Puppy Chow or Muddy Buddies is a long time favorite dessert recipe that you can eat by the handful! Chex cereal coated in chocolate, peanut butter, and powdered sugar is a classic, and super simple to make.
Are you ready to make some Puppy Chow? Or maybe you call this recipe Muddy Buddies? Either way, this is one of my favorite treats to make using cereal and it’s really quite easy once you know this simple recipe.
Try my Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars for another cereal-based treat that everyone will love.
You can make Puppy Chow on any regular day and keep it around for snacking, but this recipe is also a huge hit when you make it and take it to parties. I like to have little bowls of it around at family birthday parties, holidays, or any time when people are gathered around. Think potlucks, football parties, camping, or movie night. Puppy Chow is delicious any time!
Why You’re Going to Love This Recipe
- Minimal Mess and Clean Up. You only need one or two bowls and a zipper top bag to make Puppy Chow. All of the powdered sugar mess stays in the bag, making no mess on your counters or floors.
- Simple Ingredients. This puppy chow recipe uses ingredients that are easy to find, inexpensive, and probably already in your pantry.
- Peanut Butter and Chocolate – I’m not sure that there ever were two other things that go together as well as these two. Reeses Cups, Peanut Butter Pie, Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream – all of these things are amazing, and Muddy Buddies fit right in.
- Make It Your Own – This recipe is gluten-free as written, and can be made vegan with a simple substitution. You can even make Mint Chocolate Muddy Buddies if you’re feeling adventurous.
So Is It Puppy Chow or Muddy Buddies?
The fun thing about American food is that we often give things different names depending on what part of the country we’re in.
This recipe is called Puppy Chow mostly in the Midwestern States, and Muddy Buddies in other regions.
Puppy chow gets its name from its appearance, and if you use your imagination you might see that it can resemble a certain type of pet food. The name Muddy Buddies seems to have come from General Mills. That’s what this recipe is called on the rice Chex box, and that’s what they call their premade bagged version of the Chex mix muddy buddies snack.
Other names for this chocolatey treat are monkey munch, reindeer chow, muddy munch, and doggy bag.
Ingredients in this Puppy Chow Recipe
- Rice Chex Cereal – This is the classic, but you can substitute corn Chex, or Crispix too. The key is to use a cereal that is crispy on the outside and hollow in the middle for the correct amount of crunch.
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate – Chocolate chips are probably the easiest way to get the 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate needed to make this muddy buddy recipe, but bars of chocolate will work too. Use what you have! In a pinch I’ve made this recipe with leftover holiday candy.
- Peanut Butter – Smooth peanut butter is the best option here. Chunky peanut butter has those pesky pieces of nuts included, and we don’t necessarily want that texture here.
- Butter – I like to use unsalted butter in this recipe so that the sweetness really shines.
- Vanilla Extract – This just pulls everything together and adds a warm, fresh baked flavor.
- Powdered Sugar – If you’ve eaten puppy chow, you know that this stuff gets all over your fingers, in the best way.
How to Make Puppy Chow With Chex
Seriously, this recipe is so simple. You’ll be ready to eat it in less than 10 minutes.
- Melt Chocolate and Peanut Butter: In a heat proof bowl, combine the butter, chocolate and peanut butter together and melt them in the microwave. Remove from the microwave, add vanilla extract and stir to combine.
- Add Chex: Add Rice Chex to a large bowl, then pour the chocolate peanut butter mixture over the cereal.
- Stir: Stir until the cereal is evenly coated in the chocolate.
- Cool: Allow the chocolate to cool down slightly (but not harden).
- Add Powdered Sugar: Put the cereal mixture into a large ziploc bag, sprinkle with powdered sugar and mix until well combined.
Pro Tips For Making Puppy Chow
Use a Plastic Bag For Mixing. Use a plastic bag to incorporate the powdered sugar into the mix. It’s a lot less messy this way. As a bonus, it’s completely acceptable to use that plastic bag to transport and serve your puppy chow too.
Depending on the size of your bag and how much cereal you use, it might be easier to split the batch into two bags. Kids love helping with this part. Add the powdered sugar and zip the bag up, then let them shake it around to cover all the pieces with sugar.
Don’t Forget to Let it Cool. If you skip the step that allows the chocolate mixture to cool before adding the powdered sugar, you will end up with soggy puppy chow. Allowing the chocolate to set up most of the way first seals the cereal so that it won’t continue to absorb moisture. I suggest at least 5 minutes of rest and up to 20, depending on the temperature of your kitchen.
Puppy Chow Substitutions
This recipe is perfect as is, but here are some other options if you should need them.
- To make this recipe vegan, substitute a vegan butter for the regular butter.
- Corn chex or Crispix cereal can be used in place of the Rice Chex.
- For a nut free version, use SunButter.
Puppy Chow Variations
The internet is abuzz with fancy variations on this classic puppy chow recipe. And while I won’t get into too many details here, once you master this recipe, you should totally venture out and make some of them.
Many varieties use white chocolate or colored candy melts in place of the chocolate and peanut butter to give their variations different colors and flavors.
Mix-ins like nuts, cookies, candies, sprinkles, and flavor extracts serve to make muddy buddy recipes that are festive and flavorful.
Some varieties of puppy chow out there are really just sweet snack mixes, with no ties to this original recipe at all, but that’s ok! I am all about sweet snack mixes and will eat them no matter what you call them.
So, you’re a Puppy Chow pro now, right? Excellent! Don’t forget to pin this recipe to have it handy whenever you need it.
- In a heat proof bowl, combine the butter, chocolate and peanut butter together and melt them in the microwave. Remove from the microwave, add vanilla extract and stir to combine.
- Add Rice Chex to a large bowl, then pour the chocolate peanut butter mixture over the cereal.
- Stir until the cereal is evenly coated in the chocolate.
- Allow the chocolate to cool down slightly (but not harden).
- Put the cereal mixture into a large ziploc bag, sprinkle with powdered sugar and mix until well combined.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
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