My husband is an Ohio native. We were living in North Carolina when we met, and I thought we would live there pretty much forever, but then life happened and we moved here. He’s been here since January, and I came up in July.
It’s been an adjustment. I miss my favorite running trails, particularly because I feel that flat terrains are harder on the body. And, um….there’s a lot of flat terrain here.
But I have gotten to do a bunch of fun Ohio things, like stuffing myself with fresh heartland produce, and going to a game at THE Ohio State University. We haven’t gone apple picking yet, but I hope to soon. And we’re going to a bonfire at his cousin’s farm, which I’m really looking forward to because I love love his folks.
But there’s still a lot of Ohio stuff I haven’t done — like survive the winter here yet, har har — and make buckeyes. So I had to make some buckeyes! But I’m not a real Buckeye, so I couldn’t make the traditional creamy centered powdered sugar kind. They are made with cereal, which gives them a very slight crunch. And the peanut butter is a little salty, so they have that whole salty sweet thing goin’ on with you can love, no matter where you’re from.
I thought that my husband was a sturdy son of Ohio, through and through. Like, on one of our first dates, I put the accent on the wrong syllable in “Tressel” and got a big long lecture. So I thought was prepared for the madness, but I was OH so wrong. I still have a lot of learning to do, about history and traditions and what you can and can’t say during the week before Thanksgiving. So I gotta ask, what are y’all’s favorite Ohio traditions?
Use your food processor to reduce the Chex to a fine, sandy dust. Work in batches to end up with a better result. You should end up with about two cups of pulverized cereal.
Add the salt to the Chex sand. I placed it in an airtight container and shook it up.
Melt the peanut butter and coconut oil together in a double boiler set over medium heat. (I don't have a real double boiler, but an oven-safe bowl set over the pot worked really well). Stir constantly. It's melted enough when the peanut butter-coconut oil mixture drizzles in a thin, smooth stream off your spatula. If it plops, it's not melted enough.
Without removing the peanut butter from the heat, mix in the Chex sand.
Stir the peanut butter and sand until you get a crumbly mixture. Remove from heat.
Using your hands, continue to mix the powder and the pb until it comes together more, something resembling a dry cookie dough. Although it looks and feels very clumpy now, it will get smooth once you start to roll the balls.
Roll up the mix into balls just a little smaller than a tablespoon. Stick the toothpicks into the balls as you go -- it will help the toothpick stay inside the ball during dipping. You should end up with 28-30 balls, depending on the size.
Place the balls in the freezer for about 5-8 minutes.
Melt the chocolate (a double boiler works great once again!)
Dip the balls in the chocolate. A swirling action ensures a good coating. You may need to return the chocolate to the heat once or twice.
Allow the chocolate to harden. Or don't. Jason! They're not ready yet.
If the balls don't seem to be forming at first, let the mixture sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes or so. It will firm up some, making it easier to work with.
Even though they keep their shape well at room temp (thanks, coconut oil!), it's best to store these in the fridge.