T.G.I.B.! Thank God It’s Buckeyes! As a dismal football season draws to a close, perhaps T.G.I.B. better stands for Thank God It’s Basketball (Season). But it’s “That School Up North” week , so I simply must take this opportunity to acknowledge my alma matter. And make dessert, of course.
I announced my boycott of the 2011 football season last December. Why? I told anyone who asked that I was over the nonsense caused by the elevation of a game to god-like status. At the end of the day, it’s just a game. It’s not a cure for cancer. It’s not a solution for making sure everyone has enough. It’s just an escape in the form of a game.
As I stood in the kitchen last Saturday, wearing Ohio State sweatpants and an Ohio State t-shirt, rolling peanut butter balls and dipping them ever so carefully in chocolate, I contemplated just what to write for a buckeye post during a boycott. Throughout the day, I opened a beer with a bottle opener shaped like Brutus Buckeye. I ate popcorn from a large scarlet bowl with a gray block “O” in the bottom. I chopped vegetables on a cutting board adorned with another block “O”. I realized I had more Ohio State kitchen gear than I did Ohio State apparel.
I also realized my boycott wasn’t so much a boycott as it was a coping method. I needed to take a step away from tying my Ohio State identity to the success or failure of a football team. I set out to to boycott the nonsense, not the Buckeyes. Though I fear rooting for the Buckeyes this Saturday will be like going along with a lemming migration, unquestionable and sure to end in disaster, I bleed scarlet and gray.
My mom’s buckeye recipe consists of four simple ingredients: peanut butter, butter, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla. When reading Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito’s “Baked: New Frontiers in Baking,” I came across a buckeye recipe that included cream cheese and graham cracker crumbs in addition to Mom’s four familiar ingredients. I combined the two recipes, adding a bit of cream cheese and graham cracker crumbs to the four base ingredients. The cream cheese added a bit of tang that my strictly sweet tooth did not particularly care for, but I very much liked the subtle crunch of the graham cracker crumbs. I hope you’ll like them too.
- 1½ cups peanut butter
- ¼ cup cream cheese
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1½ cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 12 ounces chocolate
- Beat the peanut butter, cream cheese, butter and vanilla until well combined.
- Mix in the confectioners' sugar and graham cracker crumbs.
- Form the peanut butter mixture into small balls and refrigerate until firm.
- Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a double boiler set over hot water, stirring frequently until smooth.
- Spear each peanut butter ball with a toothpick, and dip its sides into chocolate. Leave a small section of peanut butter showing to mimic the look of a buckeye.
- Set the buckeyes on a piece of wax paper to allow the chocolate to harden.
- If desired, smooth over the hole left from the toothpick with peanut butter.