If you haven’t had Puppy Chow (also known as Muddy Buddies), it’s pretty important that you do. I’ve made countless of variations from the original recipe — my favourites being the classic version (peanut butter and chocolate) and a mint chocolate version, using cashew butter for the peanut butter and adding mint extract.
I’ve added various cereals, chopped nuts, dried cranberries and raisins. I’ve given it as gifts (an excuse to snack on it, really), made it for every occasion (and non-occasion), and love it straight from the freezer.
Two things remain the same: it’s likely my favourite snack ever and I always add more chocolate and peanut butter than the classic recipe, not really measuring either after I hit the recommended amounts (another spoonful of peanut butter? Sure. More chocolate chips? Yes, please.)
This version uses popcorn, which I freshly pop on the stovetop with olive oil and salt. I like the Chex (well, Wegmans brand fake Chex) better — it has more of a crunch, but this is a close second that’ll make it back into the snack rotation for sure.
Popcorn Puppy Chow
8 cups popped popcorn (plain)
1 1/2 cups nondairy semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips, such as Enjoy Life
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup nondairy buttery spread
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 to 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
Put the popcorn into a large bowl. Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper.
Put the chocolate chips, peanut butter, nondairy buttery spread in a large microwavable bowl. Heat on high for 1 minute. Stir, and then microwave on 30 second intervals until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the vanilla and salt. Let cool about 5 minutes, which will help the popcorn not get soggy.
Pour the mixture over the popcorn, carefully stirring until coated. Scrape the mixture into a large Ziploc bag (I do this in two batches).
Add icing sugar to the bag. Seal and shake until well coated. Spread on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Let stand at room temperature to firm, or speed up the process by putting the baking sheet into the freezer (recommended!)
This can be stored for awhile in the freezer in an airtight container.