Christmas Tradition – BUCKEYES! {Wednesdays with Wanda}

*Posted on Dec. 9th, 2009, three months after my mom passed away.

Last week I shared with you my favorite Christmas tradition as a child…putting up Mom and Dad’s Nativity scene.


I loved reading about your family traditions in the comments. Thank you for sharing them with me!

Now I’m going to share with you my second favorite Christmas tradition…



Every Christmas that I can remember as a child, my mom made buckeyes.

Mom wrote about the story behind our “buckeye tradition” in the same article that I shared last week. She wrote it in 1991 for her weekly food column in our local newspaper. Here is what she wrote…”

“On a cold, winter day before Christmas, when Traci (now 21) was seven years old, she came bursting in the house clutching a margarine tub in both hands. Through her happy smile she exclaimed, “Mom, look what Michelle’s mother gave us!” We opened it up and inside were buckeyes (candy). They were so cold and tasty that I asked Traci to go back to Michelle’s house and get the recipe. She did, and these buckeyes have become another family tradition in our family. All the children help make them. Last week, my 4 year old grandson, Cory, and my 5 year old granddaughter, Courtney, helped. (That was an experience – but we had a ball!)”


Well, now ya’ll know how old I am! :)

Yes…I have been making these buckeyes EVERY single year for 32 years!!! And I hope I can make them for 32 more!

My boys absolutely love making buckeyes. When I started making them the other night, they were smiling from ear to ear, and my son, Luke, said, “Aw, Mom….it really IS Christmas!”

So I am very excited to share this recipe with you!

It is so simple!

Here are the ingredients:

IMG_4274 IMG_4279IMG_4274

1 cup of peanut butter

1 stick of butter 

1 box of confectioner’s sugar (3 1/2 cups)

Put the above ingredients in a large bowl.


It works best to mix them together by hand. (My boys LOVE this part! And it was my favorite part when I was a kid too.)

Mix the ingredients together until they form a ball.


Then roll the dough into small “buckeye-sized” balls and place on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper.


Place a toothpick in each ball and then place in the freezer for them to harden.



Here is what you need to make the chocolate coating:


1 12 oz. bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/3 stick of paraffin wax (Gulf Wax)

Melt the bag of chocolate chips and paraffin wax together in the top of a double broiler. (If you don’t have a double-boiler, use a smaller pan in a larger pan that’s half-way filled with water. That’s what I do.)



Mix together


Take the peanut butter balls out of the freezer and dip in chocolate mixture.


Be sure to leave the top open to resemble a buckeye.

Place the dipped “buckeye” back on the cookie tray.


Remove the toothpicks…


Let them sit for a few minutes so the peanut butter will soften, then use your fingers to close the (toothpick) hole.


And like magic, they look like buckeyes!

And boy are they delicious!!!!!


My friends and family are always asking me to make these. And believe me…they won’t last long!

But if you have a few left over, store them in the refrigerator. I think they are best when they are cold.


As a side note, I want to thank all of you who continue to pray for me and my family during this holiday season. Your comments and words of encouragement have meant so much to me. It is still hard to believe that Mom is gone. Though I am happy to share this recipe with you, my heart aches that Mom won’t be making buckeyes for us this year. She always made Christmas so special. There is not a day ( or hour) that goes by that I do not think of her and long to see her again. Though not having her here makes this Christmas sad for me, I am trying my best to celebrate Christmas for my children the way Mom would want me too. I can hear her saying, “Traci, stop crying over me. You take care of those boys and make Christmas special for them.” She would want me to focus on the true meaning of Christmas and be filled with God’s love and peace.

I’m trying, Mom… I promise.

I pray God’s love and peace for each of you as well!




(This is a weekly post that I am doing to honor my wonderful mother, Wanda, who passed away on September 22, 2009. It is a place for me to share precious memories of her…for myself, for you, and most importantly, for my children.)


  1. Aww, Traci. I cannot believe how much I can relate to how you are feeling about Christmas and your Mom. When I read your Wednesday posts, sometimes I cry. Keep up the great work with your boys, I know your Mom would be so proud of you. I am praying you feel God's peace and love as we continue to grieve the loss of our mothers. Love and friendship, Lanie

    P.S. We are the same age!

  2. My mother makes these as well, only we just call them peanut butter balls (original I know).
    It's so nice that y'all have these traditions that she started for you & now you can have her with you always. Sending Christmas wishes from SC.

  3. Hi Traci ~
    I love your parents Nativity and you are so lucky to have it !
    We make buckeyes but, they aren't as pretty as yours…thanks for the tutorial….what a cute story…
    Hope you are staying warm – it is below zero here….brrrrrrrr
    Hugs ~ Kammy

  4. Aww Traci, my heart goes out to you. Thank you so much for the buckeye recipe, my Aunt in NY made them all the time and they were awesome.
    I said a prayer for you today!

  5. Making Buckeyes is a special Christmas tradition for me too. My grandmother, who we called Nana, made Buckeyes every Christmas. I can remember her doing this from the time I was a very little girl. She made so many batches because they were our absolute favorite. It wasn't uncommon for us to still be eating them by Valentine's Day! When Nana passed away in 1996, I became the one in the family to carry on the tradition of making Buckeyes. Somehow, Christmas just wouldn't be the same without them. It is one of my favorite traditions that has now become something very special for my children too.

  6. Hi Traci, I am sad that your mom passed away I lost mine 8 years ago and I still miss her, I often think "Oh I'll tell Mom that" then remember I cannot but like your Mom she taught us some lovely traditions so do your Mom proud and make Christmas a good one. Your recipe sounds good when you say a stick of butter how much is that in ozs and what exactly are buckeyes.

    Keep smiling
    Love jillxxx

  7. Mmmmm I could eat one of these right now!!! :)

    I love that your Mom left her children with such a wonderful legacy. How precious that you have all these wonderful memories of your Mom. I am so glad you are sharing them with all of us, as well as your children who will no doubt share them with their children!

  8. I am so happy you posted this. I remember when i was in 3rd grade and in your class we made these for our Christmas party. You wrote the recipe on a note card for my mom because i loved them so much. Every year since then i have taken out my cookbook that has the note card taped on the inside cover and followed it step by step(although by now i know it by heart). They really are a wonderful treat and I, like your son knows its truly Christmas when i get the stuff to make them. I wish you many blessings during this season, and that God will grant you peace. Merry Christmas
    With all my Love,
    Sarah M

  9. Traci, Buckeyes are a family tradition here too! Sarah (7yrs old) made them with my aunts and mom last Sat. We love them!

    My prayers will be with you and your family this holiday season for comfort and strength.

    Today I read this in our daily devotional and thought you might like:

    "Sometimes the circumstances of life leave us feeling we are in the dark. A love one dies, illness strikes, a job is lost.
    Often all we need is a mere glimmer of light to give us hope. A single candle can dispel darkness: that's why the first candle of Advent is the candle of hope. It symbolizes the hope we have in Christ. (your mom demonstrated this!)Hope pierces the darkness with the assurance that we are not alone.

    "Loving God, thank you for the assurance you are with me. Help me to trust in you and not be afraid. Amen"
    (Paula Hamilton, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island)

  10. Hi Traci,

    I am a new reader/fan of your blog, first I wanted to say I am sorry to hear about your mom, and second, you and your family will be in my prayers. Third, quick question, why would you add parrafin wax to the chocolate? Is it safe? I know this might be a silly question, but I have never heard of eating it? I have dipped my hands and feet in it, lol… Just wondering. Thank you.Deanna

    1. I have a hundred year old candy carmamel recipe that also calls for 2 tbsp. of grated paraffin wax. I think it was common use in these old timey recipes. I don’t know if it is harmful but the caramels taste amazing!

  11. I looove Buckeyes! Thanks for sharing your directions. I tried making them one year and failed miserably. I guess it's time to try again!

    My thoughts are with you during this difficult season.

  12. Thank you for posting this! I've been looking for something to do with the chocolate chips that I have (my parents bought us a HUGE bag at Sam's Club…lol), and these look fabulous! And my prayers are with you and yours this Christmas season.

  13. I have a family that loves peanut butter and chocolate, so this is definitely going to be on mt sweet list this year. I am copying the recipe now. Your pictures made it doable. Thanks so much. And a big thank you to Wanda for making this sound like a wonderful Christmas tradition!! :-)

    My thoughts and prayers are with your family during this holiday season and always.


  14. We make these, too, and they're a favorite! They really are SO good, aren't they?

    We started making these when we lived in Michigan. Lots of buckeye trees grew on our street, and we would collect them in the fall. The candies really DO look like the real thing!

    Praying for you, sweet friend.

  15. You are doing a great job of making Christmas special for your family! I have never had these yummy looking treats, but I think I am going to make them for our Christmas party this year… thank you so much for sharing how to make them! :)

  16. I'm so glad to have found your blog! You are seriously talented but you are also very inspiring. What a wonderful daughter you are to honor your Mom in such a beautiful way every week. She seems like such a wonderful person! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  17. I wondered what buckeyes were, I've never heard of them! They look yummy though. I have a nativity set (the first one I've ever owned) that I hand painted in my ceramic class years ago, and my pieces look exactly like yours! although yours are painted much more professionally ;) I have 3 camels in my set too. I will try to take pics next week and post my Christmas decor.

  18. Thanks Traci for sharing yet another beautiful Wednesday with Wanda. I can't wait to make some "Buckeyes". I've copied the recipe and is on my list of baking to do now. I'll let you know how mine turns out.

  19. Great recipe! I'm going to try it. Can you use almond bark as the chocolate coating instead of wax & chips? Just checking before I get started!

  20. Another wonderful post Traci…I love buckeyes too but have never made them. I was furiously copying the recipe!

    I know this season is especially hard for you, but know you are in my thoughts and prayers. I'm sure there will be some really hard moments, but I hope you know you can always come here and let it out. Here's a cyber hug *squeeze*

  21. Oh yes Buckeyes are good.

    I came by for several reasons-1 I hadn't been by for awhile. 2. to grab you button to post on my blog and ask you do the same. 3. I am coming by to subscine-I'm already a follower but Google confirmed with me last week that they are having issues with the follower button and have been working on it. I have people contact me weekly telling me they haven't received an update from me in weeks. Some get them others don't (it's part of the glitch). They also confirmed that follower usually updates much slower than subscriptions.

    THEN to add to everything else–Google lost HUNDREDS of my subscriptions so can you come over and resubscribe. I just subscribed with you and I thought I alreasy was a subscriber of yours.

    I have been thinking about you a lot with the holidays here and I know it is tough right now.
    Just wanted you to know I am praying for you.

  22. I love your Wednesdays with Wanda posts-what a lovely tribute to your Mom. Decorating is tough, because you look at all the things they gave to you or that you now have and the special time you had buying or making it. I just set up my Dicken's Village which is now a combination of mine and my Mom's. I haven't cried in a while, but that got me…I do think of you and hope it gets easier day by day.

  23. I love your Wednesdays with Wanda posts-what a lovely tribute to your Mom. Decorating is tough, because you look at all the things they gave to you or that you now have and the special time you had buying or making it. I just set up my Dicken's Village which is now a combination of mine and my Mom's. I haven't cried in a while, but that got me…I do think of you and hope it gets easier day by day.

  24. I love your Wednesdays with Wanda posts-what a lovely tribute to your Mom. Decorating is tough, because you look at all the things they gave to you or that you now have and the special time you had buying or making it. I just set up my Dicken's Village which is now a combination of mine and my Mom's. I haven't cried in a while, but that got me…I do think of you and hope it gets easier day by day.

  25. Hi Traci!
    Saw you on Today's Creative Blog and had to shout out from Ohio, the "Buckeye" State, where we indeed love our Buckeyes, both on the football field and in candy form. They are an anytime favorite here!
    Also big hugs about your mom…I'm also in my 30's, and lost my mom 4 years ago and it's just really hard isn't it? Take care and Merry Christmas!

  26. Traci –
    I found your blog via TCB but this post struck me today because of the Buckeyes – my father's favorite Christmas treat – I found the recipe in a magazine when I was around 12 and made them every year for him – he loved them. My dad passed away September 18th, 2008 and I miss him every day. I am thinking of you – I know firsthand just how hard the first holidays without a parent are. I didn't make them last year, but I think my 4 year old son would love making these with me, and he will love hearing about how his beloved Grampa loved them so much.

  27. Oh I have seen these well eatin' them LOL I am so glad for the recipe and turorial. It was great.
    Thanks for sharing this. I love your Wednesday with Wanda it has inspired me. Come over sometime and visit.
    Have a Blessed Day,

  28. Have stopped by after reading about your blog on Today's Creative Blog. Those peanut butter balls look fantastic. I am a huge fan of Reeses' Peanut Butter Cups ever since I lived in the States years ago… Got to try this version of them now. And now will go and check the rest of your blog…

  29. What a beautiful page! I loved visiting, and will definitely be making 'buckeyes' and I will be thinking of your mom when I do… my mom and dad are in heaven too. Just think of their complete joy this Christmas as they celebrate the 'reason for the season' WITH 'the reason for the season'.
    Blessings! I'll be back to visit…

  30. I just found your blog today….my mother has made buckeyes every christmas for at least 28 years. They are my favorite. She gives them away as gifts and everyone tells her she doesn't make enough. I agree with your son…when you see the buckeyes "it really is christmas" (love that)
    p.s. my son is named Luke also (he is 17 months old)

  31. I love your blog! You sound so sweet. I just love your family traditions. Our daughter turned 18 and our son is 15 and Traditions are STILL very inportant. It is funny how some things are not official until a tradition has been celebrated. They definitely give our children roots!

  32. Wow what a delicious looking treat! I found you through Today's Creative Blog. As another poster mentioned….I'm baffled by the use of the wax. I don't want to dishonor a beloved tradition in light of your loss…but purely from a cooking perspective wouldn't plain melted chocolate coat/harden just fine without the wax? I'm confused….

  33. I will be buying some stuff tomorrow to try out these Buckeyes. They look great and really fun.

    This Christmas Day marks the 10th anniversary of my Gran's death.(She used to say what better day to go be with Jesus han his birthday) It's still hard at Christmas. I have 2 daughters that I try very hard to make a fun Christmas for. Wishing you the best~Brandi

  34. Thanks for the great recipe and for sharing the touching story about your mother. It's so wonderful that you are carrying on her traditions. I've never tried buckeyes, but they look delicious and I can't wait to make them myself. One question, can the balls be dipped into chocolate alone or is mixing with the wax a must?

  35. The buckeyes looks delicious. I have never made these as we have severe peanut allergies in our home, but I now wonder if they will work with Sun Butter (which is sunflower seed butter that tastes amazingly close to peanut butter). Maybe we will give them a try.

  36. Thanks for sharing. I'm sorry for the loss of your mother. It's wonderful that you're keeping her memory alive through a weekly post.
    As a child, making buckeyes was also a tradition of ours. Now that I have children (and host the family gathering, we'll be making "peanut butter balls" too. ~Lisa

  37. I made these today & thought about you & your mom the whole time. I promise to pray for you throughout the Christmas season! If I pray for you every time I eat a Buckeye, you'll certainly be bathed in it!!

  38. I am trying to make the buckeyes. My store didn't have a box of confectioners sugar, so I bought the bag which is 32oz or 2lbs. I used half the bag and quickly noticed that was too much so I am trying to add an additional cup of peanut butter and a stick of butter. Does your box give a measurement like oz? Allyson

  39. Traci-right now I am writing this comment with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes -being a long time follower and reading about your family and esp your mother has caused us all to admire her and I can only hope that I could be 1/8th as much as an inspiration to my children as she was to yours. She was truly a special lady -May your family and extended family all be able to spend time together this Christmas -feel your Mom’s love and spread her joy.
    Blessings and prayers of warmth for you ,

  40. Look dlicious! Love your loved ones even more by replacing that WAX for some OLIVE OIL!!! A tsp should do the trick. Get the great shine & a happy heart! ♥

  41. Tracey, Christmas time is when we make Buckeyes too. It’s a traditional cookie for us. Here is a little secret that we add to the chocolate chips. When melting the chocolate chips with the paraffin wa add in the same amount of Butterscotch chips with the chocolate chips. Most of my friends donot know our little secret. It really adds a wonderful taste to them.I also give them to friends for gifts, and they look forward to them every year.

  42. Sending hugs! I have lost both of my parents. Since their passing our family has fallen a part at this time of year is heavy for me.
    Thanks for your blog as it helped so much. God bless! Have a Merry Christmas

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