Want to be a hit with the kids this holiday season? Puppy chow (also known as muddy buddies) is the answer.
I mean, how can you go wrong with Chex coated in chocolate and peanut butter, and dusted with powdered sugar?
Puppy chow is the ultimate holiday treat! It’s crunchy, sweet and salty, and super chocolatey.
The balance between chocolate and peanut butter makes it undeniably delicious.
Whether you serve these irresistible munchies on their own or mixed with candy and nuts, they’ll still be a huge party hit.
Best of all, you don’t even need to be a good cook or baker to make puppy chow. This easy-peasy recipe only calls for a little mixing and shaking!
Ready to chow on puppy chow? Let’s get started.
Puppy chow, also called monkey munch, muddy buddies, doggy bag, and reindeer chow, is a sweet and salty snack made with chocolate, peanut butter, and powder sugar-covered rice cereal.
General Mills, the maker of Chex cereal, officially calls the snack muddy buddies, but I grew up calling it puppy chow, so I’m sticking to that.
Where did this charming snack get its name from? Well, just look at it and you’ll get it.
It may not have the most appetizing name, but it is highly addictive to kids (and kids at heart).
It’s one of the most popular snacks at sleepovers and slumber parties.
Puppy chow is a popular holiday and party snack because it’s delicious and a breeze to make. You don’t even need to cook or bake it!
All it takes is three simple steps: melt the chocolate and peanut butter, mix in the cereal, and coat with powdered sugar.
It couldn’t get any easier than that. You can even make a huge batch in no time. It’s perfect for feeding a crowd.
Ingredients for Puppy Chow
Puppy chow calls for simple ingredients that you probably have on hand already. Here’s all you need:
Crispy rice cereal squares. Thes most usual 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.
Tips for making the best Puppy Chow
- Melt the chocolate and peanut butter in the microwave instead of the stove. This will make your life so much easier! Just do so in 1-minute increments to avoid overheating the chocolate.
Melted chocolate is supposed to be smooth, silky, and shiny. Overheating it will cause it to be dull, thick, and grainy.
- While its name sounds like a perfect dog treat, puppy chow is detrimental to dogs. Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine that is toxic to dogs.
- If the chocolate and peanut butter mixture is too thick, remedy it with a bit of butter (not margarine). Stirring in melted butter will help smoothen out the mixture.
- If the mixture is too runny, place the cereal on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and pop it in the fridge. Wait for several minutes for the chocolate mixture to dry before coating with powdered sugar. Otherwise, the chocolate will only absorb the sugar.
- Most puppy chow recipes call for 9 cups, but that’s too much for the chocolate peanut butter coating. Just add 6 cups so that each piece gets coated with chocolate and peanut butter beautifully.
- Stir the cereal and chocolate peanut butter mixture gently with a spatula to avoid breaking the cereal.
- This recipe calls for 1 cup chocolate and ½ cup of peanut butter, but you can certainly adjust the amount to suit your preference.
- You can also use whatever type of chocolate you prefer. I like semi-sweet chocolate chips, but you can use dark, milk, or white, too.
Add-Ins for Puppy Chow
Another awesome thing about puppy chow is that you can throw in as many treats to the mix to make it even prettier and more addictive.
For more crunch and chocolaty goodness, add M&M’s, Reeses pieces, mini-chocolate chips, and other candy.
For a salty contrast, add chopped roasted cashews, pecans, walnuts, and peanuts. Or give it a holiday flair by adding crushed candy cane.
For cookies and cream puppy chow, add crushed Oreos and mini-white chocolate chips.
You can also switch things up by using other nut butters, such as almond, sun, or cashew butter. Nutella works, too!
For the cereal, you can use Rice Chex or Crispix.
How to Store Puppy Chow
Puppy Chow is so addictive, it’s guaranteed to disappear within the hour. But in the unlikely case you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container.
Puppy chow will keep well at room temperature for up to two weeks.
But if it’s too warm where you live, it’s better to store puppy chow in the fridge to avoid the chocolate coating from melting.
If you want your puppy chow to stick around much longer, store it in the freezer. Just pop them in a freezer-safe, airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw it at room temperature and enjoy. You can’t refreeze it once thawed, though! Consume it within three days.
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