Fran’s Favorites: Buckeye brownies

By Fran DeWine

Today was a special day as we thanked the members of the Ohio National Guard as they finished their food bank mission. When the pandemic began in March of last year and so many of the volunteers for our food banks were not able to help, the Ohio National Guard stepped in to help distribute food to children, people experiencing homelessness, and the unprecedented number of Ohioans who found themselves needing food for the first time in their lives.

We usually see the guard deployed to help communities in the aftermath of floods, tornadoes, wind storms or other natural disasters. This past year, Mike has asked the guard to play a major role in battling COVID and helping Ohio citizens in so many ways. The guard has set up pop-up testing sites around the state to reach underserved communities. As soon as we had the vaccine, the guard has been deployed around Ohio to help make sure vaccinations are available to everyone, no matter where they live.

As the guard finishes their food bank mission, we thank them for an extraordinary job in seeing that all Ohioans have the food they need. And as we return to normal and celebrated the Fourth of July this weekend, we thanked them for their incredible service to our state.

When I visited vaccination sites, I loved to share my buckeye brownies with the guardsmen as a tiny thank you. Now I share the recipe with you!

Fran’s Buckeye Brownies

Buckeye Filling

1 stick butter, softened

1 cup smooth peanut butter

3 cups powdered sugar

Mix together in mixer. Chill. Roll into 3/4 inch balls and chill.


1 stick butter, melted

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 large eggs

2 boxes fudge brownie mix (family size 19.5 ounces)

Mix the melted butter and cream cheese together in the mixer. Add the eggs and mix well. Then add the brownie mix and mix until just combined. The dough is sticky. Chill.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Form the mixture into about 1 1/4 inch balls. I use a cookie scoop. Put on a greased cookie sheet, about 24 per sheet. No need to flatten them. Bake the brownie dough about 9 to 11 minutes (don’t over-bake). As soon as the brownies come out of the oven, press a cold peanut butter ball into the center of each cookie. Let the cookies cool for about 5 minutes and transfer to rack to cool. When cold, wrap individually. Makes about 6 dozen.

By Fran DeWine

Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine is a Cedarville resident, Yellow Springs native and guest columnist.

Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine is a Cedarville resident, Yellow Springs native and guest columnist.