Buckeyes/Rice Krispy Peanut Butter Balls

Friends, I’m sure you’re aware- tonight is the College Football National Championship game. Living in Columbus, I am more than aware, and the anticipation has been palpable all day, if not all week!! I’m not a born and bred OSU fan, but I’ve lived in Columbus for about five years and I’ve certainly gotten into the spirit of things. Today I’m bringing that Buckeye Spirit to the blog, with my take on Buckeyes.

Buckeyes-Peanut Butter Krispy Balls3

First, a gratuitous photo of Howie getting his OSU fanatic on:

OSU Howie

Also, if the Howie pic didn’t get you into the spirit of things, how about a game-day trailer?

Ok, so Buckeyes. Buckeyes are a nut, yes, and also a candy that consists of a peanut butter center coated with chocolate. I actually don’t really care for traditional homemade buckeye candy…the peanut butter and powdered sugar filling is pretty sweet and not particularly appealing to me. Instead, I like to make peanut butter rice krispies, shaped into balls and coated with chocolate- they have tons of texture and a slightly salty component.

Buckeyes-Peanut Butter Krispy Balls2

These are a little tricky- first, you want to kind of smush everything together to crush the rice. This is best accomplished when the mixture cools for a few minutes. You also need to keep your hands as non-sticky as possibly- I sometimes use Pam, but I’ve also had luck with sporadically dipping my hands in cool water. Either way you do it, the mixture stays pliable for a while, so you form the balls, chill in the freezer, then roll in chocolate. It’s a bit of work, but the results are super delicious…and perfect for game day!

Rice Krispy Peanut Butter Balls

1 cup corn syrup
1 cup sugar
2 cups peanut butter
5 cups rice krispies
1 cup chocolate chips (dark chocolate, milk chocolate, mixture…the world is your oyster!)
¼ cup milk or cream, divided

Make the krispies: First, prepare a cookie sheet by laying down a sheet of parchment or wax paper; set aside. In a saucepot, mix the corn syrup, sugar and peanut butter and cook on medium low until melted and the sugar is no longer granular (about five minutes). Make sure that you stir pretty regularly during this time! Measure the crisp rice into a pretty large bowl, and pour the peanut butter mixture over that; stir with a wooden spoon until everything is well incorporated. Give this mixture a few minutes to cool, then use your hands to start forming into balls. TIP: I have the most luck when I squeeze a walnut sized ball pretty hard, transferring from hand to hand, and then gently forming into a ball- you really want to compact things. Once you’ve formed the entire mixture into balls, place the cookie sheet in the fridge or freezer to firm things up.

Make the chocolate coating: pour the cholate of your choice into a microwave safe bowl (tall and narrow is a better bet than short and wide, if you have the choice) and add half of the milk (2 tbsp). Microwave on 30 second increments, stirring in between, until the chocolate is completely melted. Stir really, really well- sometimes you think the chocolate isn’t going to smooth out, but it really will! At this point it’s a judgment call- the chocolate needs to be thin enough to coat the krispies, but not too thin. So, if you need to, add more milk (a tiny bit at a time) until the chocolate reaches the consistency that you’d like. Using a fork, or a toothpick, dip each rice krispy ball into the chocolate, leaving a dime-sized space at the top without chocolate. Refrigerate for a few hours to solidify the chocolate, then bring to room temperature before serving.