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The buckeye nut is a pretty seed found in the center of buckeye tree fruit. Neither is edible, but the glossy seed with its cream colored “eye” is certainly attractive, and is said to boost a person's attractiveness and sexual prowess. The appearance of the nuts is the inspiration for buckeye candy, which is definitely edible, and combines the flavors of peanut butter and chocolate. The jury is out on whether it is an aphrodisiac, though chocolate has certainly been called one in the past.
Buckeye candy is actually fairly simple to make. It doesn’t involve some of the complex maneuvers that require candy thermometers and the like. Instead, people may need to learn how to temper melted chocolate, but that’s the most complicated part. The ingredients are simple too, and easy to obtain: peanut butter, semi-sweet chocolate or chocolate chips, powdered sugar, and butter.
Recipes may differ slightly on how to make buckeye candy. Essentially, most have cooks combine peanut butter, butter, powdered sugar and perhaps a little vanilla, mixing these ingredients together thoroughly. These ingredients are then formed into balls and frozen for about an hour. During the freezing process, a cook prepares melted chocolate, into which the peanut balls will be dipped. Tempering the chocolate is often optional, and chocolate used can just be melted.
The dipping process for buckeye candy can take a little precision. Dipping the balls completely into chocolate would eliminate the end appearance cooks are striving for. Instead, part of the ball must remain exposed so that when the candy has dried it has the typical buckeye appearance, with a cream or light tan spot exposed. There are various methods suggested to accomplish this perfectly. For most people, it’s a trial and error process. With the chocolate still wet, it is possible to wipe a little of it off to expose a “spot” or buckeye if needed.
Once buckeye candy is dipped, it goes back in to the refrigerator to set. Many recipes recommend storing candy in the fridge until serving time. It may be a good idea to bring it up to near room temperature first, before serving, as this will enhance flavor.
For those who don’t have time to make buckeye candy, there are a few places to buy it. Many of the manufacturers of different types of this candy are in Ohio, since it is the Buckeye State. A few of these manufacturers sell online too, though the price, considering the ingredients, is fairly high. However, those who are in the mood for these pretty confections may consider the price well worth it.
I have friends from Ohio, so I have tried these, though I wasn't totally sure what was in them.
However, I have talked to people from other parts of the country who have asked me, "What is a buckeye?" They thought it was just a type of candy, and not an actually tree.
I had a similar experience of my own when I lived in Maryland, and met someone who was surprised to learn that the oriole (as in the Baltimore Orioles) was an actual bird.
So yes, Ohio buckeyes are real plants, and also tasty candies.
My parents live in Ohio. Buckeye candies are really popular there, but many people make their own. I've been given the store bought ones as gifts too, but they don't really taste better in my opinion.
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