While making my instantly popular Christmas Puppy Chow, I vowed to experiment with colored powdered sugar for Valentine’s Day. Well, here it is foodie friends, Valentine’s Day Puppy Chow!
Valentine’s Day Puppy Chow transforms a traditional muddy buddy recipe into a festive Cupid Crunch mix! The perfect no-bake dessert for any Valentine’s Day party.
Puppy chow is also known as Muddy Buddies, Monkey Munch, Reindeer Chow at Christmas, but for Valentine’s Day let’s call is Cupid’s Crunch. Cupid needs to eat and refuel with all that flying and declaring of love, right?
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.
I came up with this idea when I was making Christmas Puppy Chow, but it didn’t pull off that way I wanted. I still made it work using festive sprinkles, but it wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. I vowed to the readers that I would figure out the issue before Valentine’s Day.
And I delivered! Turns out the best way to make colored powdered sugar is to use a powdered food coloring.
The task is actually simpler than coloring granulated sugar because there isn’t any drying time or other nonsense. What I will say is that you need a lot more powdered food coloring than you might think to get the right hue.
My intention was to make an ombre hue of white, pastel pink and magenta. I ended up with white, pale pastel pink and baby pink. It did have a wonderful iridescent sparkle to it! In fact, it would also be perfect for baby showers!
What you’ll need to make colored powdered sugar and Valentines Day Puppy Chow is .05 – .10 ounce containers of powdered food coloring. I used pearl dust and only used .05 ounces, so if you want a more vibrant color, I suggest using more.
Next, place your powdered sugar and pearl dust into a mini food processor and blend until combined and uniformly colored. Allow the dust to settle before you open it, otherwise you’ll have a large iridescent powdered sugar bomb in your kitchen. Start with you lightest color and move up to the darkest so you don’t have to clean it out.
I tossed my homemade Cupid Crunch with Valentine’s Day candy. I used those classic conversation hearts, but the sayings were so messed up, that I ended up just scraping them off with a knife and having little pastel candy hearts. You can use any you want, or none at all!
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.
You can use any type of Chex cereal you’d like, but I prefer rice flavor. It also makes this a gluten-free Puppy Chow recipe!
Most chex muddy buddy recipes use only chocolate and peanut butter, but I find that incorporating butter and vanilla makes it easier to mix evenly onto the chex cereal. It also makes an even richer flavor and gives slightly more volume.
Technically you can melt the mix in the microwave, but I find that melting chocolate in the microwave can be super temperamental, so I opt to mess the extra pan and take the time to do it on the stovetop.
Nine cups seems like a lot of Chex cereal and technically it is, but this stuff is delicious and it will go fast. If you don’t make the whole batch, you’ll regret it. You might regret not doubling the recipe, actually! If you are wondering how many boxes of cereal to buy, one 12 ounce box will give you this much and at least one heaping bowl of morning cereal.
Use a way larger mixing bowl than you think you need. Most puppy chow recipes will call for you to mix the Chex cereal right into the saucepan. I disagree. Place your Chex cereal into a very large mixing bowl and pour the melted chocolate over the cereal in 3 stages, lightly tossing each time. It helps to evenly cover the cereal without too much mixing, which results in broken puppy chow.
Many recipes only use 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, I like to use more and just discard the rest. I find that using only 1 1/2 cups doesn’t adequately cover the cereal, making a blotchy monkey munch. No go. I want fluffy, fully white pieces!
I also add one more step of laying it in a single layer on a baking sheet and chilling to harden it up before putting it in a storage container. You can store at room temperture, but I like mine chilled, so I keep it in the fridge.
Lastly, why is it called puppy chow? Rumor has it because it resembles dog food, but I don’t think it looks like any dog food, especially when it is iridescent and pink. LOL. Maybe, have you seen the new Sparkle Dog food one of the Real Housewives is trying to sell?
Valentine’s Day Puppy Chow is perfect for your at-home V-Day celebration, but also for taking to school parties (making sure there are NO peanut allergies, of course)!
And stay tuned… my next adventure in making puppy chow is for St. Patrick’s Day! Gold with skittles!
If you liked our Valentine’s Day Puppy Chow recipe, you’ll love these other easy Valentine’s Day dessert recipes!
If you are looking for even more dessert recipes, snag a copy of my Easy Dessert Recipes Mini-Cookbook. Available here for only $0.99, these easy dessert recipes are ready with less than 30 minutes hands-on time and are sure to please all your family friends. From no-bake to make-ahead, you are sure to find something you love!
Valentine's Day Puppy Chow
- 9 cups Chex cereal
- 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- .05-.10 ounces powdered food coloring
- Valentine's Day candy , optional
- 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 powdered food coloring in a large, airtight plastic bag, shake to combine. If you are using multiple colors, divide between 2-3 bags.
- 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!