Best Party Snack Ever: Puppy Chow


Do you want to be a party snack hero this holiday season while putting in minimal effort?!?! If yes, then I have a secret to share with you: Puppy Chow!

What is Puppy Chow (aka: Muddy Buddies)?

It’s delicious. It’s heaven. It’s indulgent. It’s crunchy cereal coated with chocolate, peanut butter (or nut butter) and powered sugar and it will be an instant HIT at every gathering! There may be debate over what to call it, but it’s definitely the BEST finger food ever contrived!

I was raised on puppy chow as a holiday snack and a birthday treat to share with my classroom each year. My classmates grew to love it so much that they would request it months before my birthday came around.

As an adult, puppy chow is my pairing with a glass of red wine, a deployment dinner when my spouse is gone and my child is in bed, and a guilty pleasure when I need a sweet fix. Cue the sound of calories just tick-tick-ticking up on my daily count. No matter; it’s totally worth whatever damage control will be necessary in the gym after the holidays!

How Do You Make Puppy Chow?

There is no baking, no freezing, and minimal waiting time to enjoy your puppy chow after finishing the steps! When I tell you puppy chow (aka: muddy buddies) is the EASIEST snack to make, I would be exaggerating in how difficult this task is. 

The only “appliance” you need to create this delicacy is a microwave or a double boiler; anything to melt the chocolate.


-Semi sweet chocolate chips or almond bark

-Peanut butter or nut butter (if you have peanut sensitivities)

-Powdered Sugar

-Rice cereal squares (Chex, Crispix, or other brand)


Start with a large (clean) garbage bag or paper bag and pour the rice cereal into bag. Next,  melt the chocolate and peanut butter together in a bowl and stir to a smooth consistency.

Pour the chocolate/PB sauce onto the cereal in the bag and shake it until every little rice square is properly covered in deliciousness.

Finally, pour your powdered sugar into the bag and shake again until all of the cereal is coated.

If the smell is enough to entice you, go ahead and eat the ‘chow as is, right from the bag. If you’re a puppy chow connoisseur like myself, you can place your treat in the freezer until it chills and enjoy this fine delicacy with a “pop” of cold powered sugar in each bite. Your choice!

The Great Debate: Puppy Chow or Muddy Buddies?

The only name this snack has ever had in my vocabulary is “puppy chow.” Then in 2010, General Mills began making their own version of the snack, which they started selling under the name of “Muddy Buddies.”

Once Muddy Buddies hit the shelves in stores and gas stations across America, people who previously had NO understanding of what puppy chow was, were now correcting me when I introduced my snack saying, “Puppy chow? Don’t you mean Muddy Buddies?” (Oh, the marketing genius of corporate advertising).

Midwesterners and some Southerners tend to use “Puppy Chow” as the common name since this is where this treat has been most prevalent for past decades. Muddy Buddies, however, is known nationwide (Thanks General Mills) and is likely a more widely accepted name. 

Still, I cling to the name I have always known and loved and even General Mills acknowledges “Puppy Chow” as a legitimate name. As quoted from their official website: “Another popular name for this favorite mix is “puppy food.” Chow down; it’s doggone good!”

Cute pun, but they still didn’t get it quite right, it’s puppy CHOW. Who would actually want to eat something called “puppy food?!” 

Whatever you choose to call it, just make sure you make enough for the masses because this snack disappears quickly at parties!

Happy snacking and enjoy sharing this snack with those you love!



  • 1 bag (12oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cups peanut butter (or nut butter)
  • 1 box rice cereal squares (such as Chex or Crispix)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 clean garbage bag (paper or plastic)


  1. Place the peanut butter (nut butter) in the bottom of the bowl and pour chocolate chips on top – this will prevent the chocolate from burning. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring until melted. (Double boiler can be used in place of microwave).
  2. Stir the mixture together until smooth.
  3. Place cereal in garbage bag. Pour melted chocolate/peanut butter onto the cereal and shake the bag until all the squares are evenly coated.
  4. Add the powdered sugar and toss to coat.

Eat, share, enjoy!


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Natalie Stamey
A licensed Realtor® who serves clients in the state of Virginia, Natalie is a Minnesota native whose nomadic ways led her to live in California, where she met her Navy husband. They married in 2010, and together they have been logging military moves and travel miles! Natalie recently returned to America after living in Japan for several years. While there, she ran a marathon, cheated death while climbing Mount Fuji and gave birth to her first child, a sweet baby girl. Her professional background spans more than 10 years serving in leadership roles in communications and for nonprofit organizations. As an avid runner, Natalie is passionate about personal fitness and believes the best way to explore a new city is by running its streets. She is excited to share her perspectives with readers at Military Moms Blog!