Holiday Puppy Chow

Have you ever had Puppy Chow? No, not some truth or dare game of “go eat the dog food”, the dessert! This Christmas Puppy Chow is a great way to make it festive.

Christmas Puppy Chow transforms a traditional muddy buddy recipe into a festive Reindeer Chow mix! The perfect no-bake dessert for any party or event. #puppychow #reindeerchow #muddybuddy www.savoryexperiments.com


 

Maybe you just aren’t familiar with the name. Puppy chow is also known as:

  • Muddy Buddies
  • Monkey Munch
  • Reindeer Chow

During the holiday season, I like to take an ordinary sweet treat and turn them into holiday treats. With some festive sprinkles and colors, this Christmas Puppy Chow is the perfect easy recipe to serve at your Christmas parties.

Why is it called Puppy Chow?

So, why is it called puppy chow? Rumor has it because it resembles dog food, or in this Christmas version- reindeer food, but I don’t think it looks like any dog food I’ve ever seen, so who knows.

What I do know is that it is delicious!

The trick to coloring Christmas Muddy Buddies

Well, I don’t call it Savory Experiments for nothing. I like to try new things. I get something stuck in my head and then I figure it out in the kitchen.

For a while I’ve toyed with the idea of making colored puppy chow mix. For whatever reason, in my head, it was as easy as putting a few drops of gel food coloring in with the powdered sugar and done-zo, colored puppy chow.

Not so much. Turns out that just makes a globby mess. Like, I seriously yucky mess.

Christmas Puppy Chow transforms a traditional muddy buddy recipe into a festive Reindeer Chow mix! The perfect no-bake dessert for any party or event. #puppychow #reindeerchow #muddybuddy www.savoryexperiments.com
Christmas Puppy Chow

Lucky for me, I hadn’t wasted the whole batch seeing I intended on making green, red and white puppy chow. Clearly looking at the photos, that also changed….

This was a LONG day of making ONE batch of puppy chow. Yours shouldn’t take that long. I’ve ironed all the kinks for you. You’re welcome.

I figured coloring powdered sugar would be as easy as coloring granulated sugar.

Nope, turns out you need powdered food coloring or coloring dust and although I have many random items in my baking cabinet, red and green powdered food coloring were not among them.

So I improvised with the rest of my sticky Chex cereal and instead added festive sprinkles to the powdered sugar.

Here I learned you need a lot more sprinkles than you think to really make an impact in this Christmas puppy chow.

Christmas Puppy Chow transforms a traditional muddy buddy recipe into a festive Reindeer Chow mix! The perfect no-bake dessert for any party or event. #puppychow #reindeerchow #muddybuddy www.savoryexperiments.com

This Puppy Chow Dessert is a crowd favorite!

But alas, I made my festive puppy chow and everyone enjoyed it! In fact, my nephew walked around carry a plastic bag of it for about a day. His clothes were sufficiently covered in powdered sugar.

I also gave my 1-year old a taste of this Christmas puppy chow and she wouldn’t stop walking into the kitchen whining for more.

Don’t worry, she only got about 5 nuggets before I declared it “all gone.”

Also known as hiding in the pantry for my own enjoyment. This stuff is additive!

This puppy chow recipe is adapted from Genius Kitchen, because well, they are geniuses so why recreate the wheel. Let me also tell you what makes it different and what I modified.

Best Puppy Chow Recipe Ingredients

With just a handful of simple ingredients, you can have this chocolate peanut butter mixture ready in no time.

  • Chex cereal – This will make the base for our muddy buddy recipe. You can use the actual Chex brand or your local store brand. I prefer to use corn Chex, but rice chex cereal works just as well.
  • Semi sweet chocolate chips – Using milk chocolate will make this Christmas snack mix just a little too sweet. The powdered sugar is already very sweet.
  • Peanut butter – Usually I would say you could use crunchy instead, but for this festive snack, you definitely need to use a creamy peanut butter.
  • Butter – Most homemade puppy chow recipes don’t use butter, but I find it helps to melt everything better and create a smoothie base for the cereal mixture.
  • Vanilla extract – This is another ingredient that I like to add to this easy Christmas puppy chow. It rounds out the flavors and adds some richness to the whole thing.
  • Powdered sugar – The star of the show! Powdered sugar coats everything to provide a sweetness and that beautiful fluffy texture.
  • Festive sprinkles – I used fine sprinkles, but feel free to use any extra Christmas sprinkled you have laying around.
Christmas Puppy Chow transforms a traditional muddy buddy recipe into a festive Reindeer Chow mix! The perfect no-bake dessert for any party or event. #puppychow #reindeerchow #muddybuddy www.savoryexperiments.com

How to Make Holiday Puppy Chow

Grab a large bowl and your ingredients and you’re well on your way to making the best treat for gifts.

  1. Cereal. Measure cereal and place in a very large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. Melt butter, chocolate and peanut butter. Over medium heat, melt and combine butter, chocolate chips and peanut butter, stirring constantly. When fully melted, stir in vanilla.
  3. Add peanut butter mixture to cereal. Pour chocolate mixture over Chex cereal in 3 stages, folding as you go. Toss gently to coat all pieces.
  4. Powdered sugar and sprinkles. Place powdered sugar and festive sprinkles in a large ziplock bag, shake to combine.
  5. Shake to coat. Add Chex cereal in stages, tossing to cover and then removing to a wax paper or parchment paper lined rimmed cookie sheet.
  6. Chill. Spread coated cereal in a single layer and chill for an hour to set.

Puppy Chow Mix Recipe Variations

There are plenty of ways you can make this Christmas puppy chow your own.

  • Chocolate – Instead of using milk chocolate, use white chocolate chips or colored melting chocolate for a different flavor and color.
  • Cereal pieces – I prefer to use rice chex, but you can use any type of chex cereal that you’d like. But using rice chex does make this gluten free!
  • Peanut butter – Have a peanut allergy? You can use almond butter or any other nut butters that you prefer.
  • Add ins – Besides the sprinkles, you can add a couple of other things to make this a sweet snack mix. A holiday m&m mix, milk chocolate chips, peanut butter cups or pretzels would all make a great addition.
Christmas Puppy Chow transforms a traditional muddy buddy recipe into a festive Reindeer Chow mix! The perfect no-bake dessert for any party or event. #puppychow #reindeerchow #muddybuddy www.savoryexperiments.com

How to store Christmas Muddy Buddies

Storage: Store these Christmas muddy buddies in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will last about one week, but you might gobble this delicious treat up before then!

Freezing: You can also freeze this muddy buddies recipe. Store it in an airtight container and it will last for up to six months.

Christmas Puppy Chow transforms a traditional muddy buddy recipe into a festive Reindeer Chow mix! The perfect no-bake dessert for any party or event. #puppychow #reindeerchow #muddybuddy www.savoryexperiments.com

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Christmas Puppy Chow transforms a traditional muddy buddy recipe into a festive Reindeer Chow mix! The perfect no-bake dessert for any party or event. #puppychow #reindeerchow #muddybuddy www.savoryexperiments.com
Christmas Puppy Chow transforms a traditional muddy buddy recipe into a festive Reindeer Chow mix! The perfect no-bake dessert for any party or event. #puppychow #reindeerchow #muddybuddy www.savoryexperiments.com

Christmas Puppy Chow Recipe

4.36 from 146 votes
Christmas Puppy Chow transforms a traditional muddy buddy recipe into a festive Reindeer Chow mix! The perfect no-bake dessert for any party or event.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 12

Instructions

  • Measure cereal and place in a very large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • Over medium heat, melt and combine butter, chocolate chips and peanut butter, stirring constantly.
  • When fully melted, stir in vanilla.
  • Pour chocolate mixture over Chex cereal in 3 stages, folding as you go.
  • Toss gently to coat all pieces.
  • Place powdered sugar and festive sprinkles in a large, airtight plastic bag, shake to combine.
  • Add Chex cereal in stages, tossing to cover and then removing to a wax paper lined rimmed baking sheet.
  • Spread in a single layer and chill for an hour to set.
  • Remove. Keep at room temperture or chilled.
  • If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 416 kcal, Carbohydrates: 78 g, Protein: 5 g, Fat: 11 g, Saturated Fat: 6 g, Cholesterol: 11 mg, Sodium: 300 mg, Potassium: 256 mg, Fiber: 6 g, Sugar: 42 g, Vitamin A: 620 IU, Vitamin C: 5.9 mg, Calcium: 109 mg, Iron: 15.2 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 416
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: muddy buddy recipe, puppy chow recipe, reindeer chow
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

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Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    This Christmas Puppy Chow is the perfect festive treat and makes a great homemade gift! So quick and easy to make too.

  2. 5 stars
    I loved this! We make it several times each holiday season and never have any leftovers. Thanks for the great recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    I haven’t made puppy chow in a long time. Thanks for the inspiration. Going to make a batch of this over the weekend.

  4. 5 stars
    This treat is addictive and always goes fast at the holiday table. I love how you added some Christmas flair to this. You can also jar it up and give to neighbors.

    1. I there! I would say it keeps for a week or two. Just make sure it doesn’t get too hot, since it is chocolate, it will melt. You could totally use it in a cookie box, but I would put it in a separate baggy or everything else will get residual powdered sugar.