Get the easiest recipe for puppy chow ever! I grew up calling this reindeer chow because we only made it at Christmas, but you might call it puppy chow or muddy buddies. No matter what you call, it, this recipe is a delightful treat filled with crunchy cereal, melted chocolate and peanut butter, and a whole lot of powdered sugar!
This recipe for puppy chow definitely falls into the once-a-year category! It's so delicious that it disappears almost instantly, and is so rich that I can't make it too often!
But no matter how often you make it, this recipe is simply the best.
Best Tips for Making Puppy Chow (Muddy Buddies)
I've been making this recipe for over 20 years (since it came out in 2009!) and I have quite a few tips to share with you to make this the easiest recipe for puppy chow you've ever tried.
- Don't worry about measurements - Use a whole box of cereal, or a whole bag or chocolate chips! Don't worry about the exact measurements for those items, especially when the "original" recipe leaves you with a cup or two of cereal left in the box (or a handful of chocolate chips left in the bag)! Instead, just use the entire 12oz box of cereal and the entire bag (10-12oz) of chocolate chips!
- Fold, don't mix - As you add the melted chocolate and peanut butter goodness to your cereal, don't mix like you're trying to smooth out a cake batter. Instead, use a gentle motion like folding to move that mixture around. This will keep the cereal more intact for larger chunks!
- Work quickly - As you come to the final step (adding the powdered sugar), don't wait too long! You'll have a bit of time, but don't set it aside for more than a few minutes or the chocolate will start to set and it will make it difficult for the sugar to stick to the chocolate.
- Don't stress - If you're working with little kids, or even just trying to multitask by yourself, don't stress too much over this recipe! It's very forgiving, and even if it's a little heavy (or light) on something, it will still be delicious!
With just a few simple ingredients you can have this delicious dessert ready in 15 minutes. Take a look at the ingredients list for everything you need to know, including substitutions.
- Crunchy Cereal - Rice Chex cereal is traditionally used in this recipe, however, you can also use wheat Chex or even an organic version like the Cascadian Farms Multi Grain Squares (this is what we use). Whatever you do, don't use an overly sweetened cereal, as it will throw off the sweet and salty balance of the recipe.
- Chocolate Chips - We like to use dark chocolate chips, however, semi-sweet chocolate chips are traditional. Use whichever you have one hand or what you prefer!
- Peanut Butter - As the peanut butter gets mixed in and melted with the chocolate, use creamy peanut butter instead of chunky. Also, make sure it's not sweetened too much, as again, that will throw off the flavor balance. You can also use a different nut or seed butter instead, if needed!
- Butter - I like using salted butter, but you can use unsalted if that's what you have on hand. The difference isn't that crazy, but I prefer the little bit of added salt.
- Vanilla Extract - Fun fact, chocolate doesn't taste "right" without a little vanilla, so don't omit this if you can avoid it as it adds the depth of flavor needed for this recipe to really taste its best!
- Powdered Sugar - The final coating for the recipe after the chocolate and peanut butter goes onto the cereal. You can also use maple syrup powered sugar if you are avoiding cane sugar!
Now that you have all your ingredients gathered, let's make this amazingly simple dessert! But be careful, once you know how easy it is, you'll likely want to make it all the time!
- Melt - Place chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter into a large glass bowl and heat over a double boiler, or in the microwave. Melt until smooth, then stir in vanilla extract.
- Prep - Add cereal to a very large bowl that will allow lots of mixing.
- Fold - Pour the chocolate mixture over the cereal and gently fold them together.
- Coat - Pour half of the powdered sugar over the chocolate-coated cereal and stir gently until coated. Add more as needed until the cereal is coated to your desired level.
Puppy chow, also known as muddy buddies, is a delicious snack made with Chex cereal coated in a mixture of chocolate, peanut butter, and powdered sugar. The name "puppy chow" comes from its resemblance to dog food but rest assured, it's just an amazing human treat!
Absolutely! Rice Chex cereal is traditionally used in this recipe, however, you can also use wheat Chex or even an organic version like the Cascadian Farms Multi Grain Squares (this is what we use). Whatever you do, don't use an overly sweetened cereal, as it will throw off the sweet and salty balance of the recipe. You can also experiment with other cereals like Crispix, Rice Krispies, or even pretzels for a unique twist. Just ensure they have a nooks-and-cranies texture for the perfect coating.
Certainly! If peanut allergies are a concern, you can substitute with almond butter, sunflower seed butter, or any other nut or seed butter of your choice. The key is to maintain a creamy texture for the coating.
Store puppy chow in an airtight container at room temperature. It stays fresh for about 2 weeks, although it's so irresistible; it's unlikely to last that long! If you need it to last longer, consider refrigerating or freezing it and bring it back to room temperature before serving.
Absolutely! Puppy chow is highly customizable. Feel free to toss in candy-coated chocolate, candy corn, nuts, sprinkles, or any other favorite treats after the initial coating. Just ensure they complement the flavors and textures for an extra delicious treat.
Yes, you can experiment with different types of chocolate, such as milk, white, or even flavored varieties. Keep in mind that the sweetness and consistency may vary, so adjust the powdered sugar accordingly for the perfect balance.
Even More Delicious Christmas Treats
Ready for a few more of our best Christmas desserts? Here are some of our favorites!
Best Ever Puppy Chow (Muddy Buddies)
- 12 oz box crunchy cereal like Chex
- 1 bag dark chocolate chips 10-12oz
- 3/4 cup peanut butter creamy, not crunchy!
- 1/2 cup butter we use salted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 lb powdered sugar actual usage amount will vary, see instructions
- Place chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter into a large glass bowl and heat over a double boiler, or in the microwave in 30 second intervals. Melt until smooth, then stir in vanilla extract.
- Add cereal to a very large bowl that will allow lots of mixing.
- Pour the chocolate mixture over the cereal and gently fold them together.
- Pour half of the powdered sugar over the chocolate-coated cereal and stir gently until coated. Add more as needed until the cereal is coated to your desired level.