Once I got past my initial panic that she was turning into a college basketball fan, I asked her where she’d gotten the pen. Apparently it was a gift from school. Some caring soul had brought Buckeyes into the classroom, and while her classmates snacked on treats, she and the two other nut-free kids sat in a corner and played with their new pens.
Fortunately she wasn’t traumatized, but she seemed to be genuinely curious about these mystery cookies that she’ll never be able to sample.
“Girl, I’ll make you a nut free Buckeye” I said as I started to dig around online for a similar recipe without peanut butter.
The problem is that she’s also allergic to Sunbutter, the sunflower seed butter that most recipes use as a substitute.
I was just about to call it a day, when I came across a recipe from The Spatularette that used Biscoff spread, a cookie-based butter, in place of the peanut butter.
I hadn’t heard of cookie butter until recently. But all of a sudden it was an in product, causing near-stampedes at Trader Joe’s over the holidays.
With this country’s fixation on all things cookie dough, I’d jumped to the erroneous conclusion that it was some kind of peanut butter studded with cookie dough. Sounds horrible and gag-inducing, but I wouldn’t put it past some people. If you need further proof, I give you the cookie dough martini.
So I’d turned a blind eye to cookie butter. I hadn’t given it a second thought until confronted with the Buckeye challenge.
With my Buckeye needs centering on this all-important ingredient, I addressed my next pressing challenge: which brand to use. If you do a quick search online, you’ll find people in one camp or the other: Trader Joe’s cookie butter vs. Biscoff Spread.
I made my choice based on price: with all of that stampeding at Trader Joe’s, some practical souls had put the supply and demand curve into practice and started to sell the TJs brand on Amazon. The price for an 11-Oz jar runs anywhere from $12 to $15. I dropped my $8 Biscoff into my cart and waited for my package to arrive.
I was initially suspicious of the ingredients in Biscoff, which sounds more like a chemically-treated pancake mix than a heavenly peanut-butterish spread. If you’re neurotic about ingredients like me, you’ll be happy to know that like many European products, Biscoff ingredients are all natural, with no preservatives or added GMOs. Sure, it’s packed with a week’s dose of sugar, but as long as it doesn’t have junk that I can’t pronounce, it’s fair game. This is a treat after all, I’m not advocating eating it for breakfast every morning.
I followed the recipe to the letter, with the exception of the chocolate coating. I hate shortening and will always replace it with butter. And to give the coating a richer, more pronounced dark chocolate flavor, I used a blend of semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate chunks.
The results were fantastic. For a no bake 5-ingredient treat, they were smooth and creamy, and not at all cloying. Perfect to hand out in school to an army of kids, peanut allergies or not. Let’s save those pens for writing.
- • 5 Tbsp butter, divided
- • 1 c Biscoff spread
- • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- • 3/4 cup chopped Bittersweet chocolate
- • 3/4 cup chopped Semisweet chocolate
- Beat 4 Tbsp butter and Biscoff in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla and continue beating until well combined.
- Add the powdered sugar, a ½ cup at a time, mixing until fully incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. The dough will be dry and crumbly when all of the powdered sugar has been added.
- Scoop heaping tablespoons of the dough into your hand and squeeze tightly to pack it together. Once a solid ball is formed, roll the dough in your hands to round it out.
- Continue making 1-inch balls, and when complete, refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- When ready to dip the buckeyes, melt the chocolate and remaining 1 Tbsp in a double boiler over low heat.
- When melted, use a toothpick to dip each of the Biscoff balls into the chocolate, leaving a small “eye” of dough to peak through at the top. Place the Buckeyes on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet and refrigerate until the chocolate has hardened.