Homemade Peanut Butter Balls (Buckeyes but I covered the 'eye')

If you've read my blog around the holidays before, you may already know that I hate making chocolate dipped... anything.  I find it a mind numbing, boring process and usually end up finding creative ways to make the food item into something 'else' that doesn't involve dipping. Like... when I made peanut butter 'patties' in 2008 instead of balls because they were just that much faster to dip!

Or when I got even lazier and poured a layer of chocolate, topped it with the peanut butter center, spread smooth and poured on another layer of chocolate before cutting them because this way I didn't have to dip anything!

But this year... I did it.  I did the dip.  That's how much I love my family.  And yes... they were thrilled.  And many were 'snitched' before dipping, during dipping and after dipping.  I didn't mind though!  I'm just happy they are so appreciative of my baking.

Peanut Butter Balls or Buckeyes

1/2 c creamy peanut butter
1/4 c real butter, room temperature
3/4 - 1 t vanilla extract
2 c powdered sugar
1 c semisweet chocolate chips mixed with 1 c milk chocolate chips**
1 T shortening or paraffin

Mix the butter, peanut butter and vanilla; add the powdered sugar and blend.  Form into 1" balls and chill or freeze.  Melt the chocolate chips and shortening in the microwave or stove, double boiler method until smooth, stirring regularly. Dip the balls, one at a time into the chocolate. Place on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Refrigerate until firm.  I melted a little bit of white chocolate to drizzle on top and placed them in mini cupcake liners as 75% of these will be going on a goody tray for my husbands place of employment. 

*Note:  to make balls, dip all the way and cover any holes or marks with a bit of melted chocolate to seal.  If making traditional buckeyes, you dip 3/4 of the way but leave the small peanut butter circle showing on top to resemble the Buckeye seed from the Buckeye tree.

**You can also use chocolate almond bark or chocolate wafer candies instead of chocolate chips.  Use what you have local or what you like to work with best.

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