Puppy Chow (Muddy Buddies)
The BEST Puppy Chow (Muddy Buddies) recipe! This no-bake, sweet & salty treat is always a hit with chocolate and peanut butter fans, a great party recipe and perfect for the holidays!
An Easy Chocolate & Peanut Butter Treat!
Chocolate and peanut butter treats are always welcome at our house. And this easy Puppy Chow recipe is ALWAYS a hit!
I most often make this no-bake, sweet & salty treat for parties and holiday gatherings, as it works great for a crowd. But it also makes a great food gift. Know a college student or friend across the country who could use a little pick-me-up? Puppy Chow is a fun homemade treat that travels well!
Craving more of that chocolate & PB combo? Have you tried my crazzzzzy good Chocolate Peanut Butter Ritz Cookies? Or how about Peanut Butter Blossoms? Or my fabulously fun Extra-Marshmallow Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Bars?!
What is Puppy Chow?
Contrary to its title, Puppy Chow is a homemade snack for humans. General Mills calls their version Muddy Buddies, and depending on where you live, you might also know it as Monkey Munch, Muddy Munch, or Reindeer Chow. No matter the name, it’s all basically the same treat – a sweet and salty mix of Chex or Crispix cereal, chocolate, peanut butter, and powdered sugar.
What You’ll Need
Some Puppy Chow recipes don’t include butter or vanilla extract, but I think these ingredients add to the flavor and texture, and are definitely worth incorporating. These simple ingredients elevate this Puppy Chow – it’s truly the BEST recipe. You’ll also see Reese’s Pieces candies listed, as we often throw in a big handful – especially for fall gatherings and Halloween parties!
- Rice Chex cereal – I use Rice Chex cereal, but you could also use Corn Chex. Some people use Crispix, even though it doesn’t give you the traditional square-shaped Puppy Chow.
- Chocolate chips – I always use semi-sweet chocolate chips, Guittard is my favorite. But milk chocolate works, too – just know that the Puppy Chow will be considerably sweeter.
- Creamy peanut butter – Such as Jif or Skippy. Natural peanut butters don’t work as well for this recipe.
- Butter – I use unsalted butter, so I can control the amount of salt. If you use salted butter, simply eliminate the extra salt in the ingredients list.
- Vanilla extract – Use only pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
- Powdered sugar – This is the fun outer coating that sticks to the chocolate & peanut butter mixture. I like a medium coat of powdered sugar, where I can see some of that beautiful chocolate layer. But use more or less depending on your own preference!
- Salt – I add just a little bit of kosher salt, which is never a bad idea when chocolate and peanut butter are involved!
- Reese’s Pieces – A little more peanut butter? Why not?! This is a fun option all year long, but especially great for fall and Halloween parties.
How to Make Puppy Chow
My method for mixing the Puppy Chow together is easier than most – I don’t like using zipper baggies to incorporate the powdered sugar coating!
- Melt – Gently melt chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter together either on the stovetop or in the microwave. Then stir in the vanilla.
- Mix – Add half the cereal to a large mixing bowl that has a lid. Drizzle half the chocolate peanut butter mixture over the cereal. Add the remaining cereal and drizzle the remaining chocolate peanut butter mixture over the top. With a large spoon or spatula, gently fold until the cereal is evenly coated.
- Shake – Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top of the cereal. Place the lid on the bowl and, while holding the lid on the bowl securely, turn and shake the bowl until the cereal is well coated. No zipper baggies to mess with, yay!!
- Cool – Spread puppy chow out onto parchment or wax paper, or a large rimmed pan, until cooled and the chocolate has set.
How to Store
The ease of this recipe continues when it comes to storing it. I just keep it in an airtight container on the counter, and it stays good for at least a week. If your kitchen is warm, just pop the container into the fridge.
This also freezes well. Just place it in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months!
More easy desserts for you! EVERYONE loves these Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars. Butterscotch Bars with Chocolate and Disappearing Marshmallows are a favorite from my childhood. And my Gooey Chocolate Mug Cakes are an easy dessert for two, ready in less than 15 minutes!
Tips & Variations
A few helpful tips, plus ways to change up this recipe!
- Whether you use the microwave or the stovetop to melt the chocolate, peanut butter, and butter, be careful to not let the chocolate scorch.
- When mixing the melted chocolate mixture into the cereal, fold it gently to minimize crushing the cereal.
- If you want to speed up the cooling process, just place the rimmed pan of prepared Puppy Chow into the fridge for a bit. It’ll firm up in no time!
- To add a fun element to any special occasion, think about candies that can be mixed in. Reese’s Pieces are a favorite at our house, perfect for fall gatherings and Halloween. M&M’s also work great – and with all of their fun holiday packs, it’s easy to create color coordinated treats for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and the 4th of July. This would also be a fun idea for graduation parties (use school colors) or baby showers (pink or blue)!
Halloween Puppy Chow
This has become somewhat of a trick-or-treat tradition at our house. I like to make Halloween Puppy Chow when our girls dress up with their friends. Our families gather beforehand for pizza. And we bring this Halloween themed Puppy Chow. It’s always a hit – with kids and adults alike!
Like the fall/Halloween version? Save it to Pinterest!
And here’s the regular recipe! Save it to Pinterest!
Puppy Chow (Muddy Buddies)
- 1.5 cups good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips – Guittard is my favorite
- ¾ cup creamy peanut butter such as Jif or Skippy (do not use a natural peanut butter)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 12- ounce box about 12 cups Rice Chex cereal
- 2.25 to 2.5 cups powdered sugar or more if desired
- 1 cup Reese’s Pieces candies optional (fun for fall and Halloween!)
- Gently melt chocolate chips, peanut butter, butter, and salt together either on the stovetop or in the microwave. Take care to not let the chocolate scorch. Stir until completely smooth and then add vanilla and stir again.
- Add half the cereal to a very large mixing bowl that has a lid. Drizzle half the chocolate peanut butter mixture evenly over the cereal. Then add the remaining cereal and drizzle the remaining chocolate peanut butter mixture over the top. With a large spoon or spatula, gently fold until the cereal is evenly coated.
- Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top of the cereal. Place the lid on the bowl and, while holding the lid on the bowl securely, turn and shake the bowl until the cereal is well coated. Use a large spoon to gently fold and finish covering with powdered sugar. Spread puppy chow out onto a large rimmed pan or onto parchment or wax paper on the counter, and then sprinkle with a bit more powdered sugar if desired. Let cool until the chocolate has set.
Store in an airtight container at cool room temperature for one week. Also stores well in the fridge if your house is warm, and in the freezer for up to 3 months.