Loaded Christmas Puppy Chow — This fast, easy, no-bake holiday treat is LOADED with all the good stuff! Chocolate, peanut butter, sugar, M&Ms, peanut butter cups, and pretzels for a salty-sweet, crunchy, and addictive snack! Makes great little gifts because it keeps well and everyone LOVES it!
Table of Contents
- Puppy Chow … for Christmas!
- Ingredients in Christmas Puppy Chow
- How to Make Christmas Puppy Chow
- Christmas Puppy Chow Recipe Variations to Try
- Recipe FAQs
- Tips for the Best Loaded Christmas Puppy Chow
- How to Package Puppy Chow for Gifting
- Christmas Puppy Chow Recipe
- More No-Bake Christmas Treats:
Puppy Chow … for Christmas!
I can’t think of a better combination than peanut butter, chocolate, and sugar! Especially when you incorporate mini peanut butter cups, M&M’s, and pretzels to help lend a salty-sweet aspect to this super addictive no-bake Christmas treat.
If you’re not familiar with puppy chow (aka Muddy Buddies), classically speaking, it’s Chex cereal tossed in a mixture of melted chocolate and peanut butter, and then tossed in powdered sugar.
For my Christmas puppy chow recipe, I upped the ante to the classic with the various add-ins I used, like the M&M’s and peanut butter cups, and I also used Honey Nut Cheerios, too.
All those different textures and flavors help to make this a truly loaded snack. Best of all, puppy chow is no-bake, no-fuss, fast and easy, and makes great gifts.
Ingredients in Christmas Puppy Chow
For a peanut buttery holiday snack mix that everyone is going to adore, you’ll need to following common and easy to find fridge and pantry ingredients:
- Chex cereal (Corn, rice, or a combo)
- Cheerios (Honey Nut is preferred, but Regular Cheerios are fine)
- Creamy peanut butter
- Butter (use salted if you like a more salty-sweet taste)
- Chocolate chips or Ghirardelli melting wafers
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- Red and Green M&M’s
- Mini peanut butter cups
- Mini pretzels (I used twists, although rods are fine)
Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.
Can Puppy Chow Be Made Without Peanut Butter?
If you have a peanut allergy in your family or simply ran out of peanut butter, you’re welcome to use another nut or seed butter. If possible, I recommend using a traditional, no-stir nut butter. Likewise, use a creamy nut butter rather than a chunky one. Using another nut butter will result in a different flavor, but do what you’ve got to do!
How to Make Christmas Puppy Chow
When you’re busy and rushing here, there, and everywhere during the holiday season, I know that quick and easy no-bake Christmas recipes are just the ticket. Here’s an overview of how to make the Christmas muddy buddies:
- For this fast holiday puppy chow, simply do the following:
- Add the cereal to a large bowl.
- Add the peanut butter, butter, and chocolate chips or wafers to a microwave-safe bowl and heat until melted.
- Pour the chocolate peanut butter mixture over the cereal and stir.
- Add the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder to a large ziptop bag.
- Add the coated cereal to the bag, seal, and shake to coat evenly.
- Place on a large baking sheet to cool and set up.
- Add the M&M’s, peanut butter cups, pretzels, and stir to combine before serving.
Christmas Puppy Chow Recipe Variations to Try
There are so many ways to get creative with your Christmas puppy chow! For example:
- Incorporate Cornflakes as one of the cereals
- Add popcorn or caramel corn
- Use salted or honey roasted peanuts
- Mini versions of other candies are great, like Snickers, Milky Way, Rolos, or your favorites
- Rather than melting semi-sweet chocolate, use white chocolate instead
- Toss in unmelted milk, semi-sweet white, milk, butterscotch, or peanut butter chips
- Add red and green or holiday-themed sprinkles (check out my Reindeer Chow)
I like to use Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Melting Wafers for this holiday treat. However, you can use semi-sweet chocolate chips, too.
Melting wafers are great because they do melt so smoothly, effortlessly, and it’s difficult to scorch them in a microwave which can happen more easily with chocolate chips. Although when chocolate chips are melted in the presence of peanut butter and butter, that’s less likely to happen. Just keep an eye on it and stop to check and stir if you’re unsure.
You’re not going to have to worry about long term storage with your holiday-inspired puppy chow because no one can keep their hands off it! However, it does keep extremely well. It will easily keep airtight at room temp in a large sealed ziptop bag for 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 4 months. Family members of mine actually prefer it frozen, or nearly. It’s equally as delish.
Classic puppy chow got its name because, yes, it looks almost identical to dog food. A very glamorous reason, I know!
Yes! They’re the same treat but Muddy Buddies is now a registered trademark of Chex.
The Christmas chow lasts up to 2 weeks at room temperature, so you can make it well in advance of the holiday!
Tips for the Best Loaded Christmas Puppy Chow
Let the puppy chow cool down: Make sure to let the Christmas chow cool sufficiently before adding the M&M’s and peanut butter cups otherwise they will melt. Not necessarily horrible, but not the desired intention so make sure it’s cooled completely before adding them.
Mix and match ingredients as desired: Feel free to load up the holiday puppy chow with whatever chocolate candies, salty snacks, and add-ins you’d like.
Use a festive serving bowl: If you’re serving this for a holiday party, make sure to set it out in a festive Christmas serving bowl so it really pops!
How to Package Puppy Chow for Gifting
If you’re looking for an easy hostess gift, or a little parting gift to send with your guests after a Christmas party you host, Christmas muddy buddies are perfect.
Also for teachers, coaches, coworkers, friends and family, they will appreciate the homemade touch.
Pack it up in cute little cellophane or festive holiday bags, tie it off with ribbons, and it makes for an adorable presentation.
Pin This Recipe
Christmas Puppy Chow
- 3 cups Corn Chex*, See Notes
- 3 cups Rice Chex*, See Notes
- 2 cups Honey Nut Cheerios, Honey Nut is preferred but Regular Cheerios are fine
- ¾ cup smooth peanut butter**, See Notes
- ¼ cup butter, use salted if you like a more salty-sweet taste
- 1 ⅓ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or Ghirardelli melting wafers
- 1 ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoon unsweetened natural cocoa powder, such as Hershey's
- 10- ounce bag Red and Green M&Ms or similar
- 2 cups mini peanut butter cups
- 2 cups mini pretzels, I used twists, rods are fine
- To a large bowl add all the Chex, Cheerios, and stir to combine; set aside.
- To a medium, microwave-safe bowl, add the peanut butter, butter, chocolate chips or chocolate melting wafers, and heat for 30 seconds. Stop to check and stir until smooth. If needed, heat in 10-second bursts until mixture can be stirred smooth.
- Pour the melted chocolate mixture over the cereal and stir to combine; set aside.
- To a gallon-sized ziptop bag, add the confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder, and stir to combine.
- Add the coated cereal to the bag, seal, and shake well to combine.
- Transfer cereal to a large baking sheet in a flat layer and allow it to cool and set up. Tip - Make sure it cools well and completely before moving on, at least 30 minutes, or the add-ins in the next step will melt.
- Add the M&Ms, peanut butter cups, pretzels, and stir to combine.
- Serve in a festive Christmas serving bowl and store airtight at room temp for at least 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 4 months.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
©averiecooks.com. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
More No-Bake Christmas Treats:
12 Easy No-Bake Holiday Desserts – No time to bake? Here are 12 FAST and EASY no-bake recipes! Whether you want chocolate, peanut butter, cheesecake, bark, or truffles, these recipes have you covered!!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Stacks – Easy, no-bake treats that are a holiday favorite! They have it all: Salty, sweet, crunchy, and gooey with chocolate and peanut butter! Great for cookie exchanges or impromptu parties!
Chocolate-Covered Sponge Candy — A classic homemade Christmas candy that’s light and airy candy inside and chocolate-dipped on the outside. Easy to make! Great for cookie exchanges and hostess gifts because it keeps fresh for a long time!
Melt in Your Mouth Homemade Toffee — Irresistible, buttery, ADDICTIVE, and just melts in your mouth!! EASY and perfect for holiday parties, gift-giving, or cookie exchanges!!
Loaded Christmas Bark – This easy, no-bake chocolate bark is loaded with goodies! Oreos, M&M’s, peanuts, pretzels, and sprinkles! Great for holiday parties and cookie exchanges! Salty, sweet, and addictively good!
The Easiest Foolproof Fudge Recipe — Look no further than this recipe for the EASIEST and most FOOLPROOF fudge that takes less than 3 minutes to make!! Customize it with your favorite add-ins like cranberries and walnuts! Great for gifts and cookie exchanges!!
Buckeye Fudge – Easy, no-cook, no-fuss, foolproof fudge that’s ready in 1 hour! Dense, chewy and full of rich peanut butter flavor with a smooth, fudgy chocolate topping! It’s irresistible!
Reindeer Chow — A holiday twist on classic Muddy Buddies that’s EASY, ready in 15 minutes, and perfect for hostess gifts or cookie exchanges!! Chex, chocolate, peanut butter, pretzels, M&M’s, and sprinkles make this dessert snack mix totally IRRESISTIBLE!!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge – Rich and decadent chocolate fudge adorned with peanut butter swirls! Made in the microwave with just SIX ingredients, there’s no boiling or candy thermometers involved in this FAST and EASY recipe for PERFECT fudge every time!
White Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles — Fast, EASY, no-bake, and the BEST peanut butter truffles! A creamy peanut butter filling with a bit of texture from graham cracker crumbs, dipped in white chocolate (or milk or dark), and topped with sprinkles!