Healthy Buckeyes (Peanut Butter Balls)

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A recipe for your holiday cookie tray! Healthy Buckeyes are made with MUCH less sugar yet are equally delicious. They’re gluten-free, vegan & paleo-friendly.

A simple peanut butter cookie dough ball, dipped partially in chocolate will make a heavenly and sensible addition to your holiday treats tray!

If you’ve been following our blog for a while now, you may already know that peanut butter and chocolate is one of my most favorite combos…ever! I have always been a PB fanatic. In fact, growing up, it was not uncommon for me to be gifted jars of PB for Christmas. To this day, I still thoroughly enjoy peanut butter almost daily. I mean, you just can’t go wrong, right?! So as you can tell, these Healthy Buckeyes are right up my alley and are created specially for all of you peanut butter lovers out there – the kids will love ’em, too!

Now, if you live in a peanut-free home or you have a peanut-allergy or sensitivity, no worries! You can absolutely substitute a nut or seed butter of your choosing.

Healthy Buckeyes (Peanut Butter Balls)

Healthy Buckeyes (Peanut Butter Balls) are made with less sugar.

As I mentioned in the Paleo Soft-Batch Ginger Molasses Cookies blog post, we’re on a mission to bring you healthier holiday treats that are made with less sugar, real food ingredients and your health in mind. Buckeyes, also known as peanut butter balls, are a recipe I’ve been making since as long as I can remember. However, the original recipe calls for about 3 cups of powdered sugar which equates to about 350 grams of sugar total! Yowzer. And while I’m a big believer in indulging and taking part in that activity myself, I’m also a recipe creator that enjoys the challenge of taking a super palatable, high-sugary treat and giving it a healthy real food makeover. Hence the start of this blog, The REAL FOOD RDs 🙂 

I’m telling you, these Healthy Buckeyes are so delectably delicious. You and your peeps will never know they’re “healthier” and made with much less sugar (as in 70% less). My husband said they taste just like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. Score! Because Reese’s (insert: heart eye emoji)!

Healthy Buckeyes

Tips for making and storing Healthy Buckeyes.

  • The brand of flours you use can alter the dough so if the dough is too wet and sticky to roll into balls, add 1 Tbsp. more at a time of coconut flour until the right consistency is achieved. If the dough is too dry, add a little extra peanut butter and/or melted coconut oil until the right consistency is achieved.
  • If the nut butter you’re using is pretty thick, I recommend heating the nut butter along with the coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, until it’s a smooth, flowing consistency. You may need to add a little more coconut oil than the recipe calls for to achieve this.
  • Make sure to chill the dough for 15 minutes in the fridge before and after rolling. You want the dough nice and chilled for rolling and dipping.
  • Place the dough balls on parchment paper to prevent them from sticking to the plate or pan. This is important.
  • For dipping, transfer the melted chocolate into a small bowl so that there’s plenty of depth for dipping and use a toothpick (as shown) to make dipping easier.
  • Allow the chocolate to set and then store the Healthy Buckeyes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Serve chilled if possible.
  • You can also freeze them if you wish. Remove from the freezer and place in the fridge the day before you plan to serve them.

Healthy Buckeyes (Peanut Butter Balls)

A recipe for your holiday cookie tray! Healthy Buckeyes are made with MUCH less sugar yet are equally delicious. They’re gluten-free & paleo-friendly. Click To Tweet

And now the burning question…where does the name of this recipe, Buckeyes, originate from?

If you’re from Ohio, you likely already know the answer. But for those who don’t, these delectable chocolate-shelled peanut butter balls get their name from their resemblance to the nut of the Ohio buckeye tree, which ironically is a very poisonous nut when eaten raw. Never fear though, this recipe contains zero buckeye nuts, just lots of creamy goodness from the peanut butter. Besides, as a favorite go-to confection during Ohio State Buckeye football season or at a holiday get-together they could hardly contain poisonous nuts, right?

Healthy Buckeyes (Peanut Butter Balls)

I can’t wait for you to take your first bite of these Healthy Buckeyes!

I may be biased, but I do believe these Healthy Buckeyes are made with the perfect creamy peanut butter to chocolate ratio. With an initial lovely little crunch when you bite into the chocolate shell, it’s like the creamy peanut butter filling just bursts into your mouth! You’re also love that irresistible sweet & salty combo you get by adding a little course sea salt to the tops. So, so good!

We’d love to hear if you give this recipe a try! Also, be sure to tag us on social media in any photos that you share of our recipes. We love seeing what you’re creating in the kitchen!

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Let’s Get Cookin’

Healthy Buckeyes (Peanut Butter Balls)

A recipe for your holiday cookie tray! Healthy Buckeyes are made with MUCH less sugar yet are equally delicious. They’re gluten-free, vegan & paleo-friendly.

  • Author: Stacie Hassing
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes + chill time
  • Total Time: 30 minutes + chill time
  • Yield: 24 treats
  • Category: Sweets, Desserts
Healthy Buckeyes (Peanut Butter Balls)

Ingredients

For the melted chocolate:

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, combine all of the dough ingredients. If peanut butter or nut butter is on the thicker side, heat slightly over medium-low heat along with coconut oil until it achieves a smooth flowing consistency.
  2. Once dough is mixed well, place in fridge for 15 minutes.
  3. Roll dough into 24 balls, about 1 heaping Tbsp. of dough per ball.
  4. Place on a sheet pan or plate lined with parchment paper.
  5. Place dough balls back into fridge for another 15 minutes.
  6. Over medium-low heat, add chocolate and coconut oil. Stir continuously until chocolate is melted and smooth.
  7. Remove dough balls from fridge and dip all but the top of the ball into the chocolate. A toothpick works great for dipping.
  8. If desired, drizzle with leftover melted chocolate and top with a little course sea salt.
  9. Serve chilled if possible.

Notes

For storing:

  • Allow the chocolate to set and then store the Healthy Buckeyes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
  • You can also freeze them if you wish. Remove from the freezer and place in the fridge the day before you plan to serve them.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 treat
  • Calories: 100
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Sodium: 25 mg
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 10 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 2 g

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