Reindeer Chow

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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!!

Overhead view of reindeer chow in a box

Festive Recipe for Reindeer Chow 

If you need a ridiculously easy, no-bake dessert or snack for a party, Christmas cookie exchange, or just have a spur of the moment craving for chocolate and peanut butter, or a salty-and-sweet treat, this fun and festive Reindeer Chow recipe is a perfect recipe that’s ready in 15 minutes.

Reindeer Chow (aka Reindeer Food or Reindeer Mix) is a holiday twist on classic Muddy Buddies, which are made with Chex cereal, melted chocolate, and peanut butter, and tossed in confectioners’ sugar. From there I added pretzel twists, holiday sprinkles, and red and green M&M’s.

I gave nearly the entire batch to some family friends and I got a text that said, “I hate you for the Reindeer Chow because every time I walk past my kitchen, I have to have some. It’s so delicious and addicting.”

Close up view of reindeer chow in a box

Reindeer Chow Ingredients 

What makes this recipe so wonderful (and so dangerous!) is that it comes together quickly with minimal ingredients. To make this reindeer snack mix, you’ll need the following ingredients: 

  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Unsalted butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt
  • Chocolate Chex
  • Pretzel twists
  • Powdered sugar
  • Holiday M&M’s 
  • Holiday sprinkles

Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.

Loaded reindeer food in a box

How to Make Reindeer Chow

Making reindeer puppy chow at home is so simple, but the results are incredibly festive and fun! Here’s an overview of how the recipe for reindeer mix is made: 

  1. Melt the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter on the stove.
  2. Once melted, stir in the vanilla.
  3. Add the Chex and pretzels to a very large bowl and pour the chocolate mixture over top.
  4. Give it a good stir to disperse the chocolate mixture, then add the confectioners’ sugar.
  5. Once the reindeer Chex mix has been thoroughly mixed and is coated in the confectioners’ sugar, stir in the holiday M&M’s and sprinkles. 

Tips for Making Reindeer Chow

This reindeer snack mix recipe makes a huge quantity — about 2 pounds, although I did not weigh it. You’ve got a box of Chex, a pound of M&M’s, chocolate, peanut butter, butter, sprinkles, and pretzels, so that’s why it makes two pounds worth, but that is a lot to accommodate in one bowl.

So I recommend starting the recipe in the biggest bowl you have. Then, after adding the confectioners’ sugar, transfer everything into a jumbo (2.5-gallon) plastic storage bag. You can shake the sugar around easier, more effectively, and unless you have a ridiculously ginormous bowl, it will become hard to accommodate all the ingredients.

If you’re not making the Reindeer Chow for Christmas, you can easily omit the holiday sprinkles and red and green M&M’s. Or use seasonally appropriate colors such as red and white for Valentine’s Day, pastel for Easter, and so forth.

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&Ms, and sprinkles make this dessert snack mix totally IRRESISTIBLE!!

Recipe FAQs

What Does reindeer chow taste like?

It’s like Muddy Buddies, but better! The melted chocolate and peanut butter seeps into the holes of the Chex and the confectioners’ sugar coats every nook and cranny for a snack mix that’s crunchy, yet the crunch is tempered from being coated in chocolate-peanut butter and coated in sugar.

There are occasionally small clusters of cereal that are bonded together by a little too much chocolate-peanut butter with extra sugar that works into the nooks and crannies. Those clusters are like little gems and are so good.

The pretzels are really crucial to add some saltiness to an otherwise sweet dessert/snack mix. It’s the type of snack that one handful can turn into five, quickly and easily. It’s very addicting stuff.

Can I Add Other Mix-Ins to the reindeer Chex mix?

Yes, you can get creative with this Christmas treat and add mini peanut butter cups, other favorite candy bars diced into pieces, salted nuts, or whatever you’re craving. Think of this Reindeer Chow as a smorgasbord snack mix and it all works together.

Can I Use a Different Nut Butter? 

Absolutely! If you have a peanut allergy in your family, feel free to swap out the peanut butter with almond butter or another nut or seed butter altogether. 

Can I use crunchy peanut butter?

I suppose you could, and since there are plenty of other crispy-crunchy elements in the recipe, such as the pretzels and cereal, I don’t think anyone would mine extra bits of peanuts in the Reindeer mix.

Storage Instructions

The Reindeer Chow recipe makes great hostess gifts and works well in cookie exchanges in decorative bags because it keeps fresh for a long time. 

I have stored it at room temperature for about a month in an airtight container and it was totally fine. I have also stored it in the fridge for even longer, like two months. (Accidentally forgot about it but it was fine!)

As always, use your best judgment, but I am just sharing my personal findings about how long it will keep.

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!!

Recipe Variations to Try

Loaded reindeer Chex mix is so quick and easy to assemble, and you can customize the recipe so many different ways!

  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips: You can use milk, white, or dark chocolate chips instead.
  • Peanut butter: Can be replaced with another nut or seed butter.
  • Butter: Swap with margarine or dairy-free butter if needed.
  • Chocolate Chex: Any kind of Chex cereal will work.
  • Pretzel twists: Can be swapped with mini pretzel sticks.
  • M&M’s: Use any color you like to suit any holiday. Or, replace them with chocolate chips if you’re out of M&M’s.
  • Sprinkles: Any color and shape may be used.
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!!

Recipe Video Tutorial

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4.52 from 47 votes

Reindeer Chow

By Averie Sunshine
This reindeer chow is a holiday twist on classic Muddy Buddie. EASY, ready in 15 minutes, and perfect for hostess gifts or cookie exchanges!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2 pounds
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Ingredients  

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • heaping 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • one 12.8-ounce box Chocolate Chex, other varieties of Chex may be substituted if necessary
  • 4 cups small pretzel twists, divided
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 one-pound bag Holiday M&M's
  • 1 cup holiday sprinkles, or to taste

Instructions 

  • To a medium saucepan, add the chocolate chips, peanut butter, butter, and heat over medium-low heat to melt, stir very frequently until smooth and combined.
  • Remove from the heat, add the vanilla salt, and stir to combine; set aside.
  • To a very large bowl, add the Chex, 1 cup pretzels, pour the chocolate-peanut butter mixture over the top, and stir very well to combine.
  • Add the confectioners’ sugar and stir to combine. At this point I recommend transferring everything into a jumbo (2.5-gallon) plastic storage bag. You can shake the sugar around easier, more effectively, and unless you have a ginormous bowl, it will become hard to accommodate the remaining ingredients.
  • Add the remaining pretzels, M&M's, sprinkles, and shake or stir to combine. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Reindeer Chow will keep airtight at room temp for 1 month or in the fridge for at least 2 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 417kcal, Carbohydrates: 63g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 430mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 34g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made the Reindeer Chow and it is great! Made it to take to all our condo neighbors for Christmas. So pretty and colorful and best of all, delicious! Thank you for a recipe I am sure I will use again and again!

  2. 5 stars
    I made the Reindeer Chow and it is great! Made it to take to all our condo neighbors for Christmas. So pretty and colorful and best of all, delicious! Thank you for a recipe I am sure I will use again and again!

    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you will use this recipe again! I bet your condo neighbors are very grateful you stopped by :)

  3. 5 stars
    I can’t stop eating Muddy Buddies and it was the same with this. The sprinkles add an extra crunch. I made two batches for my girls to give away to their teachers for Christmas.

    1. Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad you made two batches to give as gifts, I’m sure everyone will be very appreciative!

  4. Your pictures are always just gorgeous. The colors are so vibrant it makes me want to make everything you post! Now I can’t decide between this and the new chocolate chip/M&M cookies. :))

    1. Thank you so much for the compliments! That’s one of the nicest things you can say because I try very hard to make my photography enticing enough that people want to make things. I’m sure whatever you choose will be delicious!

  5. 5 stars
    Oh no! No! No! I made this today (in about 20 minutes, I might add). It is SO delicious that I had to put it in the fridge (out of sight, out of mind?) I must give it away ASAP! My grandkids are going to think I’m the best Grammy ever! So good!

    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and for making it the day after I posted it! I know, it’s crazy good. I gave it all away (like 95%) because otherwise I would have eaten all 100% myself. You are the best Grammy ever! :)