Puppy Chow

Puppy Chow

This delightfully messy Midwestern treat is simple enough for kids to make: Just toss crispy cereal with melted peanut butter and chocolate, then dust with lots of confectioners’ sugar. The recipe’s origins are murky, but puppy chow, or muddy buddies, can probably be traced back to recipe pamphlets and community cookbooks from the 1960s. Unlike the version on the back of the Chex cereal box, this recipe calls for a whole box of cereal and for cooling the chocolate-coated cereal a bit, which encourages clusters to form and helps the sugar stick. The cooled cereal is then tossed with confectioners’ sugar on a baking sheet for even coverage. There are many additions to consider: popcorn, chocolate chips, pretzels, nuts, mini marshmallows — the list goes on.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 12 persons



  1. Step 1

    Place the cereal in a large bowl. Melt the chocolate and peanut butter in the microwave or on the stovetop. Microwave in a bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until nearly completely melted, then stir to melt completely. On the stovetop, stir in a small saucepan over low heat. Off the heat, stir in the vanilla.
  2. Step 2

    Pour the chocolate-peanut butter mixture over the cereal and stir vigorously to coat. Refrigerate until the chocolate is cool, tacky and less shiny than melted chocolate, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Step 3

    Spread the cereal in an even layer on a sheet pan. With a spoon or fine-mesh sieve, sprinkle some of the powdered sugar evenly over the cereal, add a pinch of salt, then toss with a spoon or your hands, or both, until evenly coated. Repeat with the remaining powdered sugar (adding the sugar in batches ensures it doesn’t all soak into the chocolate). Set aside to set, at least 5 minutes. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 to 4 days, or in the fridge or freezer for months.