“We made dog food!” my 3-year old excitedly proclaimed to his teachers! Well… not exactly. To a 3-year old, I suppose Puppy Chow could easily be construed as dog food because of it’s name. But as he helped pour and shake and cover the crisp little squares of cereal with chocolate and peanut butter, he knew better.
I remember having Puppy Chow a few times as a kid, but it wasn’t until I made it with my mother-in-law that it really caught my attention. Why? She gave me the job of shaking the bag. I’m not sure how other families make their Puppy Chow, but my MIL makes it in a brown paper bag… and now I do too.
Maybe it was the bewilderment of making food in a paper bag. Maybe it was that I got to shake it (I do love to shake). Or maybe it was the sweet goodness that came out of the bag afterwards, but I thought this was awesome.
And now my kids do too! This is a perfect recipe to get cooking with kids.
We started by “measuring” our cereal out. Yes, I know the box is 12 ounces, just as the recipe states. But this gave little man extra practice with his pouring and the extra smiles it brought to his little face was worth the extra step.
As you can see, even the littlest ones can help! All the pouring and dumping of the cereal… hug hit!
And shaking the bag! Yes, the picture is blurry, but I just couldn’t let you miss the expression on this kid’s face! It was adorable! He seriously could’ve shaken the bag all afternoon! He just giggled and giggled. (Note: the paper bag does get very hot on the bottom after pouring in the butter, peanut butter, chocolate chip mixture. Make sure to handle with care so little hands don’t get burnt.)
So… why am I posting a recipe of something you can now conveniently buy pre-packaged at the grocery? One reason, is as a reminder of how fun cooking with kids can be. And secondly, because I’ve made the recipe a little less unhealthy. It’s hard to make anything with butter and sugar healthy, but I’m trying.
So we used my mother-in-laws recipe and then adapted it some… a little less butter, a little more powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar). You can play with the amount of powdered sugar too. You could start with just 1.5 cups of confectioner’s sugar, shake, and decide if you want it coated more. Somehow my batches never seem to get coated as well as my MIL’s so I upped the recipe to 3 cups.
Besides the fun of making this super quick snack, I love what you can do with it! Granted Puppy Chow is fantastic to eat on it’s own, but as the holidays are approaching think of all the fun ways you can jazz it up…
Halloween — This is the cutest and coolest themed mix like EVER! Seriously, check out this Halloween Mix made with Puppy chow, chocolate bats and candy corn! Adorbs, right?!
Thanksgiving — Add Reese’s Pieces to it for a great turkey day treat.
Christmas — Red and green M&Ms will make this quite a festive finger food for those holiday gathering.
Fourth of July — Add red and blue M&Ms and BOOM!, this snack is exploding with patriotism!
So get in the kitchen and get shakin’… literally!
- 11 cups Chex cereal (12 oz box)
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 3 cups confectioner's sugar
- Place cereal in paper bag.
- Melt peanut butter, butter, and chocolate chips. (Stovetop or microwave are both fine. Just make sure to keep stirring.)
- Pour mixture over cereal.
- Shake well.
- Add powdered confectioner's sugar to bag.
- Shake bag until cereal is covered in the sugar.
- Store in airtight container.
Happy shakin’ and happy eating!