This puppy chow recipe was inspired by one of our favorite treats from childhood: the classic Puppy Chow. We’ve been making it since we were kids, but now we’re adults who are still crazy about the sweet chewy goodness of these fun snacks. They’re perfect for giving out at Halloween parties or as a treat after dinner!
Incredible fun, this chocolate peanut butter mix combined with seasonal Halloween candies is a perfect party much done in mere minutes.
- Rice squares cereal – I used the regular Chex cereal that you would find in any grocery store. I like it because it’s easy to use and has no artificial flavors or colors added.
- semi-sweet chocolate chips –
- peanut butter
- powdered sugar
Why is it called Puppy Chow?
There are many common names for puppy chow however, the term “puppy chow” tends to be the most commonly used. While the name’s origins are unclear, it’s widely accepted that the name stemmed from the ingredients Chex mix, and chocolate, which resembles dog kibble.
Just note, for anyone wondering, that chocolate is actually very toxic to dogs and should never actually be given to them, despite the cutesy name.
How to make Halloween Chex Puppy Chow
- Line a baking sheet with wax paper and set it aside. Add cereal to a large mixing bowl and set aside. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate chips, creamy peanut butter, and butter—heat on high for one minute. Stir thoroughly until smooth.
- If necessary, return to microwave and microwave for 30 seconds and stir until smooth. I did not have to return mine to the microwave for a second time.
- Stir in vanilla. Pour over cereal and mix well to coat evenly.
- Put half of the cereal mixture into a resealable gallon bag.
- Sprinkle half of the powdered sugar on top, and repeat. Seal bag shut.
- Shake well to coat with sugar evenly.
- Spread onto a prepared baking sheet lined with wax paper to cool.
- Add candies and enjoy!
To make Halloween Puppy Chow.
Sprinkle 1 cup of Halloween candies and candy eyes into your puppy chow
Expert Tips for Monster Munch
- You could use peanut butter instead of almond butter if that works better for you. Or try using sunflower seed butter, cashew butter, pumpkin seeds, etc.
- I’ve included measurements below, but feel free to eyeball everything. This is more about getting creative with what you already have on hand.
- When adding candy or sprinkles, make sure that they are added AFTER powdered sugar has been added. Otherwise, powdered sugar will smother all the extras and coat them in tons of white powder, ruining the holiday look. It won’t change the taste but won’t look as pretty.
- You can also try adding some mini marshmallows, crushed graham crackers, or mini pretzels. You’ll need about 1/2 cup of them. Other candy options are candy corn or mini peanut butter cups.
- Use white chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate.
What type of chocolate is used for Halloween Puppy Chow?
- Chocolate Chips – any kind of chocolate chips can be used in puppy chow. Just take care not to overheat or chocolate tends to seize. Chocolate is best melted low and slow.
- Candy Melts – Instead of chocolate chips, it’s fine to use colored candy melts. Colored candy melts can help you make beautiful varieties of colors of the mix and really let the holiday season, like Halloween, pop. Suggestions are purple, white, and orange mixed with traditional chocolate flavor for a real rainbow of puppy chow. Each batch has to be made by itself (as well as cooled) and then it’s super pretty combined!
What kind of candies are recommended for Muddy Buddies?
This really depends on the reason you are making the muddy buddies. Just like trail mix, muddy buddy mix has an unlimited number of ingredient variations that make it holiday-friendly and super fun to enjoy many times over the season.
For monster chow (werewolf food, etc.) there are so many holiday-friendly seasonal Halloween candies. Favorites are candy corn, candy pumpkins, eyeballs, and colorful M&Ms.
Christmas puppy chow can include peppermint bits (tiny bites so as not to choke), Andes Mints, red and green M&Ms, Rolos, or colorful gumdrops.
Not seasonal candies like mini Reese’s peanut butter cups, colorful marshmallows (like lucky charms marshmallows are great), pretzels, peanuts, or Reeses pieces
Can puppy chow be made nut-free?
Yes. Instead of using peanut butter, try peanut-free WOW butter or sunflower butter.
What else is Puppy Chow called?
Puppy chow is called Muddy Buddies, Rice Chex Mix, Puppy chow, doggy chow, Monster Munch, cereal mix, or party puppy chow.
Fridge – Place in an air-tight container, like a Tupperware with a lid or a gallon-sized freezer bag, and place in the fridge. You can typically keep and eat muddy buddies in the fridge for up to a week.
Freezing – Once making sure the muddy buddies are fully cooled, you can store them in the freezer. We like to freeze individual portions and then counter or fridge thaw as needed. Just be careful not to let any ice crystals form inside the container when freezing, so it’s best to make sure you have airtight containers or sealed baggies without air. Ice crystals cause freezer burn, which ruins the texture of the food.
Counter Top: There is nothing in the ingredients that MUST have a fridge. However, you run the risk of more air and therefore getting stale quicker. Additionally, depending on the heat and humidity in your household and kitchen, the chocolate could melt. While this does work just fine, it’s not my favorite way to store.
Related Halloween Recipes
- Halloween Garlic Bread
- Chocolate Covered Strawberry Ghosts
- Mummy Jalapeno Poppers
- Mummy Hot Dogs
- Sherbet Punch
- Buckeye Balls
- Mozzarella Eyeballs
- Mummy Mushrooms
- Marshmallow Popcorn Balls
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Halloween Puppy Chow
- 9 cups Chex mix
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Line a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside.
- Add Chex Mix Cereal to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- In a microwave safe bowl, combine chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter. Heat on high for one minute.
- Stir completely until smooth. If necessary, return to microwave and microwave for 30 seconds and stir until smooth. I did not have to return mine to the microwave for a second time.
- Stir in vanilla. Pour over cereal and mix well to evenly coat.
- Put half of the cereal into a resealable gallon bag. Sprinkle half of the powdered sugar on top, and repeat. Seal bag shut. .
- Shake well to evenly coat with powdered sugar.
- Spread puppy chow onto a prepared baking sheet lined with wax paper to cool completly.
- Sprinkle 1 cup Halloween candies and candy eyes into your puppy chow.