The addition of cream cheese, graham cracker crumbs and a little sea salt cut down on the sugary sweetness of traditional buckeyes.
- 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
- 1½ cups peanut butter
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 9 whole graham crackers)
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and completely cooled or very soft
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, 60 to 70% cacao
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the graham cracker crumbs and continue beating for 10 seconds. Add the powdered sugar, butter and salt. Beat at low speed for 20 seconds to keep everything from flying out of the bowl, then gradually increase the speed until the mixture is completely combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat again. Give it a taste and see how you like the balance of salty and sweet and add salt as you prefer. The mixture will feel slightly dry. Set the peanut butter filling aside while you melt the chocolate.
2. In the top of a double boiler set over simmering water, melt the chocolate (or melt the chocolate in a small, deep heatproof bowl in the microwave, with 30-second bursts of high power, stirring well after each interval). Let cool to tepid while you shape the peanut butter centers.
3. To finish the buckeyes, line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Use a small ice cream scoop or two spoons to portion out level tablespoons of filling and use your palms to roll the portions into balls.
4. Working one buckeye at a time, using a fork, a large skewer or a candy dipper, dip each ball into the chocolate. Roll the ball around from side to side to cover almost the entire peanut butter center, leaving a small amount uncovered (if using a fork or skewer, roll the buckeye from side to side so that the dripping chocolate covers the holes pierced in the filling). Let the excess chocolate drip back into the bowl and return each chocolate-covered buckeye to the pan. Refrigerate the entire sheet pan for about 30 minutes to set the chocolate before serving. Buckeyes will keep for 3 to 5 days, tightly covered, in the refrigerator, or in the freezer for up to a month.