Friday, February 4, 2011

Puppy Chow Candy

You guys will probably think I've lost my mind, posting a back-of-the-box recipe like this. The reason I'm sharing it is because it's quick, easy, and can be made gluten free. And there just might be one or two of you out there who haven't tried it. Sure, it's technically junk food, but it's not all THAT bad. I even made it with coconut oil instead of butter so it's vegan. Points for that, right? Plus, this recipe is very child-friendly, which is ideal for anyone who has young budding chefs eager to help out in the kitchen. Not to mention, it's pretty dang yummy.

For anyone who may not know what Puppy Chow Candy is, it's essentially Chex® cereal mixed with melted chocolate and peanut butter, then sprinkled with powdered sugar. It takes literally 10 minutes to make, and the mess factor is kept to a minimum so cleanup isn't that much of a hassle considering melted chocolate and powdered sugar are involved.

I know the Chex® people have a trademarked name for this recipe, but I like Puppy Chow better than Muddy Buddies®, so that's what I'm calling it. Plus, I don't want to have to keep adding the ® symbol, especially since I'm not even sure if I'm doing it correctly.


9 cups Rice Chex® (you could actually use any flavor of Chex® cereal, the corn and rice varieties are gluten free)
1 cup chocolate chips (I used 60%, but the original recipe calls for semisweet)
1/2 cup peanut butter (I used the all-natural kind you have to stir)
1/4 cup coconut oil (original recipe calls for butter or margarine)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Measure out the cereal into a large bowl. Then, place the coconut oil, peanut butter, and chocolate chips in a bowl and melt, either in the microwave or using a double boiler. Add in the vanilla extract and stir until smooth.
Pour the melted chocolate mixture over the cereal and toss to coat. Once it's all evenly mixed in, put half in a gallon-sized plastic food storage bag with 3/4 cup powdered sugar and shake until the pieces are evenly coated. Repeat with the remaining Puppy Chow and sugar (or, if you have a 2 gallon bag you can fit it all in at once).
Spread the Puppy Chow out on sheets of wax paper to cool, and once dry I store mine in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
As I previously mentioned, I consider this is junk food, which is why I call it Puppy Chow Candy, lest anyone think I'm promoting it as a healthy snack. BUT, you can choose to use healthier ingredients, like all-natural peanut butter and high-quality dark chocolate, which at least makes me feel a bit better about it. Also, I'm wondering about the possibility of using maple syrup in the chocolate mixture to add the sweetness instead of coating the pieces with powdered sugar. I'm not sure if that would make it too runny, and if so how to compensate... That's one I'll need to ponder and possibly play around with later. For now, I'm sticking with what I know works. It doesn't last long in this house!