Eating Our Way Through Ohio: Buckeyes, Banks, and Beef
If you’ve known me for two minutes, you know that I am a huge football fan—NFL and college. Fall weekends are for My Girlfriendships® gatherings at games. Every college football fan knows that one of those college football teams is the Ohio State Buckeyes. Ohio’s nickname is "The Buckeye State" because many buckeye trees once covered Ohio's hills and plains. The name "buckeye" stems from Native Americans, who called the nut "hetuck," which means "buck eye" (because the markings on the nut resemble the eye of a deer). The buckeye is also Ohio's official state tree.
The buckeyes I would love are delectable pop-in-your-mouth peanut butter and chocolate bites. OMG YUM! The peanut butter is a great source of energy and the chocolate satisfies my craving for something sweet.
Ingredients for 30 pieces | Multiply by degree of hunger, divide by number of girlfriends!
1 hour 10 minutes
- 2 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 teaspoon vegetable shortening
Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Beat the confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt with an electric mixer in a medium bowl until well combined.
Scoop 2-teaspoonful mounds, and roll into balls; arrange them on the prepared baking sheet.
Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.
Microwave the chocolate and shortening in a microwave-safe medium bowl in 30-second increments, stirring in between, until the mixture is completely melted and smooth. About 2 minutes.
Stick a toothpick or skewer into the top center of a peanut butter ball.
Dip the ball into the melted chocolate, leaving a circle of peanut butter visible on top. Let the excess chocolate drip off, then return the buckeye to the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining peanut butter balls and chocolate.
Chill the buckeyes until firm, about 30 minutes. Smooth out the hole left by the toothpick with an offset spatula. Serve at room temperature or well chilled. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Staying at a hotel and not able to cook? Here are a couple of great restaurant options in either Geneva-on-the-Lake and Cleveland.
- Crosswinds Grille at the Lakehouse Inn | Spending time in Geneva-On-The-Lake? Located right on Lake Erie, the chef at Crosswinds Grille at the Lakehouse Inn sources his ingredients from local farmers who not only care for their animals and crops, but protect and cultivate the land they care for them on, too. He visits their farms regularly and sees their commitment to quality as well as their concern for what they produce. Their passion is to take what they grow and raise from their farm and bring it to Crosswinds’ table. One of the vendors is Na*Kyrsie Meats where "love carries through to everything we do: From the way we select our animals, serve our customers and partner with local farmers whom we source our meat from.” After all, “It’s all about the love!” So, I will be lovin’ on the Braised Na*Kyrsie pork and beef ribs, preserved tomato, hand cut pappardelle, and parmesan.
- Crop Bistro | Cleveland is one of the 12 cities selected as home to a Federal Reserve (how can I not talk finance with the man I’m married to?). In 1925, the famed architecture firm, Walker and Weeks, completed construction on the building where the restaurant is located. The building was named for the United Trust Bank which occupied the ground level. At the time of the bank's opening, Cleveland was viewed as the banking capital of the United States (Cleveland was home for many other large, elegant banks as well). When the Great Depression ravaged the nation in late 1929, United Trust was forced to close its Ohio location. In 2008, construction began to convert the once booming bank into a top of the line fine-dining restaurant and in 2011, Crop opened its doors to the world!
The Sunday all-you-can-eat brunch buffet sounds like a fun gathering place with my girlfriends after a night on the town, but I think the after-work bankers’ hours is the way to end the day and start the evening off right. A twist on happy hour, bankers’ hours are Monday through Friday, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and the prices are primo: beer | $5, select craft cocktails | $5, house wine | $5, and select appetizers | $5. Sounds like a fun way to start the evening. Am I right, crew? Just thinking about the Colossal Ravioli stuffed with smoked corn and leeks in a white wine butter sauce makes my mouth water now!