A recipe for healthier buckeye candies – these rich chocolatey treats are gluten free and vegan, and so tasty! Perfect for your holiday cookie party.
Whether it’s the holiday season or not, it’s always a good time to make some buckeye candies. These traditional treats are often associated with the Christmas season, but they’re also the perfect dessert to bring to a picnic or potluck dinner.
What are buckeye candies?
Buckeyes are a candy that is made of a peanut butter dough surrounded by a layer of chocolate.
Why are they called buckeyes?
These treats are called buckeyes because of their striking resemblance to the nut of a Buckeye tree.
Buckeye candies are a great dessert to make if you’re on a gluten free or vegan diet. They don’t contain any grains or gluten, and if you use dairy free chocolate chips and vegan buttery spread, they are very easy to make vegan!
I also made a couple of changes to make them a little bit lighter. The amount of powdered sugar has been decreased, but these are still plenty sweet!
When I first shared this recipe 5 years ago, we didn’t have any nut allergies in our house. Now that we do, I still make these, but we use Sunbutter or Wowbutter instead of peanut butter. The taste is still delicious, but if you want it to taste the most like peanut butter, Wowbutter is the best choice.
This recipe also includes the addition of golden ground flax seed meal to add some healthy fats and fiber. If you use the golden flax seed meal, it blends in perfectly with the dough, and you won’t be able to detect it.
This recipe for healthier buckeyes is for a small batch, just 18 candies, because they are so rich. But if you need to make more, just multiply the amounts as needed.
Should buckeyes be stored in the refrigerator?
Yes, the quality will be better and the chocolate coating will stay firmer if you keep these refrigerated.
How long will buckeyes last in the refrigerator?
These candies should last for up to a week in the refrigerator. Store them in an airtight container for the best quality.
How do you make buckeye candies?
- Place the peanut butter (or an alternative), vegan buttery spread, and golden ground flax seed meal in a mixing bowl.
- Mix on high speed until creamy.
- Add the powdered sugar.
- Beat until incorporated – the dough may appear a little dry, that’s ok! If it’s too dry, add a little more vegan buttery spread.
- Roll the dough into balls and place on a cookie sheet. Chill for one hour.
- Melt the chocolate chips
- Use a toothpick to dip the balls into the melted chocolate
- Place the completed buckeyes in the refrigerator to chill for one hour.
Can you make nut-free buckeyes?
Yes, you can! These are delicious with either Wowbutter (which is made from soy), or Sunbutter (which is made from sunflower seeds).
If you make these treats, or any of my recipes, please share on Instagram and tag me @prettybeeblog. I love to see what you’re making!
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Healthier Buckeye Candies (Gluten Free and Vegan).
Chocolate and peanut butter buckeyes made a little bit healthier with the addition of flax seed, and a lower amount of sugar. These treats are still super rich and delicious for the holidays.
Cream the peanut butter (or alternative butter) and the vegan buttery spread. Add the ground flax seed and mix.
- Add the sifted confectioner’s sugar a little at a time and continue to mix until incorporated. If the dough seems too dry, add a little bit more vegan buttery spread.
- Roll the peanut butter mixture into one inch balls and place on a tray lined with waxed paper. Refrigerate for about an hour.
After an hour, melt your chocolate chips in a double boiler, or in a bowl in the microwave. If you microwave them, start out with one minute, then stir. If they aren’t melted, microwave in 10 second increments, stirring in between until melted.
Stick each buckeye with a toothpick, and dip into the melted chocolate. Transfer back to the wax paper lined tray and refrigerate. The chocolate should be firm enough to eat in about an hour.
Serving size is one buckeye.
These can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
If you are not dairy free, feel free to use regular butter and chocolate chips.
For those with nut allergies: this recipe works very well with Sunbutter or Wowbutter.
Tips for making these healthier buckeyes:
- make sure to chill the balls before dipping – it will make the process easier
- this is a fun candy to make with your kids – let them dip these in the melted chocolate
- if you can’t do peanuts, try Wowbutter or Sunbutter – they will be delicious!
Enjoy! I know that buckeye recipes often includes paraffin in order to make the chocolate shiny, but I don’t mind if the chocolate is not shiny. I don’t love eating wax. You could add a little paraffin to this recipe if that’s your preference.
Another fun holiday project to try with your kids is to make your own advent calendar. That way, you can fill it up with your own allergy safe treats!
This post was originally published in December 2013. It has been updated with new photos and text.