Although there isn’t necessarily anything Christmasy about puppy chow, it’s always been something I’ve loved to make around the holiday season. With its each sugary, bite-size morsel, puppy chow is a fun treat to indulge with in moderation.

Ingredients for two meals:

•  9 cups of Chex cereal
•  1 cup of milk chocolate chips
•  1/2 cup of melted smooth peanut butter
•  1/4 cup of melted butter
•  1 teaspoon of vanilla (optional)
•  1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar

Keep in mind that you certainly do not need Chex-brand cereal for this recipe. I always go for a cheaper knock-off version of Chex cereal. One less pricey alternative is called “Crispy Hexagons,” which I think is an awesome name for a breakfast cereal.

For a different variation, try adding salted pretzels to the mix. The salty taste of the pretzels goes really well with the chocolate flavor, similarly to the M&Ms with pretzels in them.

1.  In one large bowl, pour the box of Chex cereal.
2.  In a separate container, add the butter, chocolate and peanut butter in a microwavable container and microwave for one minute on high. Stir the mixture thoroughly. Then microwave for another 40 seconds.
3. Pour the chocolate-peanut butter mix over the Chex cereal and stir until the cereal is thoroughly covered. Try to avoid crushing the cereal as much as you can.
4.  Pour the chocolate-covered cereal into two separate 2-gallon zip-lock bags, each with half a cup of powdered sugar and shake for about a minute.
5.  Serve one bag while it’s still warm and refrigerate the other bag for later. Some prefer the snack still warm, while others prefer it cold.

Interestingly, this chocolately-peanut buttery snack goes by a lot of different names: muddy buddies (the name for the Chex-brand snack), monkey munch and sweet minglers (the Cripsix snack). But I’ve always known it as puppy chow.

The recipe above the most basic version of the recipe. I mentioned the variation with salted pretzels already, but there are so many others. Cookies and cream, salted peanut, peppermint and even cupcake puppy chow! Stay tuned for another variation later down the road.

This piece is one in a series of Meatless Monday recipes. Try this recipe and tell me about your favorite variation in the comment section below!  And if you’d like to request or submit a recipe, visit our contact page