Reindeer Buckeye Balls

We are getting so close to Christmas! I’m excited to head back out East and (hopefully) see some snow for the first time in a year. I never thought I’d miss the cold and snow, but I do. With Christmas right around the corner, I’ve found myself looking for festive recipes to make in the Aroma Test Kitchen.

I saw these adorable little reindeer truffles and thought “Oh my gosh, how cute. I HAVE to make them.”

But I figured instead of making truffles, why not make them from my grandfather’s buckeye ball recipe? Every year for Christmas, he makes trays and trays of chocolate fudge, peanut butter fudge, and buckeye balls for us all to enjoy. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t look forward to it every December. But as he’s gotten older, each year he makes less and less; that many treats is just too much work for an 80 year old man.

So, I thought why not take some of the work off him by making his traditional buckeye balls with a twist?! These little guys are super easy to make, super tasty, and SUPER cute! Definitely little attention grabbers!

12 ounces creamy peanut butter
8 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
16 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
10 tablespoons butter, for coating in chocolate
25-30 mini pretzels
25-30 red M&Ms
50-60 white pearl candies

20-Cup Digital Multicooker with Steam
20-30 buckeyes, depending on size
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 45 minutes

1. With a stand or hand mixer, beat the peanut butter and 8 tablespoons of butter. Stir in the vanilla.
2. Add the powdered sugar and beat on low speed until very smooth. This make take up to 15 minutes.
3. Roll the peanut butter into 1 inch balls between your hands. Set on a parchment lined tray. Repeat until all of the peanut butter mixture is used and you have 20-30 balls. Let set in the freezer for 1 hour.
4. Pour about 2 cups of water into the inner pot of your Aroma multicooker. Find a glass or metal bowl that is large enough to safely sit on top of the inner pot without falling in. You will be using the multicooker as a double broiler.
5. Set the cooker for STEAM 5 minutes. Close the lid and let the water come to a boil. Once the timer starts counting down from 5 minutes, that means the water is boiling. Turn off the cooker and open the lid; be careful of escaping steam.
6. Place the large bowl on top of the inner pot. Add the chocolate and remaining 12 tablespoons of butter into the bowl.
7. Hold the bowl in place with an oven mitt over the hot water and stir constantly until fully melted. Note that if needed, you may turn the cooker back on the STEAM function to reheat the water, but DO NOT let the water reach a boil or you might burn the chocolate.
8. When the chocolate is fully melted, use oven mitts to very carefully remove the inner pot and bowl TOGETHER from the cooker and onto a heat safe surface. Keep the bowl on top of the inner pot with the hot water to keep the chocolate melted.
9. Stick a toothpick into the top of one of the chilled peanut butter balls. Dip into the melted chocolate, leaving a little bit of peanut butter exposed on top. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
10. Use a serrated knife to cut/break a pretzel in half down the middle and press each half onto each side of the buckeye ball for antlers; this can be a bit tricky so don’t get discouraged! Place 1 M&M onto the ball for a nose, and 2 pearl candies for eyes.
11. Repeat with all of the peanut butter balls.
12. Chill in the refrigerator 1 hour until set.

Recipe inspiration from Like Mother Like Daughter

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