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Also known as muddy buddies, this classic Midwestern dessert is my go-to no-bake treat for bake sales, parties, and food gifts. If you like peanut butter cups, you’ll love this easy dessert recipe.

Puppy chow on a beige platter.

Puppy Chow is yet another way to enjoy America’s favorite dessert pairing: chocolate and peanut butter. What I think makes it so addictive, though, is the Chex.

Somewhere between the massive crunch of the Chex and powdered sugar flying everywhere are the memories of summer barbecues, winter holidays, and birthday parties. Puppy Chow shows up in all those places and more.

Whether you have your own children or you just feel young at heart, making Puppy Chow is fun and relaxing, and the results are sweetly delicious.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Recipe FAQs
  6. Puppy Chow Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for puppy chow.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Rice Chex: Feel free to substitute with any type of similarly-textured cereal, such as Corn Chex, Chocolate Chex, Honey Nut Chex, Peanut Butter Chex, or Crispix.
  • Semisweet chocolate chips: Opt for these instead of milk chocolate. The darker chocolate balances out the sweet powdered sugar nicely (I find milk chocolate to be too sweet here).

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, add cereal. In a medium-sized bowl, add chocolate, peanut butter, butter, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir, then continue microwaving in 15-second intervals, until almost melted, about 45 seconds. Stir in the vanilla. Gently pour the chocolate peanut butter mixture over the cereal.
Making puppy chow in a clear glass bowl.
  1. Toss until all the cereal is evenly coated. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, tossing the mixture each time. Add the remaining ½ cup powdered sugar and toss once more, ensuring cereal is evenly coated.
Puppy chow in a bowl.
  1. Pour onto the prepared baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Allow to cool, about 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week (an empty ice cream pail works great).
Puppy chow on a baking sheet.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 14 cups of Puppy Chow, which makes about 28 servings, ½ cup each.
  • Storage: Store this dessert in an airtight container for up to 1 week (an empty ice cream pail works well).
  • Make ahead: While it’s safe to eat for 7 days, Puppy Chow tastes best within 1 to 2 days of making it.
  • Mess-free method: In a gallon-sized bag or clean 1-gallon ice cream tub with a lid, place 1 cup of the powdered sugar. Add half of the cereal, a second cup powdered sugar, the remaining cereal, and lastly add the remaining ½ cup powdered sugar. Seal the bag or close the lid and shake vigorously until the cereal is evenly coated.
Puppy chow on a beige platter.

Recipe FAQs

Why is it called Puppy Chow?

This addictive snack mix is called Puppy Chow because it looks a little bit like dog food. In some circles, it’s called Muddy Buddies.

Is Puppy Chow a Midwestern thing?

Yes, people across the Midwest loved this sweet and crunchy snack year-round. The “puppy chow belt” runs through Wisconsin and Michigan, North and South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska.

Homemade Chex Mix

Make Homemade Chex Mix in the microwave in 10 minutes or less! Adapted from the original Chex Party Mix recipe (but I use more butter so it’s better). I grew up with Chex Mix. My…

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More peanut butter and chocolate desserts

Puppy chow on a beige platter.

Puppy Chow

Also known as muddy buddies, this classic Midwestern dessert is my go-to no-bake treat for bake sales, parties, and food gifts. If you like peanut butter cups, you'll love this easy dessert recipe.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 28 servings (½ cup each)
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Calories 206

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, add cereal and set aside.
  • In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, add chocolate, peanut butter, butter, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir, then continue microwaving in 15-second intervals, stirring after each, until almost melted, about 45 seconds. Remove from the microwave and stir until smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Taste and add more salt to taste.
  • Gently pour the chocolate peanut butter mixture over the cereal. Toss until all the cereal is evenly coated. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, tossing the mixture each time. Add the remaining ½ cup powdered sugar and toss, ensuring cereal is evenly coated.
  • Pour onto the prepared baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Allow to cool, about 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Rice Chex: Feel free to substitute with any type of similarly-textured cereal, such as Corn Chex, Chocolate Chex, Honey Nut Chex, Peanut Butter Chex, or Crispix.
  2. Semisweet chocolate chips: Opt for these instead of milk chocolate. The darker chocolate balances out the sweet powdered sugar nicely (I find milk chocolate to be too sweet here).
  3. Yield: This recipe makes 14 cups of Puppy Chow, which makes about 28 servings, ½ cup each.
  4. Storage: Store this dessert in an airtight container for up to 1 week (an empty ice cream pail works well).
  5. Make ahead: While it’s safe to eat for 7 days, Puppy Chow tastes best within 1 to 2 days of making it.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 206kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 3gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 184mgPotassium: 121mgFiber: 2gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 305IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 55mgIron: 5mg
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Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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