Bloodshot Halloween eyes are peering out at everyone from their nest. Spooky good, these buckeye candies are dipped in melted candy melts and decorated with food coloring for the bloodshot and assorted candies to complete the eyes.
Recipe type: Dessert | Halloween | Peanut Butter Candy
Serves: about 3 dozen candies
Pan: One large jelly roll pan Pan Prep: Parchment Lined Equipment: Double Boiler Method: Stovetop Yield: About 3 dozen candies Storage: Cover and Refrigerate
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon coarse salt, such as sea salt or coarse kosher salt
- 2½ cups sifted confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
Coating and Decoration:
- ½ to ¾ cup vanilla candy melts
- About 1 teaspoon vegetable shortening
- Red food coloring
- Assorted candies, such as flat disc shaped candies for the eyes, cut up black jelly beans for the eyes, string licorice or pieces of black licorice wheels for the eyebrows.
Prepare one large jelly roll pan, line with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl combine peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat on medium speed until combined. Add the powdered sugar in 2 additions, beating on low speed until the sugar is thoroughly mixed.
- Shape peanut butter mixture into small balls, about 1-inch in diameter, using about 1 tablespoon of mixture for each ball. Place balls on prepared pan. Tip: A small ice cream scoop is ideal for making uniform-sized candies. Cover balls and refrigerate until well chilled, 1 to 2 hours or overnight.
Coating and Decoration:
- In top of a double boiler over hot water, melt the candy melts and vegetable shortening; stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to combine. Keep the bowl of melted mixture over a pan of hot water to keep the coating a liquid consistency for dipping. Tip: adding a small amount of vegetable shortening to the candy melts helps to make a thinner consistency for easier dipping. Tip: Create a double boiler by filling a saucepan with 2 inches of water and bringing it to a simmer. Turn the heat off and place a glass bowl, stainless steel bowl, or ceramic bowl on top of the hot water; the upper pan should not touch the water.
- Dipping: Place one ball at a time in the melted mixture, gently turn it over with a fork or candy dipping fork. Use the fork to lift the ball out of the chocolate and tap the fork on the rim of the bowl to allow excess coating to drip back into the pan, and then draw the underside of the fork over the rim of the pan to remove any drips of coating. Gently place the coated ball on the prepared baking pan, pushing the ball off the fork with another fork. Tip: an alternative method for dipping is to place the balls with a long toothpick or bamboo skewer and dip into the coating. Keep the uncoated balls in the refrigerator until ready to dip as they are easiest to dip if they remain chilled.
- Working quickly before the coating sets, dip the tip of a toothpick into red food coloring and gently draw the toothpick through the coating to create the bloodshot eyes effect. Place the coated and bloodshot eyes on the parchment lined sheet to dry. Repeat with remaining balls.
- When eyeballs are dry, rewarm any remaining coating to use as “glue.” Affix the flat disc candies onto the eyeballs to make colored eyes, add a small piece of black jelly bean to make the black pupils, and add a piece of licorice for the eyebrows.
- Candy may be stored covered at room temperature or frozen.
Candy Decoration inspired by Usher, Julia, Cookie Swap, Gibbs Smith, Utah, 2009