Christmas Muddy Buddies Recipe (aka Puppy Chow)
Sweet treats are one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. And if you grew up in the Midwest you are probably very familiar with muddy buddies or puppy chow as it is sometimes called. But don’t be fooled by the name. Puppy chow is not for dogs. It is a sweet treat made from Chex cereal, creamy peanut butter, dark or milk chocolate and powdered sugar. But I must warn you, it is highly addictive! This Christmas muddy buddies recipe (sometimes called reindeer chow muddy buddies) is an easy recipe and makes great gifts as well as a sweet snack. Recipe card below 😉
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What are muddy buddies?
Muddy buddies are a festive holiday treat made from rice Chex, melted chocolate, a peanut butter mixture and confectioners sugar. This Christmas version of a muddy buddies recipe is the perfect addition at your next holiday party, a great holiday gift, or an easy treat at Christmas time. The best part is, you can modify the recipe by swapping out the holiday m&m color and use it multiple times a year!
Are muddy buddies and puppy chow the same thing?
Yes! Although they are often to referred to as different names, the basic ingredients make the same tasty treat. Christmas puppy chow recipes are also frequently referred to as reindeer puppy chow.
Christmas Muddy Buddy Recipe Ingredients
This is a a very easy recipe to make and only requires a few simple ingredients. But this new recipe will definitely become a family tradition every Christmas season.
Chocolate Chips – I always use semi-sweet chocolate chips but you can also use milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or white chocolate chips. If you use white chocolate it will have a different flavor however. If you like the sweetness of white chocolate you can also use red candy melts, green candy melts, or both for a festive combo. But again, these will have different flavors than traditional muddy buddies.
Peanut Butter – Any brand is fine, but creamy peanut butter works best. My personal favorite is Skippy because it is a little sweeter than other brands, but use whatever you have on hand. You can also use almond butter if you prefer.
Butter – I normally use real unsalted butter because it has a richer flavor, but margarine works too if you don’t have butter.
Chex Cereal – You can use rice Chex or corn Chex but I usually use rice Chex. You can also buy the store brand. The important thing here is the shape and the texture of the cereal. It gives the chocolate mixture something to grab onto. The better coated the cereal mixture is, the more flavor each bite will have. You can even buy chocolate Chex or peanut butter Chex!
Vanilla – I always add a little vanilla extract to mine to sweeten up the mixture of peanut butter. If you don’t have vanilla you can skip this but it is better with it.
Powdered Sugar – Also known as confectioners sugar, this is the coating on this delicious Christmas treat. Powdered sugar and granulated sugar are not the same, so there are not substitutions on this one.
Heating – I always melt chocolate chips in the microwave for connivence but you can also melt them on the stove top. Either way, be careful not to burn your chocolate. If you cook it too long it will have a bitter taste and you will want to start over. I microwave chocolate chips in 30 second intervals until the chocolate and peanut butter are smooth and combined. Usually no more than 1 minute 30 seconds depending on your microwave.
Mixing – You can use a large mixing bowl or a large plastic bag to combine the melted peanut butter and chocolate. I prefer to use a large bowl with a lid because then you can shake it to get it well coated as opposed to stirring. You can use this same method with the chocolate-coated cereal and powdered sugar. I have seen some people line a baking sheet with wax paper or parchment paper and pour the mixture onto the cereal. In my opinion you get the best coating when you can shake it. And I love the little clumps it forms because they are full of flavor!
Festive Touches – Feel free to add whatever holiday touches you would like! Red & green M&Ms, Christmas sprinkles, peppermint kisses, peanut butter cups, pretzels, candy canes, let your imagination run wild!
Christmas Muddy Buddies Recipe
- 1 box (12 oz) Chex cereal
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- Christmas candies for topping
- red and green m&ms for topping
- peppermint kisses for topping
- In a small bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter in a microwave-safe bowl in increments of 30 seconds until chocolate is smooth. be careful not to burn your chocolate. If you cook it too long it will have a bitter taste and you will want to start over.
- Add in vanilla and stir until combined.
- In a large bowl with a lid or a plastic bag, pour mixture on top of cereal. Stir or shake until all the cereal is coated evenly. It helps to mix half the chocolate at a time.
- Top with Christmas candies, sprinkles, m&ms, or candy of your choosing.
- Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
- This recipe makes about 10 cups of Christmas Chex mix.
- Microwave heating times will vary. Start with 30 seconds and add time in 30 second intervals until chocolate mixture is smooth. Chocolate can burn very easily so I do not recommend microwaving for greater than 30 seconds at a time. Usually 1 minute in total is enough.
- When mixing, it helps to mix half the chocolate at a time to get a better coating.
- For best results store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Can I make puppy chow for my dog?
NO! Despite the contradictory name, puppy chow is not for dogs. Because it contains chocolate and chocolate is toxic to dogs, puppy chow or muddy buddies should not be given to your furry friends.
When to make muddy buddies
The great thing is this versatile snack mix is the perfect holiday treat you can enjoy year round! With multiple variations, muddy buddies can be enjoyed all year, not just for your Christmas parties. They also go very well with hot chocolate!
Holiday Variation Ideas for puppy chow Chex mix recipes
Christmas – Red & green m&ms, candy canes, red and green sprinkles
Halloween – Reece’s pieces, green and purple m&ms, Halloween sprinkles
Thanksgiving – Reece’s pieces, candy corn, mini pumpkin candies, Thanksgiving sprinkles
Easter – Pastel m&ms, peeps, Easter sprinkles
Valentine’s Day – Red and pink m&ms, sweetheart candies, Valentine’s sprinkles
4th of July – Red, white, and blue m&ms, marshmallows, patriotic sprinkles
Birthday – Rainbow m&ms, confetti sprinkles
These highly addicting cereal treats make great homemade Christmas gifts for family, friends, and teachers. Just package them up in these adorable treat bags or tins. They are the perfect treat this time of year.
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