No, not dog food – it’s puppy chow! And it’s seasonally on trend – it’s pumpkin puppy chow. Or muddy buddies. It’s not so important to me what you call it. And if you’ve never had it before it’s a delicious sweet snack. Plus, it’s beyond easy to make and when it’s done you’ll want to eat it by the fistful.
I think because of backyard barbecues summer is billed as the time of year when people get together to eat. But, actually in my experience I get together more with people during autumn. Summer everyone’s busy trying to get outside or going on holiday. Autumn, the weather starts to get cold, it gets darker earlier, and people are home and invite each other over to stay inside to hang out. And when you’re hanging out indoors, you’re going to snack.
A big tub of puppy chow reminds me of lots of autumn get-togethers with family and friends. It reminds me of my Titi Lisa who often brought it to family gatherings like Thanksgiving or Christmas. Or it reminds me of my friend Jess who would bring it for the annual cabin weekend trip that we had with our friends every October. And last Sunday, Ryan and I went to our friends Adam and Angie’s house to watch American football, and I thought yeah it would be delicious here too.
In the US puppy chow is made with Chex cereal. Here in the UK, I used a similar cereal called Shreddies. I found the Shreddies to be a little more thick, crunchy, with a stronger wheat flavor, yet still just as good. So you start with something fairly healthy like wheat cereal, and then you cover it in chocolate, pumpkin, spices, and powdered sugar. It’s incredible. In addition to being crazy simple, this recipe makes a ton so you can share it with everyone you know.
And my recommendation is definitely to share it. These are best eaten the day you make them. Although they last, I find the longer they sit then the more likely the cereal is to lose its crunch. But they’ll go quick, because as I said it’s so easy to eat these by the fistful. Finally, if you’re interested in other puppy chow versions check out the puppy chow archives from Sally’s Baking Addiction. She has some great flavor combinations.
Adapted from Land O’Lakes.
Messy level: It is possible to do this neatly. It really is. However, I’m going to give it a high spoon rating just because there’s so much room for mess. You have to pour the chocolate over the cereal and then mix it until everything is coated – and sometimes everything means you and your hands. Then you transfer this all to a bag and coat it with powdered sugar. That can also get everywhere. If you’re patient and careful it’s a one spoon recipe, if you’re tired and in a rush it can be three spoons messy no problem.
- ½ cup/ 115 grams butter
- 12 oz/ 340 grams chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate, but you could use semi sweet too)
- ½ cup /115 grams pumpkin puree
- 1 13.5oz box / about 9 cups/about 1 500 gram box of square rice cereal like Chex or Shreddies
- 2½ - 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 large resealable plastic food bag (about 1 gallon size or larger)
- *Alternatively you could use 2½ teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice instead of the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
- Melt the butter and chocolate in a medium sized saucepan over low heat. Stir regularly until the mixture is smooth.
- Add the pumpkin puree and continue heating. Stir constantly until it is smooth. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Put the cereal in a very large bowl or tub. Pour the chocolate mixture over the cereal. Stir until everything is coated.
- Transfer the chocolate coated cereal to the plastic bag. Pour 2½ cups of the powdered sugar into the bag. Close the bag and shake until the powder evenly coats the cereal. If you feel like the cereal isn't sufficiently coated then add the last ½ cup of powdered sugar.
- Pour into a serving bowl and share with friends.