I’ve never been much of a fan of peanut butter. Well, of like a PB+J sandwich. It’s good in baking and cooking, and I definitely like Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups, but just peanut butter…. eh, take it or leave it. Almond butter. Cashew butter. Even Walnut butter (though it is hard to find). Those I prefer more. At any rate, I thought I would make buckeyes, but thought I would put a twist on them and made them with almond butter instead. And sea salt. Love sea salt!
1 1/2 cups almond butter (you could also use cashew butter, or plain old peanut butter)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, as needed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Sea salt, for sprinkling
Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the almond butter and the butter until light in color and airy in texture. Add the vanilla and stir to combine.
In a separate work bowl, whisk the confectioners’ sugar with the cinnamon.
Add in the confectioners’ sugar, a little at a time, to the almond butter mixture and beat until the sugar is incorporated and the dough holds together when compacted. If the mixture is still wet — as might be the case if you’re using almond butter with a lot of natural oils — you’ll need to add more confectioners’ sugar. Make sure to add the sugar slowly: You can always add more but you won’t be able to go back.
Using a cookie scoop, shape the dough into small balls that are about the size of a compacted tablespoon. Place each ball on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Put the baking sheets in the freezer to firm up for 20 to 30 minutes. When the peanut butter balls are sufficiently chilled, melt the chocolate in the microwave in 20-second intervals or in a double boiler until it is smooth and glossy.
Dip each frozen ball into the melted chocolate, coating each as much as you’d like, placing them back on parchment covered baking sheets. This is a little tricky so that you don’t drop them completely into the chocolate. Sprinkle the buckeyes with flaky sea salt while the chocolate is still melty; that’ll help the salt to adhere.
Put the sheets back into the fridge for 5 to 10 minutes, until the chocolate has set and the buckeyes are firm.