Sunday, September 29, 2013

Grandma Betty's Chocolate Peanut Butter Buckeyes

I hope you'll indulge me with just one more wedding-related post. As I mentioned a few times, we decided to DIY our wedding desserts for a few reasons. First, neither of us really likes cake that much, and wedding cakes are expensive! It didn't seem worth it to go the traditional route if neither of us would enjoy it. Second, it was challenging to find a local bakery who could provide what we wanted - it seemed like there were several places that did scones and muffins rather than actual desserts. 

When we first started wedding planning, I briefly entertained the idea of doing our own desserts, but quickly shot myself down because I figured it would be too stressful. Well, I'm happy to report that it was a huge success! We were very grateful for the help of several family members who contributed to the dessert buffet, and it was fun for our guests to see who made what. I was walking around during dessert and was SO happy to see people who piled their plates with all kinds of treats. 

Here's a small sampling of the desserts (all photos by Christina Richards).

One of the biggest hits of the dessert table was Gabe's grandma Betty's buckeyes. Before I met Gabe, I had never heard of buckeyes before...16 whole years of my life had been devoid of these incredible treats. They're little bite-size bombs of peanut butter and chocolate, made to look like the nuts from the Buckeye tree (the Ohio state tree, I gather they're more of an East Coas thing). In other words, they're like a homemade Reese's Peanut Butter cup but bigger and maybe even more delicious (how is that even possible!?).

(The beautiful buckeyes)

Grandma Betty was kind enough to share the recipe, and I figured it was only fair to pass it along. Here it is, in her words.

1 stick margarine or butter at room temperature     
1 pound powdered sugar                                                    
2 cups extra chunky Jif peanut butter (note: don't try and substitute natural peanut butter, you need the shelf-stable kind to make the mixture bind properly)
3 cups rice krispies
12 ounces chocolate chips
2/3 bar grated paraffin wax

Blend together with a spoon the butter, peanut butter, and powdered sugar. Add rice krispies, and with your hands, squeeze into walnut sized balls making about 50 (this mixture is dry but just keep squeezing and it will work!).

Place balls on a wax paper lined cookie sheet as you form them.Then melt the chocolate chips with the wax* in the top of a double boiler over hot (not boiling) water. Dunk balls in the chocolate using two forks, let drain on the forks over the chocolate for a few seconds, and then place on wax paper lined cookie sheets. Do not have balls touching on the cookie sheets until the chocolate sets.  

If they don’t disappear immediately, they can be kept in the fridge for a while in a tightly closed container or in the freezer.

*A note from Betty on the paraffin wax: The wax helps thin the chocolate a bit also adds a lovely shine to the buckeyes. In over 35 years making these, no one has gotten the least bit sick over eating the wax—they don’t even taste it!  Trust me!

Monday, September 16, 2013

I'm baaack!

Ok, for real this time. I thought I could keep up with posting even during the final two months of wedding planning but clearly I was wrong! I'm happy to report that all the hard work was worth it.

Anyway, now that I have some more free time on my hands, I have serious intentions of posting new recipes and other tidbits more often. Last weekend, I jazzed up my old favorite avocado mango salsa recipe and will share that soon. And I can't wait to show you all some photos of how the potluck dessert buffet at the wedding turned out; it was better than I ever could have imagined! The photo above is of one of the many delicious pies we had.