It’s a stretch to call buckeyes a “cookie,” but the combination of peanut butter and chocolate is damn good, so I think it’d be a shame to disqualify them from your holiday cookie platter. And no-bake desserts can actually be a good thing: As much as I love warming up my kitchen and filling my apartment with the smell of fresh-baked cookies, sometimes I need my oven for other stuff.
I took inspiration for my version of Buckeyes from Baked Explorations by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Their recipe varies greatly from the tradition version, which is made simply from peanut butter, butter, and tons of powdered sugar. I like the traditional recipe, but I also like their use of graham cracker crumbs to make the “dough” crumbly and dry without adding so much sugar. Of course, fat and sugar are what make these taste so good. But these are at least slightly moderated.
Try out the lightened-up, no-bake buckeyes for yourself, and don’t forget to check out our other 12 Days of Christmas Cookie Recipes:
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup graham cracker crumbs*
3 – 4 cups semisweet chocolate (or chocolate chips)
1. In the bowl of a mixer, combine peanut butter and butter until smooth. Add confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time, until well-mixed; then add graham cracker crumbs. Mixture should be dry.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form dough into teaspoon-sized balls, and lay on the baking sheet (they can be close together; they won’t bake and expand). Press a toothpick into each ball and put baking sheet into freezer for at least 30 minutes.
3. In a double-broiler or a heat-proof bowl over simmering water, melt the chocolate chips.
4. Using the toothpick to hold them, dip frozen peanut butter balls in chocolate. Leave a small portion of peanut butter showing at the top to make them look like Buckeyes. Put back on the cookie sheet, remove toothpick, and refrigerate until serving.
*If you have a food processor, just put about 5 – 6 graham crackers in with the blade attachment and pulse a few times to get a quick cup of crumbs.