Why You Should Skip The Chocolate Chips When Making Buckeyes

If you're craving a quick and easy sweet treat, then the buckeye is the perfect solution. For those who don't know, the buckeye (or buckeye ball) is a ball of peanut butter wrapped in a thin layer of chocolate, but left slightly open to resemble the nut of Ohio's state tree, explains Old Time Candy.

That uncanny resemblance is no accident either. According to Gail Tabor, who claims to have invented the candy in 1964, it originated as a recipe for peanut butter balls covered thoroughly in chocolate that Tabor inherited from her mother. She noticed the resemblance to the fruit and commented on it to her football-obsessed husband. She then decided they would be perfect to bring to the next tailgate. Obviously, they were a hit due to their uncanny resemblance to the University nickname, and its mascot Brutus the Buckeye who would debut a year later, per Ohio State Athletics.

According to Dan Woeller the Food Etymologist, the treat has now become closely associated with Ohio State football, and homemade batches tend to pop up throughout the Fall and Winter. Ohio's oldest candy company Anthony-Thomas has also been manufacturing about 100,000 pounds of them each year since 2000, though other brands produce their own as well.

Good melting chocolate is essential

Whether or not you're an Ohio State football fan, if you choose to make buckeyes at home, there are a few simple mistakes to avoid. According to Kitchn, the type of chocolate used is very important. While Tabor may have recommended chocolate chips in her original recipe, The Kitchn has found that they are not the best fit when it comes to buckeyes. This is because chocolate chips are made with stabilizers to help them form that cohesive chip shape. Those stabilizers will also prevent them from melting easily. This makes them great for baking into cookies, but terrible for melting down to dip peanut butter balls in. It's best to opt for a good bar of chocolate instead. Bon Appétit recommends using dark chocolate, but milk chocolate works just as well.

Coating them in as much chocolate as possible might also seem like a great idea, but it's actually better to be more conservative with your chocolate shell. Not only will too much chocolate throw off the balance of the simple treat, but it can also pool at the bottom while the shell hardens. This will ruin the appearance of your buckeyes as it forms a flat base instead of the classic round shape.