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My Peanut Butter Buckeyes are inspired by the original candy version but are much better for you! In fact, they are a lot like energy bites that are just a bit more indulgent. Packed with natural peanut butter, whole grain oats, and unrefined sweeteners, this is a healthy snack that doubles as a treat.
Table of Contents
Delicious Details at a Glance
Cuisine Inspiration: American (Ohio)
Primary Cooking Method: No-Bake
Dietary Info: Gluten-free, Dairy- free and Vegan option
Skill Level: Easy
What Are Buckeyes?
If you’ve ever been to Ohio, and even if you haven’t, you’ve probably enjoyed a buckeye candy. Peanut butter buckeyes are a wonderful candy that’s popular in Ohio, being named for the buckeye tree, which is prominent across the state, and which seeds they resemble.
A traditional buckeye ball takes creamy peanut butter fudge and wraps it in a thick layer of chocolate. Although it’s not entirely covered in chocolate – a bit of peanut butter peeks through a hole at the top. In this way, they truly do look like the knobbly buckeye seeds you’ll find scattered under buckeye trees!
Buckeyes are considered the official state candy of Ohio. You can easily make them at home and you absolutely should!
Why You’ll Love These Healthy Peanut Butter Buckeyes
There’s little better than peanut butter combined with chocolate, and you’ll find this wonderful flavor blend in peanut butter buckeyes. My version of buckeye balls is a tad healthier than the classic powdered sugar-filled candy.
There’s a lot to love about these lightened-up peanut butter buckeyes. Here’s why you should make this recipe as soon as possible:
- Healthy. This recipe contains fiber-packed oats, protein-packed almonds and flaxseeds, and honey. You can use natural, unsweetened peanut butter if you wish (I do!) to make it even better for you. While I call these buckeyes candy, they’re actually more similar to energy balls.
- Short ingredients list. You need just 5 ingredients to make these peanut butter buckeyes. Even better? All of the ingredients are shelf-stable, meaning that if you have them in the pantry right now you can quickly whip up this recipe!
- Easy. This is such an easy recipe. The food processor does most of the work for you, and the freezer does the rest.
Buckeye Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions
Here’s a quick overview of everything you need for these buckeye balls. Make sure to check the recipe card at the end of this post for the full ingredient amounts.
- Oats: Use old-fashioned rolled oats that are certified gluten-free.
- Almond Meal: Almond meal is the “flour” that helps form the buckeye base.
- Flaxseed Meal: Flaxseed meal adds healthy fats and binding to the balls.
- Creamy Peanut Butter: I prefer to use natural peanut butter that is sugar-free.
- Honey: You can substitute maple syrup for honey.
- Dark Chocolate Chips: Choose your favorite semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips for the chocolate coating. You can use dairy-free chips, if needed. Or substitute with milk chocolate, if you prefer.
How to Make Peanut Butter Buckeyes
Follow along with my ultra-simple method for making healthy buckeye candy below. You’ll find the detailed instructions in the recipe card lower down.
- Prepare a baking sheet. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.
- Pulse the ingredients. Add the oats to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they resemble coarse sand. Add almond meal and flaxseed meal and pulse until just combined then pulse in the peanut butter and honey.
- Form. Shape the mixture into ½-inch round balls and chill in the freezer.
- Melt the chocolate. While the balls are chilling, melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave in 30-second increments until smooth.
- Dip. Now dip the bottom half of the balls in the chocolate and place them in the freezer to harden.
Tips for the Best Buckeye Balls
- Make sure to mix natural peanut butter well. If your natural peanut butter doesn’t contain stabilizers, you’ll want to mix it up very well to incorporate all of the oil. If the oil isn’t mixed in properly the buckeyes will turn out runny.
- Use toothpicks to dip the buckeyes. Insert a toothpick into each peanut butter ball before you dip it in the chocolate. This will help prevent your hands from getting messy and will also result in a smoother chocolate coating.
- Easily make these vegan and dairy-free. If you want to make vegan and/or dairy-free peanut butter buckeyes, swap the honey for maple syrup and use vegan, dairy-free chocolate chips.
- Cover the peanut butter in chocolate. If you want to try a little different version of buckeyes, you can completely dip the peanut butter ball in the melted chocolate rather than do a half-dip.
- Add some crunch. Swap creamy peanut butter for crunchy peanut butter if you’d like to have a bit more texture.
How to Store Buckeye Candy
Layer the buckeyes between sheets of wax paper in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Peanut Butter Buckeyes
- Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.
- Add the oats to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until they resemble coarse sand (refer to the photo in the above post).
- Add almond meal and flaxseed meal to the bowl with the oats. Pulse until just combined.
- Add the peanut butter and honey to the bowl. Pulse until smooth.
- Shape the mixture into ½-inch round balls. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet. Chill the balls in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- While the balls are chilling, melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave in 30-second increments until smooth.
- Dip the bottom half of the balls in the chocolate. Place the balls back on the baking sheet. Once all of the balls are dipped, place the baking sheet back in the freezer to allow the chocolate to harden, about 15 minutes.
- Layer the buckeyes in between sheets of wax paper in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.