Few people can resist a soft peanut butter center with a chocolate shell. It evokes Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, an 85-year-old favorite inspiring a plethora of homemade confections, including buckeyes, which are as time consuming to make as they are addictive. Time is hard to come by, particularly at this time of year so you might as well skip the peanut butter ball rolling and individual chocolate swirling and dunking if you can help it. Enjoy the delicious chocolate and peanut butter pairing with less work on the front-end thanks to buckeye bark. It’s as easy as melting, mixing, spreading, and setting—on repeat.
Besides being simpler to make in this form, the candy makes for a fun and unusual presentation when gift giving. Packaging ideas include: tuck in a cellophane bag and tie with a colorful ribbon; wrap in patterned tissue paper and secure with a sticker seal; or toss in small white candy boxes and call the whole thing done. If you’re really pressed for time, present the bark right in the tray and let your loved ones go to town, breaking it off, chip by chip. They won’t mind.
2 ½ pounds Ghirardelli chocolate chips
1 pound natural creamy peanut butter
1 ¾ cups powdered sugar
8 tablespoons butter melted
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- Line a rimmed cookie sheet (about 18”x13”) with parchment paper or Silpat. Melt half of the chocolate in a double boiler, and then spread over the lined cookie sheet. Spread chocolate to a large rectangle, about 1/8”-1/4” in thickness. Place in the freezer to set.
- In a large bowl, beat the peanut butter, powdered sugar, melted butter, and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy. Remove first chocolate layer from the freezer and spread the peanut butter mixture over the top. Return to the freezer and melt the remaining chocolate. Once peanut butter layer is set, spread remaining melted chocolate over the top; place in the freezer until set.
- Break up the bark into small pieces using a butcher knife. Store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to package or serve.