I was looking for an easy dessert that would be good to take to a PTO lunch. So, finger food, not super messy, would make a lot, but each individual piece small enough because there would be a ton of other desserts, too.
Buckeyes are one of my favorite desserts and they would fit the type of dessert I was looking for- the peanut butter and chocolate- yummy! But, I’m actually kind of terrible at dipping the peanut butter balls into the chocolate and leaving that pretty hole at the top that defines a buckeye.
But, I remembered that a friend had made buckeye pretzel bites. Basically, the peanut butter filling sandwiched in between two pretzels, and then the sandwich half dipped in chocolate. So, I went searching Pinterest for a recipe. I found one that seemed a little off to me, but every. single. recipe. I found for buckeye pretzels all said the same thing: brown sugar in the peanut butter filling. So, I decided to go ahead and give it a try.
Y’all. It was gritty and not very thick and so gross that I actually tossed it out. It wasn’t “well, it could be better, but this will do, I guess” bad, it was “throw it in the trash and start all over” bad.
So, I went digging for the recipe for the buckeye filling that a friend had written down for me over 10 years ago when she brought buckeyes to a cookie exchange and I thought they were the best things in the world. And I used that same filling. So much better. Amazingly good.
So, if you have to make a dessert for a PTO lunch or for a football party or anywhere else where it’s just easiest to have something that isn’t messy and makes a lot of individual servings, this is the buckeye pretzel recipe you want. If you aren’t feeding a huge crowd, you’ll probably want to half this recipe… or nah, just make the whole thing and store the extras for later.
Makes approximately 90*
- Pretzels (I used the squares, but you could use circles or mini twists, instead)
- 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 package chocolate candi-quick (or a bag of chocolate chips or melting wafers- I like candi-quick because it melts easily, sets quickly, and has never burned on me, unlike chocolate chips)
- Using a mixer, combine peanut butter and butter until smooth.
- Add vanilla and mix for another minute.
- Slowly add powdered sugar. I add about 1/3 cup at at time, wait until it’s incorporated, and then add more. Mix until thoroughly combined.
- Your filling should look like cookie dough. Thick cookie dough.
- Place this buckeye filling in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. It’s so much easier to work with when it’s cold and more solid.
- Put pretzels out on a cookie sheet or a wire rack. I prefer a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and then a wire rack on top of that. Makes for easy clean up and if I want to move everything to the fridge later, it’s easy to do.
- Once your buckeye filling has chilled, form about 1 teaspoon or so sized balls and place on a pretzel, then top with another pretzel and lightly press down to make a sandwich.
- If at any point, your buckeye filling becomes difficult to work with(sticky, not forming balls easily), place back in the fridge for a few minutes. This might not be an issue since we’re moving into Fall and Winter but if you’re making these when it’s hot outside, remember this tip.
- Once you’ve made all of your sandwiches, melt your chocolate according to package directions.
- Dip half of your pretzel in the chocolate and set on wire rack (or cookie sheet) to firm and cool.
- If you’re pressed for time or if it’s hot in your kitchen, move finished buckeye pretzels to the fridge to set.
*Approximately 90 = depending on how much filling you put in each pretzel.
You can store these in a closed container on the counter if you’re going to eat them soon or you can even freeze them to save them for later.