, but they just taste better.

Anway, here’s my basic recipe for buckeyes, and a few buckeye-making tips:

Ingredients:

  1. 1.5 cups smooth peanut butter
  2. 1 drop imitation butter flavoring (you can find this by the vanilla in the grocery store)
  3. 0.5 cups soft butter (sidenote: I have not tried to veganize this, but I’ll post an update as soon as I have)
  4. 2 cups powdered sugar
  5. 1 bag chocolate wafers

Directions:

  1. Mix the first three ingredients together really well.
  2. Add the powdered sugar.   It will come together like play dough almost, it’s a VERY thick dough
  3. Roll into balls.  You want a strong, solid shape.  You may have to add a little more powdered sugar, depending on how oily the peanut butter is, or freeze the balls after they’ve been shaped.
  4. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler
  5. Put the ball into the chocolate and tilt and twirl it a little bit.  You don’t want to cover it entirely, but it should be about 80% coated.
  6. Using a fork or a toothpick stuck into the still-showing peanut butter part, fish the buckeye out
  7. Let the chocolate harden
  8. Smoosh the hole(s) left by the fork or toothpick back together
  9. And enjoy!

Some tips:

  • Use a cookie scoop to maintain a consistent shape
  • A metal skewer is another good alternative to the toothpick / fork tool
  • If your buckeyes start falling apart when you coat them, either re-melt your chocolate, or re-freeze the unfinished buckeyes.
  • Eat them almost right away.  Otherwise there won’t be anything left!

So, that’s it for buckeyes!  They’re simple, very sweet, and football appropriate – what could be better!?

I’ll see you guys tomorrow to start doing some of the real work in preparing for the holidays.  Until then, enjoy the buckeyes!