Last week we talked holiday side dishes so this week we are talking Christmas cookies. Buckeyes are really more of a candy than a cookie, but they are a staple at holiday parties back home. Strangely enough, not many folks around Philadelphia have seen them before, so I like to bust them out every December and bring a little Western PA flair here to the east side of the state. Standard Buckeyes are made with peanut butter but I switched them up this year and made them with the very trendy Biscoff spread.
The holidays are not exactly the most friendly time of year for people with food allergies. Christmas cookies tend to be so loaded with chopped nuts and packed with peanut butter that a person with allergies rarely has the opportunity to sample from a sweets table. My roommate has anaphylaxis to all nuts, so she has never had the chance to try many of my old holiday standby’s. There are tons of peanut butter substitutes on the market today, but I find their flavor to be off and the consistency to be quite different than that of actual peanut butter. Thanks to the world of food blogs, we discovered a great new product this year that has proved to be the perfect substitute for peanut butter in just about any of your favorite baked goods!
Biscoff is a British cookie spread that looks and and feels exactly like peanut butter! Instead of being nutty, the flavor is more sweet and rich like brown sugar, but once you blend the Biscoff into your baked goods, it really is hard to tell the difference! I find when I used the cookie spread as a substitute, I need to cut back on the dry ingredients a bit from the original recipe. I think it has something to do with the difference in the fat content between the two spreads. This adjusted Buckeye recipe turned out great and I also love these Biscoff Blossoms from Gimme Some Oven!
- 1/4 c (half stick) butter
- 1 c Biscoff spread
- 1 Tbs vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 cups chocolate chips or melting chocolates
- 1 Tbs shortening
Beat butter and Biscoff in the the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and continue beating until well combined. Add the powdered sugar, a half 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. It’s going to look wrong, but I promise this is how it’s supposed to look!
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 until all the dough is used up, and refrigerate them for at least 2 hours.
When ready to dip the buckeyes, melt the chocolate and shortening over low heat on the stove top. Use a toothpick to dip each of the Biscoff balls, 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.
I used the Deen Brother’s Buckeye recipe and just cut back a bit on the powdered sugar.
Biscoff is available in most major grocery stores and is stocked near the peanut butter. I hear that Trader Joe’s also has their own version called Cookie Spread.