I was matched with Vanessa from Sunflower State of Mind. She made Irish Buckeyes, which I was oddly excited about. Not because chocolate and peanut butter is the best combination ever, but because I'm sort of a pro at Buckeyes.
(FYI, for the non-Ohio/northeasterners, buckeyes or buckeye candy resemble the nut of the Ohio Buckeye tree... hence the Ohio State University Buckeye mascot)
Growing up my mom always exchanged Christmas cookies with our neighbors, which each had our own family specialties. Our one neighbor always made Buckeye Balls and chocolate fudge. At some point my mom asked for the Buckeye recipe, I started making them myself in college and the rest is history.... or fat on my thighs.
While I still make other Christmas cookies, I always make Buckeyes each year (my recipe here). I wanted this recipe swap to be a bit of challenge, so I challenged myself to find a way to make them food dye free, since greening them up was the whole St. Patty's Day kicker.
I was also excited to try Vanessa's Buckeye recipe since it yielded a smaller amount than the giant batch I make at the holidays (an entire 12oz container of peanut butter vs just a 1/2C this time).
Naturally, I turned to spinach. As anyone who's had a green monster knows, you really only need a littler to turn everything green and it's usually tasteless.
I'll be honest up front. This didn't quite turn out the way I planned. Personally, I think the butter to peanut butter ratio was a bit off, I would use less butter next time, but that's just my preference. I also prefer chocolate to white chocolate, especially when paired with peanut butter. So I made both.
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 bag white chocolate chips
1/2C frozen spinach
I followed my usual routine, mixing the butter, peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla. I prefer a pastry blender to a mixer since over mixing can cause the peanut butter and butter to become too fluffy and soft. At that point, it's almost impossible to roll them into balls without them being a sticky mess and holding their shape. (At least that's my experience)
Now here is where I went astray. I decided to use spinach to color the white chocolate chips. First mistake was my impatience. I knew I should have used thawed or fresh spinach, but I was trying to get this all done during naptime and waiting it out wasn't going to happen.
I also like to add a teaspoon (or tablespoon depending on the amount of chocolate) of crisco to keep the chocolate thin and easier to dip and coat. I've also heard olive oil will do the same.
For the drizzle, I just poured my melted chocolate in a ziploc and cut a hole at the corner.
And don't forget to link up your recipe below! I can't wait to see how everything turned out!