Want to be a hit with the kids this holiday season? Puppy chow (also known as muddy buddies) is the answer.
You can’t go wrong with Chex coated in chocolate and peanut butter and dusted with powdered sugar.
Crunchy, sweet & salty, and super chocolatey, it’s the ultimate holiday treat!
Why Is It Called Puppy Chow?
Puppy chow is a snack of rice cereal covered with chocolate, peanut butter, and powdered sugar.
The name comes from the fact it looks kind of like dog treats. Not so tasty, I know.
It goes by many names. I’ve heard monkey munch, muddy buddies, doggy bag, and reindeer crack.
No matter the name, they’re all the same delicious no-bake Christmas treats!
Puppy Chow vs. Muddy Buddies
They’re the exact same snack.
General Mills, the maker of Chex cereal, officially calls it muddy buddies. But I grew up calling it puppy chow, so I’m sticking to that.
Puppy chow calls for simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand. Here’s everything you need:
- Rice Chex Cereal. The most common cereal to use is Rice Chex, but Corn Chex and Crispix also work great.
- Peanut butter. Stick to creamy peanut butter like JIF or Skippy.
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips. Dark, milk, or white chocolate work, too.
- Powdered sugar. It’s what gives the treat that lovely snowy vibe. Don’t substitute it for granulated sugar, otherwise, you won’t get that same look.
How to Make Puppy Chow
Let’s break down the steps for making this easy Christmas dessert.
1. Melt chocolate and peanut butter.
Place them in a microwave-safe bowl, heat for 1 minute, and stir.
Continue heating in short bursts until fully melted.
2. Add the cereal to the melted chocolate mixture.
Do this carefully, as the bowl might be hot. If you’re working with kids, it’s best to have them sit this part out.
Also, be sure to scrape every last drop of chocolatey goodness from the bowl! You want all the flavor you can get!
3. Toss to coat.
I like to do this with a couple of spatulas, as the rubber is gentler on the Chex than wooden spoons.
No matter what you use, just be sure to go slow and stir/toss until every piece of cereal is well-coated.
4. Spread out to dry.
Spread the coated cereal in a single layer – or as near as you can get it – on a lined baking sheet.
This prevents clumping and helps the coating set properly.
5. Shake it up with powdered sugar.
Here’s the fun part! Pour powdered sugar into a large ziplock bag, add the coated cereal, seal, and shake.
This is a great job for kids, as you really can’t go wrong.
6. Serve and enjoy!
Tips for Making Muddy Buddies
Perfect your puppy chow recipe with these simple tips:
- Microwave the chocolate and peanut butter. It’s easier than using the stove; just heat in 1-minute intervals.
- Choose your chocolate. Whether it’s semi-sweet, dark, milk, or white, any chocolate works well.
- Add butter for thick mixtures. A bit of melted butter smooths out too-thick chocolate and peanut butter.
- Chill if too runny. For runny mixtures, let coated cereal set in the fridge on parchment paper before adding sugar.
- Use less cereal. Six cups of cereal ensures each piece is beautifully coated, unlike the usual nine.
- Stir gently with a spatula. This prevents breaking the cereal while mixing it with the chocolate peanut butter.
- Adjust chocolate and peanut butter amounts. Feel free to modify the proportions to fit your taste preferences.
Switch up this muddy buddies recipe with add-ins to make customized Christmas gifts!
- Candy. For extra crunch, add M&M’s, Reese’s pieces, mini-chocolate chips, and other candy.
- Nuts. Roasted cashews, pecans, walnuts, and peanuts will add a nice crunch and a salty contrast.
- Oreos and Mini-White Chocolate Chips. For decadent cookies and cream-flavored puppy chow.
- Nut Butters. Switch things up by using other nut butters, such as almond, sun, or cashew butter. Nutella works, too!
- Other Cereal. Try Rice Chex or Crispix, or a combination of different cereals!
How to Store Puppy Chow
Puppy Chow stores well, making it a perfect make ahead holiday dessert. Here’s all you need to know:
To Store: Store leftover puppy chow in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.
But if it’s too warm where you live, it’s better to store it in the fridge to avoid the chocolate coating from melting.
To Freeze: Pop your puppy chow in a freezer-safe, airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw it at room temperature and enjoy.
Don’t refreeze thawed puppy chow, though! Be sure to consume it within three days.
More Holiday Snacks You’ll Love
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