I am blessed in that I have a written record of the day I learned of the existence of Muddy Buddies, a.k.a. Puppy Chow. It happened right here on The Takeout, a few weeks after I’d joined the staff. We were conducting a fantasy food draft all about the best football party snacks, and after the nachos and wings had been claimed, Puppy Chow made its appearance:
Kate Bernot (former managing editor): Okay, for my final round pick, since we have nothing sweet on here: puppy chow. A friend brought this to a Super Bowl party last year and we devoured it.
Aimee Levitt (former associate editor): That is so old school!
Allison: What the hell is puppy chow? I have heard of this but never had it. Is it Chex mix?
Kate: Chex, yep, with peanut butter and powdered sugar and chocolate The crunchy texture (plus peanut butter and sugar) is so addictive. One of those things you can eat a gallon of without realizing.
I found myself at once both salivating and filling with rage that I’d lived in the dark for so long. Peanut butter is one of of my favorite foods on earth (I eat it just about every day), and so is chocolate, and yet I’d never tasted this most simple of delights? That day, my life was changed, and I got to share it with all of you. What a special moment for all of us.
One night in the not-so-distant past I was baked and eating a jar of cookie butter with a soup spoon, and thought “What if the cookies were Muddy Buddies?” There was a knock on the door, and when I opened it someone was standing there with a Nobel Prize.
You can use Chex in this recipe if you want to stay true to the spirit of Muddy Buddies, but since you’ll be pulverizing it into oblivion, any type of rice cereal will work just fine.
- 1½ cups pulverized rice cereal
- 2/3 cup evaporated milk
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 Tbsp. Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup corn syrup
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
Pour the evaporated milk into a food processor with the Chex crumbs and let sit for 5 minutes. Pulse until smooth, then add remaining ingredients and continue pulsing until you’ve reached your desired texture. Give the Muddy Buddy Butter a taste, adding more peanut butter, chocolate, salt, or sweetener as you see fit. (Everyone’s got their own preferences, and I encourage you to make this recipe your own.)