Puppy Chow: a simple recipe to make a crunchy peanut butter dessert

Total time: 20 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist
Creamy peanut butter
1 cup
semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup
Rice Chex Cereal
6 to 7 cups
Powdered sugar
1 to 2 cups

Puppy Chow, also known as Muddy Buddies, is a an easy, crowd-pleaser recipe. It is a salty, crunchy snack you can serve during parties. Peanut butter-flavored and powdered sugar-covered, it is a fun recipe to make and delicious to enjoy.

Make this crunchy and tasty treat that takes less than 15 minutes to throw together with only 4 simple ingredients. You don't even need butter. Keep it fresh for a week on your counter or freeze it and you’ll always have a chocolate-covered treat on hand.

What is Puppy Chow?

Puppy chow is a popular dessert or snack made with peanut butter, melted chocolate, and crunchy Chex cereal. Packed with nutty, sweet flavor, it is a favorite among kids and adults.

Puppy chow is coated in powdered sugar and filled with creamy peanut butter and chocolate. These sweet flavors make it more like a dessert than anything else. But you can also enjoy Muddy Buddies as a sweet afternoon pick-me-up if you like.

Puppy Chow or Muddy Buddies?

Popular since the 1960s, this homemade recipe is mostly known as puppy chow as it looks like dog food. In fact, the Ralston Purina Company had put its Chex cereal on the market in 1937 jokingly calling it "human chow" – it referred to dog food as "dog chow" and cat food as "cat chow".

General Mills then bought this cereal line selling it as Muddy Buddies in stores, but in the meantime the puppy chow recipe has won over so many Midwestern families. It's a sweet treat made with peanut butter and chocolate that everyone enjoys as a snack at any occasion, even during the holiday season.

Anyway, there are dozens of funny-sounding names for this treat, including Muddy Buddies, Monkey Munch, Muddy Munch, or Reindeer Chow. However you call it, it’s a delicious and addicting recipe.

Puppy Chow Ingredients

You just need a few simple ingredients to make puppy chow:

Semisweet or dark chocolate chips. You can also use milk chocolate chips, even if they may be too sweet for this recipe.

Creamy peanut butter. If you're allergic to peanuts, you can swap it for almond butter, cashew butter, or another nut butter.

Rice Chex cereal. The hollow and grid shape manage to hold the chocolate both inside and out, while still remaining super crispy. You can also try other crunchy cereal like corn Chex cereal or Crispix cereal even if the shape is slightly different.

Powdered sugar. Don't skip it as powdered sugar gives the puppy chow the perfect sweet finishing and a great look.

How to Make Puppy Chow

It couldn’t be easier to make puppy chow at home. All you need is a mixing bowl, a microwave, and a few simple ingredients. To make puppy chow at home, first, melt the peanut butter and chocolate in the microwave. Place the cereal in a large mixing bowl and cover with the melted peanut butter and chocolate, folding with a rubber spatula until fully coated.

Let the cereal mixture cool then fold in 1 cup of powdered sugar to coat everything. Continue to let the mixture cool, add a little more powdered sugar, and enjoy!

You want the chocolate to harden a bit before adding the last bit of powdered sugar. This way, some of the sugar will adhere to the warm chocolate, but there will still be a nice powdery finish to the snack.

Puppy Chow Variations

For a richer puppy chow recipe, you can add other ingredients like pretzel bites, potato chips or salted peanuts.

For a sweeter muddy buddy treat, add some M&Ms or Reese's pieces.

For a healthier variation, use sugar-free ingredients.

How long does the Puppy Chow last?

You can store this in an airtight container on the counter for up to 7 days.

Can you freeze the Puppy Chow?

Sure, you can freeze puppy chow for up to 2 months in an airtight container. Simply let the snack defrost on the counter when you’re ready to dig in.


Melt the peanut butter and chocolate together in a small pot on the stovetop or in a microwave-safe bowl.

Place 3 cups of cereal in a large mixing bowl. Pour 1 cup of the chocolate and peanut butter mixture over the cereal. Stir to coat.

Add 3 more cups of cereal to the bowl and pour the rest of the chocolate and peanut butter mixture on top.

Stir with a rubber spatula until the cereal is evenly coated. If there are pools of chocolate and peanut butter on the bottom of your bowl, add 1/4 cup more cereal at a time until everything is absorbed. You want to make clumps of chocolate and peanut butter-covered cereal, so don’t add so much that the rice Chex are bare. Let the mixture cool slightly in the refrigerator. Don’t let it get too cold, as you don’t want it to harden yet.

Once your mixture is at or below room temperature, add 1 cup of powdered sugar. Mix until combined. Let the mixture cool for about 15 minutes.

Add more powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, until your cereal is well-coated. Serve and enjoy!

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