Buckeyes – Two Versions

by Jenn on April 11, 2010

in Dairy Free,Desserts,Gluten Free,Photography

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When my sister in law came to visit a couple weeks ago, my husband and I were both ecstatic to receive a gift of a giant jar of peanut butter.  While one can get peanut butter here, it is pretty darn expensive and, well, there is nutella instead :) So the very first oh-so-elegant dish that we made with our new treasure?  It was totally “ants-on-a log”.  You may or may not know of this snack, the last time I was actually served it I was probably in about first grade.  Take a stick of celery, fill it with peanut butter, and line it with rasins.  I know it sounds odd, but it’s quite satisfying.

So what was our next peanut butter adventure after we’d grown up from “ants on a log”?  Making another that is a symbol of home, the buckeye.  A buckeye is actually a tree, which produces nuts that look very much like this dessert (hence the name).  Making buckeyes couldn’t be easier – combine equal parts peanut butter & powdered sugar, roll into truffles, and dip almost completely in chocolate.  Yep, that’s it!  And with another great gift of some semi-sweet chocolate chips (why can’t I find chocolate chips here?), our treat was perfect :)

It’s funny how much we have gravitated towards comfort foods and flavors since moving abroad.  I figured that we would be reaching out more to try new cuisines, and increasingly we find ourselves preparing the familiar.  I think in a way our cooking has become a psychological outlet for dealing with being thousands of miles away from virtually everyone that we know.  While we love living in a new country and learning how to live in a society with many many differences from what we are used to, and being able to visit mountains and other countries in just a mere weekend getaway, I think we are still constantly seeking something we can recognize to make a bit of a home for ourselves.  And with so many things in life, home begins with food.

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A couple weekends ago, we took one of these weekend getaway trips, to Beaune, France, a completely enchanting city that captured the hearts of us instantly.  A very old city, full of mesmerizing texture everywhere.  Though we did get a laugh out of one small aspect of our trip – both my husband and I found it highly amusing that our hotel served an “American” breakfast in the morning.  It’s funny because in the States, every hotel serves a “Continental” breakfast which undoubtedly consists of hardly any continental foods – muffins, doughnuts, some fruit, some American-style coffee, etc.  And likewise, our “American” breakfast was anything but – aged meats & cheese, croissants and brioches, espresso, meusli, and fruit.  To me, that’s about as continental as you can get!

And thus, I felt compelled to make a “Euro” version of our buckeyes, with the great European counterpart to peanut butter, nutella.  I combined equal parts powdered sugar and nutella and rolled them into truffles,and then rolled them in crushed hazelnuts.  It seemed only fitting to make a continental version of a favorite comforting and very American dessert – maybe over time we will grow away from our familiar comforts, and create our own new ones, blending the well-known and familiar with the yet to be explored.  But for now, I am content with my peanut butter, and my nutella.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosa April 11, 2010 at 9:10 pm

I love your HDR pictures. So dramatic!

Those buckeyes look lovely too!

Cheers,

Rosa

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Jenn April 13, 2010 at 9:01 am

Thanks so much! HDR is a brand new technique for me, and I am loving it – it’s like viewing the world for the first time all over again, but through some cool 3D/CGI glasses. I found it particularly well suited to Beaune, because of all of the gorgeous texture and architecture around in the historic part of the city.

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Aubree Cherie April 12, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Your buckeyes look so tasty! I love peanut butter, I would have a hard time without it – good thing for sisters! :)

Beaune, France looks absolutely stunning. I love what you did with the photos :)

~Aubree Cherie

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Jenn April 13, 2010 at 9:04 am

Yes, good thing for sisters indeed! Everything about my entire weekend there was stunning. I’m totally going back as soon as I can!

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Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten Free April 12, 2010 at 5:11 pm

I am a 3rd generation Ohio State Buckeye so I have a soft spot for these little confections…we made them every Christmas. I haven’t tried them since going sugar-free. Maybe someday.

Love all your pics!!

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Jenn April 13, 2010 at 9:05 am

Thank you! What’s funny is that I first had these as a kid in New England long before I knew what Ohio State was…I had always wondered why they were called buckeyes, and then once I saw what a buckeye actually looked like it all made sense :)

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Bob April 12, 2010 at 9:50 pm

Nice take on buckeyes! I bet they were awesome. Love the city pics too.

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Jenn April 13, 2010 at 9:06 am

Mmm they were awesome, both kinds. Thank you!

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Linn @ Swedish home cooking April 13, 2010 at 9:33 am

Adorable pictures! I’m from Sweden and never heard about buckeyes before.

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Jenn April 14, 2010 at 5:15 pm

Thanks! They are created after a tree nut that to my knowledge is specifically N. American, though I may be wrong. I love making buckeyes because peanut butter and chocolate = heaven :)

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Ann April 13, 2010 at 8:16 pm

Wow.. love those pics.. and buckeyes sounds new to me:)

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Jenn April 14, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Thank you!

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Anna April 13, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Wow, the place looks amazing, beautiful picture. The buckeyes looks delicious. Loved the cup with the funny birdie. And congrats on the top 9.

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Jenn April 14, 2010 at 5:17 pm

Thank you! The dishes are new, I just had to display them :) I love drinking coffee or tea out of my pretty Spring cups!

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Thomas July 6, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Hi Jenn! I wanted to let you know that I “adopted” you this month, and my daughter and I made these, although ours looked more like turtles…

Here is a link to my post: http://gfcfexperience.blogspot.com/2011/07/adopt-gluten-free-blogger-jenn-cuisine.html

Thanks for sharing your recipes and all the wonderful pictures of Switzerland and Europe!

Thomas

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