An extra ingredient kicks this puppy chow recipe up a notch!
Whether you call this a puppy chow recipe or a muddy buddy recipe, I can tell you that you’ll call it addictively delicious! Here in the Midwest, I hear it called puppy chow most often, so that’s what I’m going with. It’s one of the easiest and scrumptious recipes I make.
You can’t go wrong combining peanut butter and chocolate in any capacity, but not every puppy chow recipe is created equal. I’ve tried multiple ones through the years and have finally found the best recipe. When I made puppy chow for this post, I made a half batch since my husband doesn’t like it. (I know. He’s crazy! But he doesn’t like semi-sweet chocolate.) The very next day, I made a second half batch because we ran out. It’s just so good and hard to resist.
I’ve always liked puppy chow, but for whatever reason, it is what I’ve craved most throughout quarantine time with COVID. The good news is I’ve made it enough now to know how to best tweak it and make it yummy. The bad news is that I can’t make it too often or I’d be in a sugar coma. 🙂
The ingredients are important because the wrong thing changes the taste. As you can tell from my ingredient photo, though, brands don’t matter so much. You want to make sure of a couple of things. First, use smooth peanut butter for this puppy chow recipe. Second, use rice squares instead of corn squares. I’ve used both and the rice squares taste better for this!
Not all puppy chow recipes use butter but I find it coats better and tastes better by using a bit of it. I use salted butter, but if you have unsalted, I think it’d be just fine, too, since you get some saltiness from the peanut butter as well.
Finally, my extra ingredient that doesn’t show up too often in muddy buddy recipes is vanilla extract. Trust me on this. You use just a bit and it will kick your flavors up a notch!
Preparing the puppy chow
One of the things I love most about this puppy chow recipe is that it’s quick to make and you can use the microwave. This means even my kids can make it or help me make it. I love that!
Start with putting your butter, peanut butter and chocolate chips in a large microwave-safe bowl. I use a big glass bowl so I can rinse it and put it in the dishwasher when I’m finished.
Put the bowl in the microwave and heat for 45 second and then stir. Remember that chocolate holds its shape as it melts, so you have to stir to tell how melted it is.
Continue heating in your microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each time until it’s completed melted and runny like the photo below. Usually mine is ready after the first 30-second round.
When it’s nice and runny, stir in the vanilla extract. Once it’s all combined, it’s time to gently fold in the rice cereal squares. For a half batch, I use about 5-1/2 cups of cereal. You want the cereal to be well coated but not too thickly covered.
Once the cereal has a nice coating of the chocolate and peanut butter mixture, it’s time to covered it in powdered sugar. I place powdered sugar in a gallon-sized zip-top bag and then pour the prepared mix on top of it. However, I do this in batches as well using about 1/2 cup per three cups of cereal mix. So for a half batch, I do this twice. For a full batch, it takes four times.
The zip-top bag works great for this puppy chow recipe shakedown. Once it gets too messy, it may not re-zip, but just fold the top over tightly and you’re good to go. Shake it to cover the cereal in powdered sugar. Carefully break apart clumps from the outside and make sure all the pieces are coated in powdered sugar.
Get your snack on!
That’s it! Your puppy chow is ready to munch on. Place it in an airtight container and keep it covered, but it doesn’t have to be refrigerated. For us, containers with lids work better than using a zip-top bag which can be harder to seal well once it gets powdered sugar in the track.
Stored well, it should last for up to a week. Well, it should stay fresh for up to a week, but I’m not sure it will ever last that long. It’s too yummy. Puppy chow also makes a great gift for friends and family. I have often included it in my holiday goodies.
The best puppy chow recipe
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 5-1/2 cups rice square cereal
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Place the butter, chocolate chips and peanut butter in a large microwave-safe bowl.
- Heat for 45 seconds in the microwave and then stir. Return to the microwave and heat in 30 second increments until it is fully melted and runny. (Usually a total of 75 seconds works for me.)
- Stir in the vanilla.
- Gently fold in the cereal until all the squares are well covered with the chocolate and peanut butter mixture.
- Put 1/2 cup powdered sugar in a gallon-sized zip-top bag.
- Add 3 cups of covered cereal into the bag with the powdered sugar and shake. Break up clumps of cereal from the outside and make sure all the pieces are well coated. (You can add more powdered sugar if needed.)
- Transfer to an airtight container and enjoy!
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