Ohioans are extremely familiar with this tasty treat. Buckeye Balls are delectable balls of peanut butter carefully dipped into chocolate and enjoyed by many throughout the holiday season. Does it really have to be a holiday to make these? I think not. However – the original recipe that goes around our table is not the healthiest. So, I set out on a quest to make one of my favorite combinations (peanut butter + chocolate) a bit less guilt inducing and dairy free for Owen. So, if you have little ones with dairy allergies this would be such a treat!
My first recipe I tried out was extremely adventurous – I should have known by the ingredients alone that this was bound to take a terrible turn, but I forged on in hopes that the end result would be great. A few spoon licks later and I could not erase what I had made off of my taste buds – and not in a good way. Thank goodness for tasting as you go! Unfortunately there was no saving that recipe – but the craving for that combo was still stronger than ever.
Quickly I realized trying to omit the powdered sugar just wasn’t an option. At least for our house. I needed to find a way to swap out certain ingredients for a few healthier choices and simply lower the powder sugar requirements. No more than 10 minutes later a beautiful, mouth-watering buckeye ball was created. Better than any other I have ever had. So good that it turned Brody into a peanut butter fan.
Most recipes for buckeye balls call for melted butter and shortening. Wanting to cater to Owen’s allergies (dairy free) – I swapped these two ingredients for pumpkin puree and coconut oil. Also using dairy free chocolate chips were a delicious twist (by the way, these chocolate chips taste better than most, highly reccomend it!) The recipes I have made before require 4 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, I used 3. So while these still have a bit of a guilty factor you can feel awfully good about getting a dose of pumpkin and coconut oil into your system!
I’ll shut up and stop the talking about these balls – and show you the recipe so you can make them yourself!
- 1½ Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
- ½ Cup Pumpkin Puree
- 1 Tbsp Organic Coconut Oil
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 3 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 10oz Mini Dairy Free Chocolate Chips (Regular Chocolate Chips will do)
- Pinch of Sea Salt
- Prepare a large cookie sheet with parchment paper
- In a large bowl, stir together the peanut butter, pumpkin puree, coconut oil and vanilla
- Stir in the powdered sugar - use your hands to knead the dough until it is completely absorbed (this will help break down the coconut oil too)
- Roll roughly a tablespoon of the peanut butter dough into a ball and place onto cookie sheet
- Continue to get your roll on until all of the dough is used
- Place into the fridge for 1 hour
- Melt the chocolate chips in a glass bowl in the microwave in 30 second increments. Each time stirring in between. It usually takes 3x until there a few chips not melted. Take the glass bowl out, and let the warm melted chips melt the rest. (Ridiculously easy way of melted chocolate without a double boiler)
- Add a pinch of sea salt to the melted chocolate, stir it in
- Take the peanut butter balls out of the fridge, and dip each ball bottom into the melted chocolate
- Traditionally, you dip them almost to the top, I prefer half way, and finishing with a drizzle - Do what your heart desires
- Place the cookie sheet back into the fridge until the chocolate hardens - keep in fridge until ready to serve - or enjoy them throughout the week!
Look at those lions, waiting to pounce.