Friday, September 7, 2012

FROSTED: Buckeye Dessert Inspirations...Not Just For Ohioans Anymore!

With college football season starting, all I hear from many of my family and friends from Ohio are cheers and support for the Ohio State Buckeyes. But while I may not be the biggest fan of the Buckeye football team, I am a HUGE fan of Ohio's most well-known Buckeye candy!  Made with smooth, creamy peanut butter dipped in sweet chocolate, these candies are famous for resembling the nuts that fall off buckeye trees in the Midwest . . .

(Image by Very Best Baking)

Buckeyes are a tradition in my home state and they remind me of my childhood. But while I still often crave the sweet, gooey taste of these candied treats, I wish there was another way to share the delicious flavor of buckeyes without the look of lumpy peanut butter balls dipped in messy chocolate.

So after some searching, I have discovered a few new and fabulous ways to create the signature nut-like candy flavor; the perfect desserts to bring to your next tailgating party, as a get well treat for your Midwestern friends, or a unique sweet to enjoy around a bonfire.  Just sink your teeth into these tasty goodies...

Buckeye Bark
(Courtesy of Big Red Kitchen)

  • 2 1/2 lbs of chocolate candy coating
  • 1 (16.3 oz) jar of creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups of  confectioners’ sugar
  • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract 

1.  Melt 1 1/4 pounds chocolate according to package directions and spread over parchment paper or a Silpat lined cookie sheet. Spread to a large rectangle but not too thin, maybe 1/8-1/4 inch thickness. Place in freezer.

2.  In a large bowl whip together the remaining ingredients until smooth and creamy. Spread over first chocolate layer. While it sits in the freezer, melt the remaining chocolate and spread over peanut butter layer. Freeze until set.

3.  Break up into small pieces using a butcher knife. Store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to serve. 

(Provided By Live Sigma Kappa)

Buckeye Brownies
(Recipe From Cookies and Cups)

(Make approximately 30 bars)
  • 1 box (18-19 oz) of brownie mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup of vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup of coarsely chopped peanuts
  • 1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup of peanut butter

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan.

2.  With your mixer combine brownie mix, oil, and eggs until incorporated and smooth. Stir in chopped peanuts.

3.  Divide batter in half. Press half the batter into bottom of prepared pan (it will be a thin layer) and set the other half to the side.

4.  In a large bowl combine peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk with whisk. Pour the mixture over the bottom layer of brownie mixture.

5.  Drop the remaining brownie mix on top of peanut butter mixture, pressing each spoonful lightly into peanut butter. Bake for 25 minutes or until just set. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.

 Buckeye Cookies
(Via Brown Eyed Baker)

Cookie Ingredients:
(Make about two dozen cookies)
  •  1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar (plus more for rolling)
  • 1/2 cup of light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of creamy peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Filling Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup of creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup of powdered sugar 

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; and set aside.

3.  With an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter, sugars and peanut butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat to combine. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture and mix until combined.

4.  In a separate medium bowl, mix together the peanut butter and powdered sugar for the filling until smooth.

5.  In a small bowl, put some extra granulated sugar for rolling the cookies.

6.  Use a medium cookie scoop (or heaping tablespoon) of cookie dough and flatten it with your hands. Take about 1 teaspoon of the peanut butter filling (or a small cookie scoop) and place it in the center of the chocolate dough. Wrap the chocolate dough around the peanut butter center, pressing to seal. Roll the cookie into a ball and roll in the sugar. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Flatten each cookie slightly with the palm of your hand.

7.  Bake for 7 to 9 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.

Buckeye Cake
(Courtesy of Buns In My Oven)

 Peanut Butter Cheesecake Ingredients:
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter
  • 3 Tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix, prepared according to package directions (homemade works too, if you're feeling adventurous) and baked in 2 (9 inch) round cake pans
Frosting Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup of butter, softened
  • 1 cup of creamy peanut butter
  • 4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup of heavy whipping cream
Glaze Ingredients:
  • 8 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 Tablespoons of creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons of light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
Cheesecake Directions:

1.   Bake the cake one day in advance so that it has plenty of time to chill in the fridge before layering with the chocolate cake. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2.  Beat together the cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, and flour until light and smooth and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the milk.

3.  Grease a 9-inch round springform pan VERY WELL. There is no crust on this cheesecake, so it is imperative that you really grease the pan so that the cheesecake will release from it easily. Pour batter into the greased pan.

4.  Bake for 10 minutes at 325 degrees. Reduce heat to 260 and bake for 50 minutes or until just the center is slightly jiggly. Cool on the counter for 2 hours. Transfer to a refrigerator to chill overnight.

Chocolate Cake Directions:

1.  Prepare the cake mix according to the package or use a recipe for homemade cake. Bake in 2 (9-inch) round, well greased cake pans. Cool completely

 Frosting Directions:

1.  Cream together the butter and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Add half of the powdered sugar and mix well. Beat in half of the cream. Add the remaining powdered sugar and continue mixing until combined. Beat in the remaining cream.

Glaze Directions:

1.  In a double boiler or a bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt the chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup. When melted remove from heat and whisk in the cream until it is a smooth, creamy consistency.

Assembly Directions:

1.  Place one layer of chocolate cake on your cake stand and top with 1/4 of the chocolate peanut butter glaze. Spread to the edges.

2.  Very carefully remove the sides of your springform pan and place the entire cheesecake upside down on the chocolate cake layer. The bottom of the springform pan should now be on top of the cheesecake. Carefully slide a knife in between the cheesecake and pan bottom to loosen. If you greased your pan well this should be fairly simple and the pan bottom will easily lift off.

3.  Pour another 1/4 of the chocolate glaze over the cheesecake and spread to the edges. Top this with the second layer of chocolate cake. Place the whole cake in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to harden up a bit.

4.  Cover the top and sides of the cake with the peanut butter frosting. Smooth it out as best you can. Microwave the chocolate glaze for about 5-10 seconds to soften it back up. Whisk well and then pour over the top center of the cake. Use an offset spatula to spread the glaze to the edges, letting it drip down in some areas. Store in the refrigerator.

Nothing could be more enticing than a beautiful confection made with smooth peanut butter and gooey chocolate! So why not serve these fantastic treats at your next potluck lunch at work, Fall-inspired bridal shower, or monthly book club gathering?

Now you don't have to be a native Ohioan to enjoy the delicious chocolate and peanut butter flavor of buckeyes. So show off your fabulous baking skills to all of your Midwestern friends and family with a unique spin on the traditional buckeye candies. Have a wonderful weekend!


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