If you’ve got a litter of little ones, you’ll know that they love playing pretend. We are talking about kids, not puppies. Our puppy chow recipe looks a little like dog treats, but it is meant for human consumption. What we do know is that it will be the source of smiling faces instead of waggy tails. Other names for it include monkey munch, reindeer chow, and muddy buddies. Whatever you call it, the kids are going to love it. Here is how to make this easy puppy chow recipe.
What is Puppy Chow?
Originally puppy chow is made by a company called Chex cereal. Their particular product is called muddy buddies.
Essentially, this is a cereal-based snack. It is sweet with a hint of saltiness. Take one look at it, and you can see why some people call it puppy chow. It looks just like little chocolate-covered dog biscuits! The puppy chow recipe also contains peanut butter and powder sugar.
What we do know is that, just like a pack of hungry puppies, kids love it and will be grabbing handfuls before you can stop them.
The beauty of this puppy chow recipe is that it is super simple to make at home. None of the ingredients are difficult to find.
Why is it Called Puppy Chow?
In the simplest terms, it looks very similar to dog food, particularly a mixer that would normally be found in the pet aisle at your local store.
When tipped into a bowl, it looks like tiny little biscuits normally eaten by puppies. ‘Chow’ is a slang name used for food.
Is it Muddy buddy or Puppy Chow?
Puppy Chow and muddy buddy are exactly the same things. You’ll even hear some people refer to it as ‘doggy bag’ or muddy munch. One of our friends even calls it monkey munch!
You’ll see lots of different recipes, but rest assured that puppy chow and muddy buddy recipes should be identical.
How to Make Puppy Chow
The beauty of our homemade puppy chow recipe is that it can be made using only 4 ingredients. There are a few ways to make it, but you’ll be pleased to know that this is very much a no-bake recipe, so no oven cooking is required.
This is a fabulous recipe if kids are coming over for a party. Our little ones love getting involved and making this… Although there is always a battle between them as to who gets to lick the spoon.
We tend to use a microwave to make out puppy chow. We find that this cuts down on the time and mess. We start by adding chocolate and peanut butter to a large bowl. We give it a blast for a minute and then pull it out to check. If it isn’t fully melted, we work in 30 seconds intervals until we are left with a gooey peanut and chocolate mixture.
Once the chocolate has melted, we add a few cups of rice cereal squares. Don’t feel limited by this. Pretty much any cereal will work. If you want to see some variations, take a look at our tips and tricks section below. You must give the bowl a really good mix until all the ingredients are combined.
We take a huge sheet of baking parchment and spread it out on the counter. It is important that you allow enough room for each square of cereal to rest without touching any of the others. We tip the bowl out onto the work surface and spread the puppy chow out in a single layer. We leave it for around 20 minutes until the chocolate has cooled and set.
While we are waiting for the puppy chow to dry, we add half a cup of powder sugar to a large Ziploc bag. Once it has dried, we add it to the bag and gently shake it until all of our cereal is coated in a fine layer of powder.
From there, it is a case of storing or serving the puppy chow. There must be a ghost in our kitchen because every time we leave the jar unattended, we find that there is slightly less puppy chow! It is really weird!
How Do You Store Puppy Chow?
In a locked jar if you know what’s good for you.
No, we are kidding.
Your best bet is to store it in an airtight container. There isn’t really anything in puppy chow that can go bad. However, you’ll find the quality degrades after a couple of weeks. If you live in a warmer state, you might find that the puppy chow might melt and stick together. To prevent this from happening, you could be best storing it in the refrigerator.
And there’s some good news.
Puppy chow freezes really well! It can last almost indefinitely. Just add individual portions to freezer bags, and you can keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months!
When it comes time to serve, just leave it to rest on the counter at room temperature for 2 or 3 hours.
Why Does My Puppy Chow Get Soggy?
Somebody hasn’t been paying attention. Look, don’t worry. Soggy puppy chow is one of those errors that we all make at some stage or another. Normally when we are rushed, however it is easily solved.
All you need is a little bit of time! Soggy puppy chow is caused when you don’t give the chow enough time to cool down fully. To stop it from going soggy, increase the amount of time you allow it to rest once coated. Those who live in warmer environments may need to increase their resting time. Alternatively, you could consider cooling your chow in the fridge.
Tips and Tricks
- Depending on your peanut butter and chocolate choice, you might find that your puppy chow mixture is a little thick. This is an easy fix. Just add a little butter to the mixture and give it another quick ping in the microwave. You should find that it loosens up nicely.
- Conversely, if you find that your mixture is a little too loose, we have an answer for that too! Make the recipe as described, but when it comes time to let the puppy chow set, pop it on a baking tray in the fridge.
- Don’t try and dust your puppy chow too soon. If you do, you’ll find that it will stick together, ruining your recipe. It shouldn’t be tacky to the touch if it is properly set.
- Here are some great tips and tricks to make sure that you get perfect-tasting puppy chow.
- If you haven’t got a microwave, don’t panic. You can still make puppy chow without a microwave. Follow the instructions but instead of microwaving your bowl of chocolate, place it over a large saucepan. Fill the saucepan with water and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Don’t melt chocolate over direct heat. The high temperature will cause the chocolate to split and separate. It can also turn quite bitter. Puppies don’t like bitter puppy chow!
- While this is called puppy chow, do not feed any to your dog. Chocolate contains a compound that can’t be digested by dogs. In fact, it is poisonous. Humans, only we’re afraid!
- Feel free to accessorize your puppy chow. While the recipe we’ve provided is exactly like muddy buddy, there are a few things you can add to get a great result. For a little more texture, feel free to add a handful of chopped nuts. We find that walnuts give the best crunch.
- If you haven’t got peanut butter, try substituting it with another nut butter. Almond butter is particularly good, and when combined with chocolate, will give your puppy chow a completely new taste.
- Your choice of chocolate is your own too. We have tried this recipe with normal chocolate, dark chocolate, and even white chocolate. All were excellent, and all were hoovered up by the kids in a matter of minutes.
- You can try different cereals when making puppy chow. While we recommend using crispy rice squares, you could also give it a go with the following options. Try using:
- Fruit loops
- Shredded wheat
- Golden Grahams
- Cinnamon toast
- Cinnamon churros
- Here’s a word to the wise. If you are making these for a kids’ party, you might need to be careful. Why? Be sure to check that none of your ‘pups’ have nut allergies. Because the peanut butter is mixed in with other ingredients, it isn’t apparent to kids or parents. If there is any doubt, leave the nuts out entirely.
- Be sure to make a massive square of baking parchment when cooling your puppy chow. The baking parchment wills top them, sticking to a work surface. If you got o small, you would end up with a solid block of puppy chow.
- Like we said at the start, kids love playing pretend. For a fun presentation, you could serve your puppy chow in a (new) dog bowl.
- For a really strong chocolate taste, here’s a great tip. Try swapping out the nut butter for Nutella.
- One great addition is to add marshmallows once the chocolate has melted. These break down slightly in the hot chocolate and make your puppy chow a little more gooey and chewy.
- Here’s another great addition to your puppy chow. For a bit of extra texture and monkey munch with a difference, try adding a handful of broken-up Oreos. If you want a true monkey munch, you could also consider adding half a ripe banana to your chocolate.
- If you can find it, popping candy is always a nice addition. This causes your puppy chow to crackle and fizz when eaten.
- We’d advise serving this in smaller portions as a treat. Kids tend to go overboard when this is served. To stop them from overindulging, try and limit how much you serve at any one time. Big bowls are probably a no-no.
Can you freeze puppy chow?
Absolutely, yes you can freeze your puppy chow and store it for up to two months maximum. Make sure to use an air tight container when storing.
How long does puppy chow last?
This will stay fresh for 6-7 days proviing they’re stored correctly in an air tight container.
Puppy chow, monkey munch, or muddy buddies. Whatever you call it, it is absolutely delicious. It is guaranteed to be a hit at parties (even amongst the adults). Our make-at-home puppy chow recipe is every bit as good as the store-bought original. In fact, we’d say it is better as you can add your own personal touch once you get the basic technique down. Why don’t you share your little additions with us, and we’ll see about adding them to the recipe. Just leave your ideas in the comments below. It would be great to hear from you.