I am a Buckeye, plain and simple. I grew up in Ohio and I went to The Ohio State University. I love my home state and my alma mater. Anyone who says "you can't go home again" didn't grow up going to Ohio State football games, go away for a while, and then return to go to a game. No matter what happens in the intervening years (stadium renovations, new players, new coaches), there is always a feeling of returning home as you walk through the tailgate parties, walk through the stadium gate, hike up to your seat, and watch as The Ohio State University Marching Band takes the field. You can go home again - especially if you are a Buckeye.
Therefore, I feel that it is only fitting that I start this blog, at the start of Michigan Week, with a recipe for Buckeyes. In case you are unaware, Buckeyes are candies that resemble a Buckeye nut from a Buckeye tree. It's always a treat to find a Buckeye tree in the wild and collect the nuts underneath. While Buckeye nuts are not edible, Buckeye candies are and they are a favorite of Buckeye fans everywhere. Many thanks to my aunt, who made sure to submit this for our church cookbook. I always know where to find it.
3 lb. confectioners sugar
2 lb. peanut butter
1 lb. butter or margarine
1 (12 oz) pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 bar of paraffin
Mix sugar, peanut butter, and butter (mixture will be very dense, I usually end up using my hands, even though I have a Heavy Duty Kitchen Aid mixer). Form into small balls. Melt over low heat in a double boiler, chocolate chips and paraffin. Keeping chocolate mix over steam (top of double boiler), dip peanut butter balls into chocolate with a toothpick till the balls are not quite completely covered (i.e. leave some peanut butter peaking out). Set out on wax or parchment paper until chocolate cools and hardens. Now, give half of them away!
These freeze very well and make excellent holiday gifts (or any time).
This is a great group activity, if you'd like to make a party of it. Also, kids REALLY get into dipping peanut butter balls into a small bowl of melted chocolate, just be ready to deal with the resulting mess and sugar high.
FYI - For those of you who are not up on college football rivalries, Michigan Week is huge! It begins as soon as the clock ticks down on the game before the Michigan game and the excitement builds as the week progresses. While the rivalry is always present, it is especially great this week. Many times, The Game has determined who will be conference champs and attend The Rose Bowl. Even if only one team is looking forward to the Rose Bowl or even the National Championship Game, the other team is looking to knock the other team out of contention. The competition extends beyond the football game too. Every year there is a blood drive through the American Red Cross to see which school has the greatest number of donations.