I have a twist on a classic holiday treat to share with all of you: gingerbread almond butter buckeyes. These are a take on the traditional buckeye, which were a holiday staple in my house growing up.
Buckeyes are a well-known holiday treat in the midwest (I grew up in Michigan, if you recall). The recipe was developed in the 1960s by a woman from Ohio — the Buckeye State. These simple, but tasty peanut butter balls were made to look like buckeyes (chestnuts), which is why they are only 3/4 dipped in chocolate. They have a soft nutty center and a light coating of chocolate on the outside. It’s basically a ball-shaped peanut butter cup.
I decided to try my hand at buckeyes with almond butter and added even more holiday flair with gingerbread flavors. I spiced these with ginger, cinnamon, clove, allspice and nutmeg, and used molasses and maple syrup for sweetness. Of course, they get a little extra sweetness from the dark chocolate as well. Coconut flour takes place of the traditional powdered sugar and gives the almond butter mixture the perfect consistency.
Traditionally, buckeyes do not have any extras, but I wanted to add a pop of color for photo purposes, so garnished with a bit of naturally-colored, large crystal red decorating sugar. This isn’t just any decorating sugar though — it’s locally-made, has no artificial ingredients or synthetic dyes (natural vegetable color instead) and is non-GMO. I imagine there are other comparable options out there, but know that this is totally optional.
Cheers and enjoy!
A twist on a classic, these gingerbread almond butter buckeyes are a warm spiced delight! Sweetened with molasses and maple syrup, spiced with gingerbread flavors, and coated in a shell of dark chocolate, these simple candies are a must during the holiday season!
- 10 oz jar smooth unsweetened almond butter
- 2 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
- 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp coconut flour
- 1.25 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp allspice
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- Pinch of sea salt
- 9 oz bag dark chocolate chips
- 1.5 tsp coconut oil
In a large bowl, mix together the almond butter, molasses, maple syrup, coconut flour, sea salt and spices. Alternatively, you can mix it in the food processor as well.
Roll into 2 tsp size balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The mixture should not be sticky or dry. Then, place in freezer for 20-25 minutes to firm up.
Melt dark chocolate chips and coconut oil over double boiler. Insert a toothpick into the center of each almond butter ball and then dip 3/4 of the way into the melted chocolate. If desired, dab excess chocolate from the bottom of each buckeye onto a sheet of wax paper before placing back on the lined baking sheet to set (this keeps chocolate from pooling and gives a cleaner look, but is optional. Of course, I learned this trick after the fact, so mine pooled a little bit). Then remove toothpicks and smooth out the toothpick mark with your finger.
Allow buckeyes to set completely before eating. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
I recommend using a natural no-stir almond butter like THIS ONE, which is also unsweetened. If there's too much oil separation, it can change the texture and make things too sticky or gloopy.
You will have leftover melted chocolate with this recipe. I do recommend that you use the suggested amount though and not use less because you want to make sure you have enough room to dip each almond butter ball. HERE is how I store my leftover melted chocolate.
I added a pop of color with naturally-colored red decorating sugar, but this is completely optional. If you do garnish with it, dip the top of each one into the decorating sugar after the chocolate has set.