Vanilla Bean Buckeyes {easily adaptable!}

from above with name

This recipe is the brain child of this recipe for almond butter buckeyes and this post about homemade cookie butters. I know this is blasphemy to many, but peanut butter and chocolate is not really my jam. Don’t get me wrong, I like it, but its never what I would pick out for myself. Now cookie butter, that’s another story. Bury me in a jar of it when I die. Please and thank you. That’s also where the brain child begins to develop.

The almond butter buckeye recipe made me realize that buckeyes could really be made with any type of creamy butter out there. Seems obvious in hindsight, but it never occurred to me before. And once I realized that, it was about half a second before I realized cookie butter was going to be involved.

The process of making these candies begins with what is essentially the base for a homemade Nilla Wafer cookie butter, but instead of stopping there, you keep adding things until you end up with an intensely vanilla-y dough that will form the center of your buckeyes.

undipped balls

Its much easier than it looks.

Unlike most candies, this requires no special equipment like a candy thermometer. The hardest thing you have to do is melt the chocolate. Once the dough for the buckeye centers is compete, all you have to do is work 1 tablespoon at a time between your palms to form a ball, wait for them to cool, and give them a quick dip in melted chocolate.


And what’s even better? You can adapt this recipe into a number of impressive flavor combos. I’ve thought up a few suggestions, but the options really limitless, get creative!

Add a teaspoon or two of instant espresso powder to the buckeye dough and TA DA! Vanilla Latte Buckeyes!

Add a tablespoon of lemon zest and a tablespoon or two of poppyseeds and BAM! You’ve made yourself lemon poppyseed buckeyes.

Looking to give these as a Christmas present (am I getting ahead of myself?) Throw about a quarter cup of finely chopped craisins and tablespoon of grated orange zest and you have a seasonable treat anyone would be happy to receive.

balls upclose

Vanilla Bean Buckeyes

Makes 24 buckeyes


1 1/2 cup Nilla Wafer crumbs

2 tablespoons water

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil

3 tablespoons butter, melted

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1 vanilla bean

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 bag of white chocolate chips


  1. In a food processor or blender, blend vanilla wafers into a fine powder. You will need 1.5 cups of Nilla Wafer crumbs. About 1/2 of the box of Nilla Wafers yielded this amount for me.
  2. Transfer the crumbs into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add oil, water, and melted butter to the crumbs and mix in the electric mixer using the paddle attachment until fully combined and mostly smooth.
  3. Add the vanilla bean, vanilla extract, and salt and continue to mix
  4. Reduce the speed of the mixer and slowly add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time. Once the powdered sugar is fully incorporated, the mixture will look dry but will form a smooth ball which holds together when rolled between your palms
  5. If the mixture is too dry for a ball to form, add canola oil, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture can form a ball.
  6. ! tablespoon at a time, form the buckeye dough into a ball and lay on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or foil sprayed with cooking spray.
  7. Refrigerate balls for at least 30 minutes. Alternatively, you could put them in the freezer for about 15.
  8. While buckeye centers are cooling, melt white chocolate using a double boiler. This can be formed by filling a saucepan with about 2 inches of water and bringing it to a boil. Once the water boils, put chocolate in microwave proof bowl and place bowl over the boiling pot of water, like this.
  9. Once the white chocolate is warm and smooth, add a pinch of salt to cut the sweetness, about 1/8 teaspoon.
  10. Using a toothpick, dip each ball into the white chocolate, leaving the top uncovered. Put dipped buckeye back on the parchment paper and allow chocolate to set completely.
  11. Once all buckeyes are dipped and the chocolate is fully set, transfer to a container and store in the fridge.

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