Have you ever had Puppy Chow? No, not some truth or dare game of “go eat the dog food”, the dessert! This amazing Reindeer Munch is a great way to make it festive.
Maybe you just aren’t familiar with the name. Puppy chow is also known as:
- Muddy Buddies
- Monkey Munch
- Reindeer Chow
During the holiday season, I like to take an ordinary sweet treat and turn them into holiday treats. With some festive sprinkles and colors, this reindeer munch is the perfect easy recipe to serve at your Christmas parties.
So, why is it called puppy chow? Rumor has it because it resembles dog food, or in this Christmas version- reindeer food, but I don’t think it looks like any dog food I’ve ever seen, so who knows.
So whether you set it out on Christmas Eve to feed Santa’s reindeer, or keep this irresistible treat all to yourself, this festive Christmas chex mix is the perfect snack worthy of Christmas morning or holiday parties.
Reindeer Munch Recipe
Table of Contents
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.
For a while I’ve toyed with the idea of making colored puppy chow mix. For whatever reason, in my head, it was as easy as putting a few drops of gel food coloring in with the powdered sugar and done-zo, colored puppy chow.
Not so much. Turns out that just makes a globby mess. Like, I seriously yucky mess.
Colored Puppy Chow
Lucky for me, I hadn’t wasted the whole batch seeing I intended on making green, red and white puppy chow. Clearly looking at the photos, that also changed….
This was a LONG day of making ONE batch of puppy chow. Yours shouldn’t take that long. I’ve ironed all the kinks for you. You’re welcome.
I figured coloring powdered sugar would be as easy as coloring granulated sugar.
Nope, turns out you need powdered food coloring or coloring dust and although I have many random items in my baking cabinet, red and green powdered food coloring were not among them.
So I improvised with the rest of my sticky Chex cereal and instead added festive sprinkles to the powdered sugar.
Here I learned you need a lot more sprinkles than you think to really make an impact.
Holiday Reindeer Munch
But alas, I made my festive puppy chow and everyone enjoyed it! In fact, my nephew walked around carry a plastic bag of it for about a day. His clothes were sufficiently covered in powdered sugar.
I also gave my 1-year old a taste and she wouldn’t stop walking into the kitchen whining for more.
Don’t worry, she only got about 5 nuggets before I declared it “all gone.”
Also known as hiding in the pantry for my own enjoyment. This stuff is additive!
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.
- Chex cereal – This will make the base for our muddy buddy recipe. You can use the actual Chex brand or your local store brand.
- Semi sweet chocolate chips – Using milk chocolate will make this Christmas snack mix just a little too sweet. The powdered sugar is already very sweet, so semi-sweet chips are the answer.
- Peanut butter – Usually I would say you could use crunchy instead, but for this festive snack, you definitely need to use a creamy peanut butter.
- Butter – Most homemade puppy chow recipes don’t use butter, but I find it helps to melt everything better and create a smoothie base for the cereal mixture.
- Vanilla – This is another ingredient that I like to add to this easy Christmas puppy chow. It rounds out the flavors and adds some richness to the whole thing.
- Powdered sugar – The star of the show! Powdered sugar coats everything to provide a sweetness and that beautiful fluffy texture.
- Festive sprinkles – I used fine sprinkles, but feel free to use any extra Christmas sprinkled you have laying around.
How to Make Reindeer Munch
- Cereal. Measure cereal and place in a very large mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Melt butter, chocolate and peanut butter. Over medium heat, melt and combine butter, chocolate chips and peanut butter, stirring constantly. When fully melted, stir in vanilla. I prefer to use the double boiler method to melt.
- Add peanut butter mixture to cereal. Pour mixture over Chex cereal in 3 stages, folding as you go. Toss gently to coat all cereal squares.
- Powdered sugar and sprinkles. Place powdered sugar and festive sprinkles in a large ziplock bag, shake to combine.
- Shake to coat. Add Chex cereal in stages, tossing to cover and then removing to a wax paper or parchment paper lined rimmed cookie sheet.
- Chill. Spread coated cereal in a single layer and chill for an hour to set.
- Chocolate – Instead of using milk chocolate, use white chocolate chips or colored melting chocolate for a different flavor and color.
- Cereal pieces – I prefer to use rice chex, but you can use any type of chex cereal that you’d like. But using rice chex does make this gluten free!
- Peanut butter – Have a peanut allergy? You can use almond butter or any other nut butters that you prefer.
- Add ins – Besides the sprinkles, you can add a couple of other things to make this a sweet snack mix. A holiday m&m mix, milk chocolate chips, peanut butter cups or mini pretzels would all make a great addition. You can also throw in some of your favorite holiday candy.
- Gifting – You can add this festive mix to goodie bags and make it a fun treat for gifting! Who wouldn’t want reindeer munch to snack on while watching Christmas movies?
Storage and Freezing
Storage: Store these Christmas muddy buddies in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will last about one week, but you might gobble this delicious treat up before then!
Freezing: You can also freeze this muddy buddies recipe. Store it in an airtight container and it will last for up to six months.
More Holiday Treats
- 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
- 1 cup festive sprinkles
- 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 festive sprinkles in a large, airtight plastic bag, shake to combine.
- 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 temperature or chilled.
- If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was!