This simple twist on classic puppy chow combines the flavor of your favorite brownies and Chex cereal to create sweet, salty, and crunchy brownie puppy chow.
This post contains affiliate links. Read the disclosure policy.
Table of Contents
- About Brownie Puppy Chow
- But wait, what is puppy chow?
- What are the other names for puppy chow?
- What’s in brownie puppy chow?
- Do you need to bake the BROWNIE MIX?
- Can you use out of date brownie mix?
- What brownie mix should you use?
- What type of chocolate should you use?
- What can you add to puppy chow?
- How long is puppy chow good for?
- Can you make puppy chow ahead of time?
- Can you freeze puppy chow?
- Notes & tips for puppy chow recipe variations like this
- More puppy chow recipes
- How to make brownie puppy chow
- Recipe Details
About Brownie Puppy Chow
Whatever you call this fun snack, one of the best things about it is that there are countless puppy chow recipe variations (or muddy buddy recipe variations, if that’s what you grew up calling it) to choose from.
And, you guys, this recipe has to be my favorite version yet.
Brownie puppy chow takes everything that’s great about the original (in all it’s sweet & crunchy) and taps into the richness of a classic brownie. Plus, if you’re a fan of trying new things to make with brownie mix, this treat is worthy of a whole box OR a great way to use up some leftover mix!
But wait, what is puppy chow?
Despite the fun-sounding name, this recipe isn’t for the dogs – it’s for anyone who loves a sweet and crunchy treat with the slightest hint of salt. Some regions of the United States also call this treat muddy buddies or even monkey bunch.
Ultimately, “puppy chow” refers to any recipe made with Chex cereal that’s been coated in various sweet candies and sugars. It has roots in the central US and gets its name for resembling puppy chow – just for humans.
And no matter what flavor of puppy chow you’re making, you’ll ultimately have three types of ingredients:
- Chex cereal
- Something that’s tacky, like melted chocolate.
- Something that’s powdery, like sugar or dry cake mix.
And as far as instructions, you’ll usually follow the same three steps:
- Coat the Chex cereal with the tacky ingredients.
- Toss the coated Chex cereal in the dry ingredients.
- Let the finished puppy chow cool and harden.
What are the other names for puppy chow?
Depending on where you’re from, you might have learned to call this sweet-and-crunchy treat by another name. Here are some of the most popular:
- Monkey Munch
- Muddy Buddies
- Muddy Munch
- Reindeer Chow
What’s in brownie puppy chow?
In order to make this brownie spin on classic puppy chow, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Chex cereal – The light and crispy cereal that forms the “base” of any puppy chow recipe.
- Milk chocolate chips – Melted until smooth and coated over the Chex cereal. You can use an equal portion of any type of chocolate that you’d prefer.
- Creamy peanut butter – Another classic puppy chow ingredient, this adds delicious creaminess and nutty flavor to the melted chocolate. Creamy peanut butter is recommended for a smooth, even finish on the Chex. Also, this recipe has not been tested with natural peanut butter, so the “big brands” like Skippy or Jiff are the only ones I can recommend using.
- Dry brownie mix – The star of the show! Once the Chex cereal has been coated in chocolate, the brownie mix is dusted on top as a coating. Feel free to use any type of brownie mix that you’d like, but try to stick to ones that don’t include mix-ins like walnuts or chocolate chips. You can always mix those in separately once the puppy chow has been prepared.
Do you need to bake the BROWNIE MIX?
Although it’s rare to become ill from consuming flour, it is considered a raw ingredient, so for proper food safety, the brownie mix should be cooked before consumption because it includes flour.
To bake the brownie mix: Spread the brownie mix out on a baking sheet and bake it for five minutes at 350 degrees F.
Can you use out of date brownie mix?
If you’re anything like me, recipes like this strike you on days when you don’t want to leave the house and you’re raiding your cabinets for options. And, inevitably, you’re going to run across something that looks fine but has a date that’s long since passed.
So, when it comes to expired brownie mix, what do you do? Can you use it or not?
First off, make sure that the brownie mix has been properly stored. This means that it’s been in a cool, dry place, and that either the seal is still intact or that it’s been stored in a sealed container since it was opened.
Once you confirm the storage, check the date printed on the package. Brownie mix is typically good four to five months beyond the “best by” date.
If you have a product that’s older than this, I would not recommend using it for something like a dip. If you’d like to read more about the concerns of expired brownie mix, check out this article. It’s about cake mix, but the same concepts would also apply to brownie mix.
What brownie mix should you use?
For the dry brownie mix, I used Betty Crocker Milk Chocolate Brownie Mix, simply because I tend to like the flavor. However, there are plenty of brownie mixes to pick from – choose your favorite brand and brownie flavor (or even use a homemade mix!)
What type of chocolate should you use?
There are many different brands of chocolate chips – even some made by popular candy companies – but from my experience, the best chocolate for baking, fudges, or truffles is Ghirardelli. It consistently performs well while baking, has a great texture (never chalky), and has a delicious flavor. This brand is a little more expensive, but trust me, you’ll appreciate the flavor and consistency you’ll get from the premium quality.
What can you add to puppy chow?
Puppy chow is always good all by itself, but sometimes it’s fun to jazz it up with sweet candies or a salty crunch. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Buttery popcorn
- Other types of M&M’s, such as peanut, peanut butter, mint, butterscotch, etc
- Reese’s Pieces
- Milk Duds
- Mini Rolo’s
- Chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, etc
- Caramel popcorn
- Kettle corn
- Junior Mints
- Cracker Jacks, Crunch ‘n Munch, or Buncha Crunch
- Peanuts, any type
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites
- Pretzels or chocolate-covered pretzels
- Mini marshmallows or dehydrated mini marshmallows
- Other types of cereal, like Cheerios, Corn Flakes, etc
How long is puppy chow good for?
Once made, cooled, and stored in a sealed container, puppy chow will remain good at room temperature for up to one to two weeks.
Can you make puppy chow ahead of time?
Yes, you totally can! Because it can last up to two weeks, it’s great for making in batches for parties or giving away as gifts.
Can you freeze puppy chow?
Yes, you totally can!
Once prepared and set, puppy chow can be stored in a sealed container or freezer bag for up to two months. You can either thaw it before eating or eat it straight from the freezer like a frosty treat.
Notes & tips for puppy chow recipe variations like this
- When making this recipe, you’ll need a big mixing bowl so you have enough room to maneuver and stir. I own a 13 quart mixing bowl for this very reason.
- Many recipes for puppy chow call for vanilla extract, but I didn’t feel it was needed in this case; the brownie mix holds the flavor up pretty well. That being said, if you’d still like to add vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon should be plenty. Quickly mix it in after the chocolate and peanut butter has been melted.
More puppy chow recipes
How to make brownie puppy chow
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 1 – In a microwave-safe bowl, add the chocolate chips and peanut butter. Melt them in the microwave, then mix together until nice and smooth.
Step 2 – Add the Chex cereal to a large mixing bowl (I like using a 13-quart mixing bowl), then pour the melted chocolate mixture on top. Use a spatula to gently toss to mix until all the cereal is coated. Tip: while mixing, dig under the cereal, then pull up.
Step 3 – Add dry brownie mix to a ZipLoc bag. Working in batches, scoop in a portion of the coated Chex cereal, seal the bag, then shake to coat the cereal in powdered sugar. Repeat this step until all the puppy chow is coated.
Step 4 – Spread the puppy chow out on a flat surface (like a baking sheet) and allow it to cool, dry, and set.
Step 5 – Serve and enjoy!
Brownie Puppy Chow
- Food Safety Step: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread brownie mix out on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Allow brownie mix to cool completely before using.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, add milk chocolate chips and peanut butter. Heat in microwave for 1 minute, then stir. Continue to heat in microwave for 30 second intervals until chocolate chips are soft. Using a whisk or a fork, stir chocolate and peanut butter until smooth.2 cups milk chocolate chips, 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- Add Chex cereal to a 13 quart mixing bowl. Pour chocolate-peanut butter mixture on top and gently stir with a spatula until all Chex cereal is coated. Set bowl aside.9 cups Chex cereal
- Add dry brownie mix to a Ziploc bag. Working in batches (about 1-2 cups at a time), add coated Chex cereal to bag with brownie mix, seal or twist top of bag closed, and then shake bag until Chex cereal is coated with brownie mix. Remove finished brownie puppy chow and spread out on prepared baking sheet. Repeat step until all puppy chow is made. When finished, discard plastic bag and any dry brownie mix that remains inside.3 cups dry brownie mix
- Let puppy chow cool, dry, and set, about 1 hour.
- Serve immediately.
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.