"You know who makes the best FILL IN THE BLANK?" is a question I hate hearing out of my husband's mouth. I am his personal chef. Everything I make has to be "the best." The answer is usually his childhood best friend's mom, one of his many aunts, or a random brother's girlfriend. Puppy chow of all things was one of those foods that someone else made that impressed him greatly. I was now having to beat a recipe I never even tried for myself. All I had to go off of were the qualities my husband described to make this puppy chow better than any other.
It looks as expectedly unappetizing as you would imagine for a dessert named after dog food.
13 C Chocolate Rice Chex Cereal (1 Family Size Box, and MUST USE CHOCOLATE CHEX)
2 C (heaping) chocolate chips
1 1/2 C peanut butter (convieniently 1 LB/16 ounce jar)
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
2 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 C powdered sugar
(See recipe notes for a smaller batch.)
Dump approximately 1/3 of chex cereal into very large mixing bowl.
Melt butter, chocolate chips, and peanut butter in a medium saucepan.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
Pour approximately 1/3 of chocolate mixture over the chex cereal.
Dump another 1/3 of chex cereal into mixing bowl, and then another 1/3 of chocolate mixture.
Repeat step above with last 1/3 of cereal and sauce.*
Gently stir to coat all cereal with chocolate. It is important to scrape the sides and turn up the cereal from the bottom to avoid crushing the cereal too much.
Allow to cool for 20-30 minutes. (I like to pop mine in the fridge.)
Grab another large mixing bowl and add approximately 1/3rd of the coated cereal.
Sprinkle in 1 to 1-1/3 cups of powdered sugar**. Gently mix, scraping from the sides down to the bottom to coat all the cereal evenly with powdered sugar.
Transfer another 1/3 of coated cereal to bowl; add 1 to 1-1/3 cup powdered sugar; stir.
Repeat with remaining portion.
*You want to complete steps 4-6 quickly. The more melty your chocolate/peanut butter mixture is, the better it melts into the centers of the chex squares.
**2/3 cup powdered sugar if making the half-batch version.
You MUST use chocolate Chex cereal. Starting with half of your squares already tasting chocolatey takes this up a notch.
I do not keep Chex cereal on hand, and when I do make puppy chow I want a large batch. That is why my base recipe is based on a whole family-sized box. You can easily halve this recipe as listed below.
Half Batch Measurements:
- 6-7 C chocolate Chex cereal (err on the side of less for more densely coated cereal)
- 1 heaping cup chocolate chips,
- 3/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar
Working in thirds helps coat the Chex cereal more evenly and makes it more manageable to put this recipe together. There is no dissapointing puppy chow when you follow this recipe to a "T."