Scarlet and Gray…Chocolate and Peanut Butter. Some things are just meant to go together. My central Ohio upbringing makes me a Buckeye fan by default. Buckeye in this sense means several different things. It’s the Ohio State University mascot, the state tree of Ohio, and a tasty confection consisting of a smooth peanut buttery nugget enrobed in rich, decadent chocolate. Oh and there was a football game too, I think. I’ve definitely learned something about myself recently — apparently I can’t survive a football game with out some combination of chocolate and peanut butter. But is that so wrong?
There I was, sitting on the couch surrounded by friends, family, and a delicious array of game time snacks (including my mom’s specialty — toasted ham and Swiss buns with a zingy mustard and onion spread that’s dotted with poppy seeds. No game is complete without them). My eyes glazed over as I stared at the game on the television. I did my best to participate, cheering when everyone else cheered, booing and jumping up and down in sync with the group so I would appear to know what the hell was happening on that field. Once the Buckeyes trounced the Wolverines my enthusiasm began to wane. It’s really only the rivalry, game day festivities, and my origin of birth that make me remotely interested in this event. I thought I was home free as soon as the OSU game ended but alas, there were a million other games on! All of which had to be viewed and analyzed incessantly. I was doomed for an entire day of dudes running hither and thither arbitrarily down a field. That’s when a craving for something sweet struck me. It was probably my body’s natural response to the sheer boredom brought on by the onslaught of football games. “Let’s make Buckeyes!” I shouted out to no one in particular. My brother and his friends seemed up to the challenge and I was surprised to see all of them tailing me as I bounded up the stairs towards the kitchen. The girls pitched in as the boys looked on, one eye on whatever miscellaneous game was unfolding, no doubt.
Fortunately we had all the ingredients on hand to crank out these team spirit treats. Peanut butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla whip together forming the center of the Buckeyes. Apparently the nut itself was named such because of its resemblance to the actual eye of a buck, a male deer…makes sense, no? And naturally the candy was named after the nut. It’s all very convoluted, but delicious nonetheless.
We patiently waited for our carefully scooped balls of gooey peanut butter filling to solidify in the freezer. Unfortunately, this down time was filled with EVEN MORE FOOTBALL. It never ends. Once the peanut balls were firm, we skewered them with toothpicks and rolled them gently in melted chocolate, leaving just the right amount of filling visible so as to resemble the infamous buckeye.
Coated in chocolate and now the spitting candy image of a buck’s eye, the waiting game begins again as they freeze until completely set. This is the most difficult part — waiting for the almost ready treats to freeze. I’m fairly certain I caught my brother palming a not-quite-frozen buckeye from the tray and scampering off to devour it. The rest of us waited it out and oh, was it worth it. The cold chocolate coating snaps upon first bite and your teeth sink lusciously into the creamy, dense, peanut butter center. It’s enough to make you deliriously unaware of everything else around you. Football game? What football game?