Serves a Crowd

Salted Dark Chocolate Puppy Chow

December 21, 2021
3 Ratings
Photo by Alpha Smoot
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Serves 10 to 14
Author Notes

If dark chocolate isn't your thing, feel free to substitute semisweet or milk chocolate chips. I used Justin's Classic Peanut Butter in this recipe, but you could use any nut butter you prefer. —Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm

Test Kitchen Notes

Sometimes there's nothing easier or more fun to make, especially with kids, as puppy chow. This recipe definitely serves a crowd, and there are no fancy ingredients or equipment to make it. You do need a lot of Chex or Crispix cereal (about 9 cups), but you probably already have whatever else you need hanging out in your pantry or refrigerator, like chocolate chips, peanut butter, unsalted butter, vanilla extract, a little salt, and some powdered sugar. You don't need to turn the oven on either; as the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter are melted together in the microwave. If you don't want to use your microwave or don't have one, simply warm everything in a small pot on the stove. And if you don't want to use a plastic bag, just dust the puppy chow with the powdered sugar while n the bowl and then toss carefully to combine. Saves you an extra step and a bag!

You'll find yourself craving puppy chow as a sweet, nutty snack for Christmas and beyond. The recipe is super-flexible, as you can add any snacks, nuts, or dried fruit you'd like. Try with pretzels, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, raisins, whatever you've got on hand. Definitely experiment with the ratios and ingredients so you come up with your favorite version of puppy chow. You can also keep a batch in the refrigerator for up to a week, so you can reach for a handful whenever the mood for puppy chow strikes (and when doesn't it?). —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 9 cups Chex or Crispix cereal
  • 1 cup bittersweet or other dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper. Place the cereal in a large bowl.
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chips, peanut butter, and butter. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring in between, until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the vanilla and salt.
  3. Pour the chocolate-peanut butter mixture over the cereal, stirring until evenly coated.
  4. Pour the cereal mixture into a 2-gallon, resealable plastic bag and add the powdered sugar. Shake until well coated. Spread onto the prepared baking sheet and let cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Holly Blitstein
    Holly Blitstein
  • Sally
  • Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm
    Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm
  • K N
    K N

7 Reviews

K N. December 19, 2019
This is the thing I want to eat at the holidays. It's funny because puppy chow isn't something that I encountered much growing up in Hawaii but it's the perfect kind of sweet, salty, nutty, crunchy nibble that I associate with Christmas. I swapped in almond butter (husband is allergic to peanuts) and made it dairy free by using Miyoko vegan butter. So good! I made it to gift long as I can stop nibbling on it...
jayaymeye January 28, 2018
Made this. Measurements are really quite flexible (weighed the chocolate, but not very precise with the peanut butter or butter--probably used a bit less butter). Threw in raisins and peanuts.

Also, no need to use zip bag for confectioner's sugar step; I poured it into the bowl with the already-covered cereal and it mixed in and absorbed fine. Easier/less waste. Overall, delicious! But how could you go wrong, really, with these ingredients?
Holly B. December 8, 2015
Any thoughts on how successfully this would ship in a care package to a college student?
Kathleen December 4, 2015
One of the pics in the recipe post shows much more than Crispix or Rice Chex cereals (i.e., pumpkin seeds, fritos, coconut flakes, cashews and pretzels) but they are not mentioned in the recipe. Do you use all of these in your Puppy Chow? I could see how that would make for an amazing combo -- especially with the dark choc/quality PB blend! Yum!
Sally December 7, 2015
I noticed the same thing about the photo with all the extra ingredients. What's the deal?
Sally December 7, 2015
Now I get it. Tap on the picture of all those ingredients and it will take you to a recipe for a savory snack mix. It gave me a good idea for the puppy chow though. I think I will try adding pumpkin seeds to the puppy chow. Should be good!
Riddley G. December 7, 2015
Hi! The photo is meant to show while the recipe calls for just cereal, you can add other ingredients (pretzels! coconut!) to make it your own.