My favorite way to make Puppy Chow AKA Muddy Buddies! Easy as always with the perfect flavor and ratio of ingredients. All you need is 6 ingredients and you’re moments away from one of the most highly addictive snacks off all time! A classic must have recipe!
The BEST Puppy Chow Muddy Buddies Recipe
Since I was probably 10 years old Puppy Chow, or what we call Muddy Buddies, have been one of my favorite treats and of course they were one of the very first things I learned how to make.
They’re a regular thing around here (I make them probably once a month), and I love taking them on trips and bringing them to parties. My whole family is obsessed with these! They’re also great for Christmas gifting to those without allergies.
They are unbelievably easy to make and hard to mess up. No mixer required, and no oven or stovetop needed. All you need is a microwave and a few basic kitchen tools (bowl, measuring cups, spatula), and about 10 minutes of your time or less to prepare them.
So what’s my tip for the best puppy chow?? Milk chocolate chips. I mean think about it, do Reese’s peanut butter cups taste good with dark chocolate? No. Peanut butter and milk chocolate were made go together, otherwise dark chocolate overpowers and drowns out the flavor of the peanut butter.
If you insist you can use half semi-sweet chocolate chips and half milk chocolate chips but I don’t recommend all semi-sweet chocolate chips or it’s just too much if you ask me. I’ve tasted both and hands down milk chocolate wins no question. Try it and you will see what I mean!
Ingredients Needed for Puppy Chow Mix:
Rice Chex Cereal – while you could use the corn Chex I personally think the rice Chex tastes better here so I recommend stick with those.
Milk Chocolate Chips – use real milk chocolate chips.
Powered sugar – no substitutes here. Granulated sugar doesn’t have the right texture and won’t coat the muddy buddies the same as the powdered sugar does.
Butter – I’ve used salted or unsalted butter here, it just depends on if you want an extra hint of saltiness or not because the peanut butter already has some.
Peanut butter – use creamy peanut butter here. I use the regular kind but natural will work too.
Vanilla extract – stick with real vanilla for best flavor. Honestly this ingredient is entirely crucial if you’re out, I’ve forgotten it in the past and they still taste delicious (there’s should be some vanilla in the chocolate chips).
How to Make Puppy Chow – Muddy Buddies:
- Add cereal to bowl: Pour rice Chex cereal into an extra large mixing bowl, set aside.
- Melt chocolate chips with butters: To a medium mixing bowl add chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter. Heat in microwave* at 50% power for 30 seconds. Stir.
- Continue heating: Return to microwave and heat at 50% power for 20 seconds, stir. Repeat until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla.
- Toss chocolate mixture with cereal: Pour mixture over cereal and gently toss with a rubber spatula to evenly coat.
- Mixture may be thick, it may take a few minutes to toss and coat. On the other hand if mixture is runny after coating let it chill for a few minutes in the refrigerator before tossing with powdered sugar.
- Toss with powdered sugar: Pour in powdered sugar and gently toss to evenly coat. Alternately you can pour cereal mixture into a gallon size resealable bag, pour in powdered sugar, seal bag and shake to evenly coat. Store in an airtight container.
Can I Make It on the Stovetop?
If you don’t own a microwave or prefer not to use them you can also melt the chocolate peanut butter mixture on the stovetop over low heat. It does end up runnier than the microwave version so once you toss the Chex with it, let it cool for a little while before tossing with the powdered sugar (or just add extra powdered sugar).
How Long does It Keep?
It will keep well for about 3 days at room temperature or about 6 days in the refrigerator (they’re delicious cold straight from the fridge in the summer). They can also be frozen for up to 2 months.
Is There a Substitute for Peanut Butter in This Puppy Chow Recipe?
If there is a peanut butter allergy you can use sunflower seed butter in place of peanut butter in this recipe.
Can I Feed Puppy Chow to Dogs?
Despite the popular name “Puppy Chow” no this treat is not safe for dogs as chocolate isn’t safe for them. They don’t metabolize the theobromine chocolate contains well enough (as we humans do) and it can be toxic to them.
Tips for Perfect Muddy Buddies:
- Don’t overheat the chocolate or it can seize (especially milk chocolate it’s temperamental). This is why I like to use a lower power, and heat in short increments stirring between each.
- Use real butter not margarine, and avoid chunky peanut butter.
- If chocolate mixture is runny wait to toss chocolate coated cereal with powdered sugar or it will just absorb into the wet chocolate.
- Add a little less powdered sugar if you don’t want them very sweet.
- Store in an airtight container so they don’t go stale.
More Easy Treat Recipes to Try:
- Christmas Crunch
- Cookies and Cream Muddy Buddies
- One Chocolate Chip Cookie
- No Bake Cookies
- Pretzel Turtles
- Sweet Holiday Chex Mix
Follow Cooking Classy
Puppy Chow - Muddy Buddies
- 8 cups (250g) rice chex cereal
- 1 cup (170g) milk chocolate chips*
- 1/2 cup (140g) creamy peanut butter
- 4 Tbsp (56g) butter (salted or unsalted will work)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups (180g) powdered sugar**
- Measure cereal in bowl: Pour cereal into a very large mixing bowl, set aside.
- Melt chocolate chips with butters: To a medium mixing bowl add chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter. Heat in microwave*** at 50% power for 30 seconds. Stir.
- Continue heating until melted and smooth: Return to microwave and heat at 50% power for 20 seconds, stir. Repeat until chocolate has been melted. Stir in vanilla.
- Toss chocolate mixture with cereal: Pour mixture over cereal and gently toss with a rubber spatula to evenly coat (mixture may be thick, it may take a few minutes to toss).
- Toss coated cereal with powdered sugar: Pour in powdered sugar and gently toss to evenly coat. Alternately you can pour mixture into a gallon size resealable bag, pour in powdered sugar, seal bag and shake to evenly coat.
- *If preferred 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips and 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips can be used or even 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips for a richer chocolate flavor. I don't recommend using all semi-sweet chocolate chips though because I feel that it really overpowers the flavor of the peanut butter.
- **If you want them less sweet you can use 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar.
- ***This can also be heated in a small saucepan on the stovetop. To do so melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, add peanut butter and chocolate chips. Cook, while stirring constantly until chocolate has melted then stir in vanilla. Toss with Chex and let cool slightly for about 5 mins or so in the fridge so coating isn't so runny before tossing with powdered sugar.
- Puppy Chow should be stored in an airtight container. It keeps at room temperature about 3 days, refrigerated about 6 days (they're also delicious cold), and frozen for about 2 months.