I have never heard of these cookies (or are they candy?) in my entire life. Initially I thought they were called Buckeyes because they look like an eyeball. Sort of gross... and sort of true in a round about way. They are named after the Buckeye nut, which got it's name from the Native Americans who thought the nut looked like the eye of male deer. The nut comes from a tree that is native to Ohio..... hence Ohio being the Buckeye State and the Buckeye being the mascot for Ohio State University.
If you do a Google Image search for the Buckeye Nut, you'll see that these cookies look exactly like the nut of the same name (although I didn't coat mine high enough up the sides for them to really look like the nut). See the notes below on a trick for getting the coating up the sides without losing the ball in the chocolate bath.
My apologies for the boring history lesson. I hope I kept it short enough so that you didn't just scroll down to the bottom to get straight to the recipe :)
I have been on the hunt for a recipe that contains graham crackers... But it can't be just any recipe; the graham crackers need to somehow be formed into a little ball and coated with chocolate. There is a very specific purpose for this, but I have to keep it under wraps until after December 18th. Check back after then for a recipe that will be the MVP of your next camping trip. Anyhow, I found this recipe when I googled "Graham Cracker Balls". Perfect!
I decided to try these as a trial run for the above mentioned Top Secret recipe and really liked the way they turned out. They are simple to make and soooo tasty. I had to give the majority of them to my husband to take to work with him, fearing that I would devour all of them and wake up 10 lbs heavier. Yikes.
Follow the easy-peasy recipe below. I learned a few things along the way that might be helpful:
- Don't leave any big chunks of walnuts or graham crackers. If you can use a food processor or mini-prep, do it. The finer the crumb, the better the balls will stick together.
- Add half the graham cracker crumbs and stir the mixture. If its too sticky add more. You don't want it to be overly dry.
- Use a toothpick or fondue fork to dip. If you don't want the hole from the toothpick showing at the top, stick the poker in the side and tilt the bowl of chocolate, submerging the ball until just a small circle is uncoated at the top. Submerge the part when the toothpick is poked in, that way you don't have to patch up the hole. I will do this next time I make these... I put the pick in at the top and was having a hard time submerging the whole thing without it getting stuck and the pick slipping out when I removed them from the choco-bath.
- I used crunchy peanut butter but will try smooth next time for a less chunky end result.
- If you don't like coconut, you can leave it out. I would try and add 1/4 cup of cream cheese to bring a little more depth of flavor. Other recipes I have found call for cream cheese. Sounds good to me!
Adapted from Zandria’s Mom’s Graham Cracker Balls
1/2 - 2/3 box graham crackers, crushed into a fine crumb
1 cup walnuts, chopped finely
1 cup peanut butter
8 oz. shredded coconut
2 sticks butter, melted
1 lb. confectioners sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
Mix all ingredients except the chocolate chips together in a stand mixer until smooth. Scoop out a heaping tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball. Place rolled balls onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment or wax paper.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, or by heating in the microwave for 30 seconds and then in 10 second increments until smooth, stirring in between each heating.
Using a toothpick or skewer, coat each ball with chocolate and place on the cookie sheet. Chill for 30 minutes for the chocolate to set.
Yields about 60 balls, depending on the size. They will keep for 3-4 days, or up to a week in the fridge.
Remember to check back after December 18th for a variation of the Buckeye that will be sure to blow your mind :)