Muddy Buddies (aka Puppy Chow) is another one of those super sweet desserts I remember eating as a kid. It’s so simple, easy to make, and combines three of my favorite things: chocolate, peanut butter, and sugar. Yes. the original recipe has loads of powdered sugar. I haven’t made original Muddy Buddies in ages as it’s tooth-achingly sweet and totally addictive!
I had a box of Chex cereal – a peanut butter flavored one that I bought on a whim during a major hunger strike at Target last week – that wasn’t going to get eaten (apparently I don’t like PB Chex), so I decided to whip up a quick batch of my own Muddy Buddies with ingredients that are a bit better for you. And, of course, I toned down on the powdered sugar coating by swapping some of the sugar with cocoa powder and arrowroot starch. The starch is flavorless while adding bulk to the necessary powder coating.
I’ve also used a smaller portion of fat – coconut oil – and opted for natural peanut butter instead of the oil and sugar-laden kind. If you prefer dark chocolate vs semi-sweet (which is what I used) you can make these with even less sugar! Choose whatever Chex cereal you’d like, and you’re on your way to an easy and delicious weeknight snack.
If you’ve never had Muddy Buddies before, then I promise you’re in for such an easy snack. You’ll basically coat the cereal with the melted chocolate, peanut butter, and oil and then toss it all in a mixture of powdered sugar, cocoa, and arrowroot. So. Simple. And you don’t even need to wait for it to set – you can dig in right away! Store the leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature, but I promise these won’t last long.
Some of the ingredients I like for this recipe:
Coconut oil replaces margarine or butter in this recipe and helps thin the chocolate peanut butter mixture. Feel free to use vegan butter instead!
Natural peanut butter adds that traditional peanut butter flavor without any of the added oils or sugar. For a nut free option, try using tahini or sunflower butter.
Arrowroot starch mixes with the powdered sugar to add volume to the powdered ingredients. It’s flavorless and makes for a great substitute in this recipe that traditionally calls for only powdered sugar.
Cocoa powder is another better-for-you alternative to the all-powdered sugar original recipe. It also adds a double chocolate element to this recipe, so feel free to use even more – replacing some/all of the starch – if you’d like!
Powdered sugar is necessary for that traditional, sweet Muddy Buddies flavor! If you opt for a powdered coconut sugar or sugar-free powdered “sugar” then the taste will be affected (and I cannot vouch for this).
- 6 cups Chex cereal
- 2/3 cup dairy-free chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (semi-sweet or dark)
- 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup arrowroot starch
- 1/4 cup cocoa or cacao powder
- Line a baking sheet (or a portion of your counter) with parchment paper, wax paper, or foil. In a large bowl, measure out 6 cups of Chex cereal and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift the powdered sugar, arrowroot starch, and cocoa powder. Whisk until totally combined and uniform in color; set aside.
- In a small bowl, melt together the chocolate, peanut butter, and coconut oil. If microwaving, heat in 30 second intervals, stirring between each one. Stir in the vanilla extract. Pour the chocolate mixture over the cereal and gently mix with a large spoon or spatula.
- In another large bowl, add the powdered sugar mixture and chocolate covered cereal. Cover the top with a lid or a flat object like a baking sheet or cutting board and shake the bowl until cereal is evenly coated with the powder.
- Pour Muddy Buddies onto your prepared baking sheet to set or eat right away! Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.
- I recommend using a clean bowl to shake the powdered sugar mixture with the chocolate covered cereal so the powder doesn't stick to the sides of a chocolate-y bowl.
- Recipe adapted from Chex
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 296 Total Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 210mg Carbohydrates: 44g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 21g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 6g