Peppermint muddy buddies made without peanut butter are perfect for the holiday season! They're melt-in-your-mouth delicious, completely gluten-free, and made from simple ingredients. The best Holiday Treat!
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Ok so let's first decide if this delicious recipe is called "muddy buddies" or "puppy chow." I grew up calling these chocolate cereal treats "puppy chow," but recently I've been told it's "muddy buddies." Despite the different names, it is one of my favorite treats and has a delicious peppermint flavor from the bits of candy canes. Well, I'll use them interchangeably, but remember this recipe is NOT FOR DOGS. Some people on social media thought puppy chow was actually for dogs, so I felt the need to clarify this is not dog food. I think this recipe is also called reindeer chow, and it makes a delicious snack.
Check out more of my holiday recipes on my blog!
Puppy Chow Recipe Without Peanut Butter
Although a classic puppy chow recipe is made with peanut butter, it is possible to make a puppy chow recipe without peanut butter. Use almond butter, sunflower seed butter, or cashew butter instead of peanut butter. If you have a peanut allergy, these substitutions are great. If you have nut allergies, try using sunflower seed butter or tahini for a delicious treat.
Puppy Chow vs Muddy Buddies
There is no difference between puppy chow and muddy buddies. In the Midwest, this recipe is most likely called puppy chow. Whatever you call it, these chocolate and nut butter (peanut butter) treats are delicious and drenched in powdered sugar. Did I mention this Christmas puppy chow recipe is a no bake dessert? Yum!
How to Crush Peppermint
To crush peppermint, fill a plastic ziplock bag with unwrapped candy canes and use a heavy saucepan or meat mallet to gently crush the candy canes. It's that easy! You can also use a food processor and pulse the candy canes a few times. Then, add it to the chocolate-coated cereal.
- Rice Chex: since this is a gluten-free muddy buddies recipe, I recommend using gluten-free Rice Chex cereal from General Mills.
- Nut butter: you can use peanut butter, almond butter, or sunflower butter for peppermint muddy buddies. I recommend using peanut butter for a classic recipe, but almond butter works just as well.
- Powdered Sugar: you need powdered sugar for that classic melt-in-your-mouth taste that you get from puppy chow. It is also called confectioners' sugar. Do not skip this ingredient!
- Candy Canes: I use crushed candy canes to give the puppy chow some holiday cheer. You may also use a different peppermint candy. instead.
- Peppermint extract: add peppermint extract to the melted chocolate mixture before melting it for that delicious peppermint flavor. Peppermint is my favorite holiday flavor, so it pairs perfectly with this muddy buddy recipe. You may also replace this with vanilla extract.
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips: use any variation of chocolate like dark chocolate or milk chocolate, but I prefer semi-sweet chocolate chips.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Peppermint Bark Puppy Chow
Combine nut butter, chocolate chips, and one teaspoon peppermint extract in a microwave-safe bowl.
Mix the melted chocolate mixture and rice chex together in a large mixing bowl. Add crushed candy cane pieces to the cereal mixture.
Coat the mixture in powdered sugar until all the cereal pieces are covered.
- Peppermint Bark - add 1 cup of crushed peppermint bark to the muddy buddies for an extra chocolate boost. Omit the candy canes.
- Peppermint baking chips - use peppermint baking chips instead of chocolate chips for the perfect treat for holiday parties. You may also want to use white chocolate chips instead.
See this spicy version of this recipe on my website! (placeholder for in-content link)
- Glass mixing bowl set - perfect to have on hand for this recipe.
- Meat mallet - to crush the candy canes.
- Spatula - for stirring and combining.
Store the puppy chow at room temperature in an airtight container for up to five days. Muddy buddies aren't good when frozen.
Make sure to coat cereal in the chocolate mixture so the powdered sugar will stick.
Peppermint Muddy Buddies (without peanut butter)
- Meat mallet
- 6 cups of chex cereal
- ½ cup nut butter
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- Combine nut butter, chocolate chips, and peppermint extract in a microwave-safe bowl.
- Melt the mixture in the microwave for two minutes. Stir until smooth.
- Mix the melted chocolate mixture and rice chex together in a large bowl. Add crushed candy cane pieces to the cereal mixture.
- Coat the mixture in powdered sugar until all the cereal pieces are covered.
Although not technically candy, muddy buddies are a delicious holiday treat.
Tried this recipe? Please leave a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page. You can also stay in touch with me through social media by following me on Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok or by subscribing to my newsletter.
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