Buckeye cookies weren’t part of my childhood growing up in Minnesota, but they’re certainly the rage here in Indiana around the holidays (perhaps because of the proximity to Ohio?). Essentially peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate, they’re little bites of heaven. Any other buckeye fans out there?
Each year for A Couple Cooks, we try to create a “healthier” version of some holiday favorites. Admittedly “healthy” is sometimes a dirty word when tacked onto dessert, but believe me, these buckeyes can stand up to the original. Instead of the traditional butter and sugar, we’ve substituted Medjool dates, those large, chewy and sweet dates that are used to make natural sweets like raw brownies. Add a little peanut butter, and voila — instant buckeye filling. Dipped in a little chocolate, these little bites taste very similar to the original, but without the butter and refined sugar. They’re certainly not a health food, but they’re more natural than most of the treats out there this time of year! Let us know if you try them out and what you think.
Tip: We always make our cookie servings a little smaller than typical – this helps to control portion size!
Note 1: These are a great gluten-free Christmas cookie option and vegan Christmas cookie option (if you use vegan chocolate). They are also refined-sugar free (naturally sweet) and no-bake.
Note 2: Little round balls like buckeyes and truffles are extremely difficult to photograph! We were fairly artistically frustrated until we placed them in the bowl above, which made all the difference. The shine of the bowl also helped to bring in some color and light. Just a tip if you’re into food photography!Print
Medjool dates are a type of date that is exceptionally large and sweet, and are essential for this recipe (do not substitute). Medjool dates are available at many mainstream groceries, and also are available for sale online.
- 20 Medjool dates
- 3 tablespoons peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Remove the pits from 20 Medjool dates. Place the dates in the bowl of a food processor and process until crumbled. Add 3 tablespoons peanut butter and turn on the food processor; while running, add 2 tablespoons water. Process until completely smooth (stopping and scraping down the bowl as necessary).
- Lightly oil your hands (to prevent sticking) and roll the mixture into small balls, about 30 to 40 total. Place the balls on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper and freeze until ready to dip in chocolate.
- Fill a large skillet halfway with water and bring to a simmer, then place 1 cup chocolate chips in a metal or glass heat-safe bowl. Once the water is simmering, turn off the heat and place the bowl of chocolate in the water, then stir until melted. (Alternatively, use a double boiler to melt the chocolate.)
- Dip each buckeye halfway into the chocolate using a toothpick (then smooth over the toothpick hole). Place the buckeyes back on the cookie sheet and refrigerate until serving.