My Halloween tradition has become handing out candy from my front step. I bring the fire pit around to the front yard, invite a few friends, make chili and hot spiced spiked cider, and Halloween buckeye treats.
We bundle up and sit around the fire and front step. This is a much better way to way to hand out candy than jumping up from the couch every few minutes. The buckeyes help keep our hands out of the candy bowl, although I’m sure they’re not a whole lot better for you. I started with a recipe from the ever reliable Smitten Kitchen and have played with it to make my own variation. I’ll try to actually write follow-able directions. Granted when I make them this week I’ll probably make some more changes.
What you need:
2oz Cream cheese, at room temp.
1.5c Smooth peanuts butter
1c Graham cracker crumbs (about 14 squares)
2c powdered sugar
1c brown (light or dark? I can’t remember which I used)
1.25 sticks of Butter, melted and cooled
1t Vanilla extract
12oz (or more) Dark chocolate. I use Ghirardelli 60% cacao baking chips. Totally worth the money.
Salt (kosher or large flake style, not table salt)
Toffee crumbles (I use Heath english toffee bits found in the baking aisle)
Candy eyes (or any other decoration optional)
Make the filling.
With an electric mixer (I used a hand held one) in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter until well combined.
Add graham crumbs, beat briefly.
Add salt, both sugars, butter, and vanilla and mix on the lowest speed until the powdered sugar stops floating off everywhere, then increase the speed until everything is well combined. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
The mixture should be stiff and a little dry, which is good for shaping.
Line a sheet pan with wax or parchment paper. Scoop out about roughly a tablespoon of filling (I like a slightly smaller ball) and use your hands to form a ball. Place them close, but not touching on the paper. Refrigerate or freeze (I find this easer for coating them in chocolate later).
Make the coating.
There are all sorts of methods for tempering chocolate so you get that glossy crisp chocolate coating that doesn’t melt all over your fingers. I am lazy and have no problem with a matt finish and chocolate fingers. This is what I do. I microwave the chocolate for 30 seconds, and then for 10 second increments, stirring in between until it’s fully melted. I let it cool for a while so I get a thicker coating.
Assemble the treats.
This is the part that takes forever. Don’t try to do this in a hurry or you’ll just get frustrated. Heck you’ll probably get frustrated anyway. I fumble them like crazy and they often turn out all funny shaped. This is why they work great as Halloween treats, I could never pull them off for something fancy.
Line a second sheet pan with parchment paper (or I imagine wax paper would do, you’re not going to bake them.)
Generously sprinkle salt and toffee crumbles on the paper.
Take your formed peanut butter balls out of the fridge.
I use chopsticks and a spoon, but you might use a skewer and fork or find your own method. Like pancakes, the first couple will probably not be your best. Dip them in one at a time, roll around until most of the ball is covered lift out and place on salt and toffee covered paper. Don’t stress about “ugly” ones, they’ll look even better for Halloween. If it takes a while to get your dipping method down you might have to reheat the chocolate in the microwave again.
Gently press on your candy eyes, or other decoration on them.
Chill until chocolate is set, at least 30min.
I make them a couple of days ahead because that makes my life easier. The Smitten Kitchen suggests they could last a week if for some odd reason you haven’t finished them yet. Just keep them in the fridge.