This is another one of my Grandma's recipes. Buckeyes, I've learned recently, aren't just a Lancaster County, PA Christmas speciality. In my not very extensive research, I've learned that buckeyes are commonly eaten at Ohio State "Buckeyes" football games. Those buckeyes, are slightly different than mine. The football buckeye candy is not completely coated with chocolate, but instead made to look like eyes. That approach looks really cool, but I'll take total chocolate coating any day over appearances.
My Grandma and her two sisters would make candy every year for many, many years. Buckeyes were the simplest candy they made and also my favorite. I was relieved to learn exactly how easy they are to make when I tried to make them. To make buckeyes the easiest, they will need to chill twice before being coated with chocolate. When coating them with chocolate, be careful not to let them sit in the chocolate. The chocolate will melt. I use an electric skillet, set to between 200 - 250 degrees. If you are fortunate enough to have a double boiler, use that. (I am not one of the fortunate ones...) If the finished buckeyes don't look perfect, don't fret. Everyone will ignore that once they eat one (and then another and another).
Do I need to say my kids love these?
1/2 c butter, at room temperature
2 c crunchy peanut butter (not the organic/natural type--stick to Jiff or Peter Pan or the like)
1 3/4 c confectioners' sugar
3 c Rice Krispies
approximately 8 oz of chocolate chips or chocolate pieces
approximately 2 - 4 oz of a Hershey Bar (or similar chocolate bar)
approximately 1/4 slab of paraffin (Gulf Wax is a very common brand--pictured below)
Mix together butter, peanut butter, confectioners' sugar, and Rice Krispies well, using your hands if necessary. Form into small balls and chill.
Melt chocolate slowly in a double boiler or in an electric skillet (set between 200 - 250 degrees). If the chocolate is too hot, it will get crumbly. It will not recover from this (the heat being an "irreversible change," as M likes to remind me). Water and moisture will cause the chocolate to harden, so don't cover the pan while melting. Stir frequently. Stir in a little melted paraffin to thin chocolate. If chocolate is thin enough to coat, you won't need the paraffin. (Play around with this---taste or cut buckeyes in half to see if the thickness is right. It took me a several attempts before I figured out how thin it needs to be.)
Dip balls into chocolate. The easiest way I found to do this was dropping the buckeye in the chocolate, rolling it around, lifing it out with a fork, and scraping the bottom of the fork clean with a thin knife. Drop coated buckeye onto parchment paper to cool. Chill to harden and store in the refrigerator or freezer.