Puppy chow recipe with Valentine's Day mix-ins
Appetizers, Desserts

Valentine’s Day Puppy Chow Recipe

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Last updated on October 12th, 2021 at 03:05 pm

Puppy chow is another dish with multiple names, just like german pancakes. Muddy buddies. Monkey munch. Muddy munch. But we’ll call this our puppy chow recipe. But we’ll Valentine’s it up for good measure.

Full bowl of puppy chow, ready to eat

History has already shown peanut butter and chocolate are an amazing combo. Whoever had the idea to add cereal for crunch and then coat it with even more powdered sugar… wow. Good on you. This turns it into a perfect combination of salty, sweet, crunchy, chocolatey, eat-it-with-your-hands goodness.

Besides that it came about as a homemade snack in the Midwest USA somewhere, not much is known exactly about the history of this recipe. There are tons of variations out there in the wild, but this is the one my wife and I use – though usually without all of the added red and pink candies.

This puppy chow recipe is great for parties and group gatherings (when we can have those again), as well as for general snacking. It is super easy to make, relatively inexpensive, and can be made in quite large batches. No wonder it became a hit as a treat for a crowd.

Mix-Ins for Puppy Chow

Muddy buddies are great on their own. I have a brother-in-law who loves it so much that we’ve given him batches of puppy chow as birthday and Christmas presents before. And I’m not sure that he willingly shared any of it. And you can totally make this by leaving out the mix-ins and using just the Chex, powdered sugar, chocolate, peanut butter, butter, and vanilla.

Marshmallows and M&M's mixed into the puppy chow recipe

But that can also be the most fun part of this puppy chow recipe – deciding what you think would go best in the mix. What we’ve gathered here are the perfect mix-ins to give it a Valentine’s Day feel. Including a punch of color and flavor from some freeze-dried strawberries. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t mix it up however you like. Below are some possibilities to get the juices flowing. Let your creativity go wild.

Mix-in options:

  • M&M’s – any of their many varieties
  • Pretzel Sticks
  • Butterfinger pieces
  • Marshmallows
  • Peanuts
  • Reese’s Pieces
  • Frosted Cheerios
  • Cinnamon Toast Crunch

Whichever way you mix it, it will turn out delicious. So get ready for powder-covered fingers and dig in to this puppy chow.

Valentine’s Day Puppy Chow Recipe

Recipe by Marc PetersonCourse: DessertDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time



Salty, sweet, crunchy, chocolatey, eat-it-with-your-hands puppy chow recipe


  • 1 and 1/2 cups freeze-dried strawberries

  • 3 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided

  • 9 cups Rice Chex, divided

  • 1 and 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate

  • 3/4 cup peanut butter

  • 5 tablespoons butter

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

  • 1 cup mini marshmallows

  • 1 and 1/2 cups red, pink, and white M&M’s


  • Pulse the freeze-dried strawberries in a food processor until they become a fine powder
  • Add 1 and 1/2 cups of powdered sugar to the food processor and blend until fully combined into a light-pink sugar, then set aside
  • Evenly divide the rice Chex into two large mixing bowls
  • Combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and butter in a microwave-safe bowl
  • Melt the chocolate mixture on high for 1 minute in the microwave, stirring after it finishes
  • Melt it again for 30 seconds in the microwave, repeating until it is fully melted
  • Add the vanilla to the chocolate mix and stir to combine
  • Pour about half of the melted chocolate mix over one of the bowls of Chex, then set the chocolate aside
  • Stir the Chex and chocolate to combine
  • Mix in two cups of powdered sugar, stirring until everything is fully coated
  • Reheat the remaining chocolate mix for 30 seconds in the microwave if needed – it needs to be able to pour smoothly
  • Pour the remaining chocolate over the second bowl of Chex and stir to combine
  • Mix in the strawberry powdered sugar until the Chex are fully coated
  • Combine the marshmallows, M&M’s, and the white- and pink-covered Chex in one of the large mixing bowls until everything is evenly distributed


  • Store mixed puppy chow in an airtight container for up to a week – if it hasn’t already been eaten on day 1, that is

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