A coworker of my mother’s gave her a bag of puppy chow as a holiday gift years ago, and my family and I have been hooked ever since.

This stuff is totally snacky and totally addictive. It’s awesome party food because it’s easy to whip up a big batch for a crowd, and people always love it. Over time I’ve experimented a bit with different chocolate: peanut butter: margarine ratios and this is the version I like best. And once you’ve tasted it the regular way, try mixing up the cereal; any kind of puffy, crunchy corn or rice cereal will work, and give you a slightly different tactile experience. While you’re at it, different nut butters would taste great as well — try sunflower, almond, hazelnut or pecan butter (if your pants are lined with $20s).

Update: Most puppy chow you’ve encountered was likely made with creamy, sweetened peanut butter. That said, I’ve made this recipe with both sweetened peanut butter and a variety of unsweetened, natural nut butters, and I think it’s great both ways. If you’re wary of extremely sweet foods, I really recommend trying this recipe with natural nut butter (and using the smallest recommended amount of powdered sugar)! Everything is still coated in powdered sugar, so I still find it plenty sweet.

Puppy Chow
 
Ingredients
  • 14 oz crispy corn and rice cereal*
  • 1¾ c vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 c peanut butter
  • ⅓ c vegan margarine
  • up to 1 lb powdered sugar (start with 3 cups)
  • large brown paper bag
Instructions
  1. Pour cereal into a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a covered microwavable dish, melt together chocolate, peanut butter, and margarine.
  3. Mix until smooth; pour over cereal.
  4. Toss gently to incorporate.
  5. Pour coated cereal into a paper grocery bag, and pour 3 cups powdered sugar on top.
  6. Fold down the top of the bag tightly (so you aren’t huffing powdered sugar fumes) and shake hard for a couple of minutes so that the cereal becomes evenly coated.
  7. Check your work; if you want your puppy chow to be whiter, add more powdered sugar, close bag, and shake again.
  8. Pour into a baking dish and let cool.
  9. Store in an air-tight container.
Notes
*That’s cereal made with both corn and rice. Alternatively, feel free to make it with rice squares or corn squares or a combination of the two — or whatever else floats your boat!