Ever since I checked the book, Bake Explorations, out from the library, I have been dying to make this recipe. Chocolate+Peanut Butter+Cream Cheese+Graham Crackers=YUM! I knew with a list of ingredients like this it had to be a winning recipe. Apparently these treats are best known in Ohio where this candy resembles the horse chestnut from the Buckeye State. Living in Minnesota I have never heard of them, but sure do love em! They literally taste like you are eating peanut butter cookie dough wrapped in chocolate. The insides are light and soft just like cookie dough. One of my coworkers said it best when she said, "these are better than sex balls" as she kept popping them in her mouth. Too funny. I know there was more than one person who was having a hard time having just one. Warning: these may cause you to overindulge.
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 cups confectioners' sugar
10 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
12 oz good-quality dark chocolate
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter until combined. Add the graham cracker crumbs and beat on medium speed for 10 seconds. Add the confectioners' sugar and butter. Beat at low speed for 20 seconds to prevent the sugar from spilling over; then gradually increase the speed until the mixture is completely combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat again. The mixture will feel slightly dry. Set the peanut butter filling aside while you melt the chocolate.
In the top of a double boiler set over hot water, melt the chocolate, stirring frequently until it is completely smooth. pour the chocolate into a small, deep bowl. Let it cool to tepid (about 100 degree) while you shape the peanut butter centers.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Scoop out slightly more than 1 tablespoon's worth of filling and use your hands to form it into a ball. Place the ball on the prepared sheet pan and repeat the process until all the filling has been shaped. The balls can sit fairly close to each other on the sheet, just make sure they are not touching.
One by one, use a fork or large skewer, dip each ball into the chocolate. Roll the ball around from side to side to cover almost the entire peanut butter center, leaving a small part uncovered. Manipulate the buckeye so that the dripping chocolate covers the holes made by the fork. Let the excess chocolate drip back into the bowl and return each chocolate-covered buckeye to the pan. Refrigerate the entire sheet pan for about 30 minutes to set the chocolate before serving.