Reindeer Food: Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Cereal

We saved this recipe for the last day of our Holiday Countdown because it's truly one of our favorites. Growing up, one of our team members knew these 'puppy chow' or 'muddy buddy' treats as "Reindeer Food', as every year their grandfather would gift them a canister of Mark Avenue Reindeer Food. If you aren't in the mood to cook this year, the Mark Avenue version of these sugary tidbits are pretty fantastic but if you are looking for a fun and easy recipe the whole family will love, continue reading!

The base of these small square bites are rice cereal (we use Chex). Salty peanut butter, rich creamy chocolate, butter, and vanilla are melted together to create a decadent sauce that is used to coat the cereal. The chunky glazed cereal is then tossed in powdered sugar to create independent stick-free bites that are the ideal combination of salty and sweet (although we warn you, these are certainly at the far end of the saccharine). To tame the sweetness we recommend semisweet or bittersweet chocolate and as much as you may want to use natural peanut or nut butters, the processed artificiality of creamy Jiff or Skippy really works best for this job.

The holidays are a time to indulge so why not go all out with these tiny but outstandingly good treats! Maybe leave a few out with your plate of cookies so the reindeer get some chow along with Santa!


By Jennifer Debth of Show Me the Yummy

Whether you call it puppy chow or muddy buddies, I promise you, this is the best recipe! Why? More chocolate, more peanut butter, and more powdered sugar! This childhood classic snack mix just got better. 🙂

With only six ingredients, puppy chow (muddy buddies) is extremely quick and easy to whip up, making it the perfect recipe for the busy holiday season. Because it’s so simple I love making it for big parties or even giving it away as gifts!


This sweet snack mix is made of six super simple ingredients! The best part? You probably have all of the ingredients on hand already. If you don’t typically have these ingredients on hand, I’d recommend changing that. All of the ingredients are staple pantry and fridge items that all have a long shelf life.

  • Rice chex cereal makes the base of this recipe and makes this snack mix super crunchy and addicting. You don’t want to use a sweetened cereal or it will end up too sweet.

  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips. As with the unsweetened cereal, using semi-sweet ensures that this snack mix isn’t overly sweet.

  • Peanut butter gets melted together with the chocolate chips and creates an amazingly creamy mixture that coats the cereal. Use smooth peanut butter – instead of chunky – to ensure even melting.

  • Unsalted butter. This helps the chocolate and peanut butter melt together and create a rich, smooth chocolate-y “sauce”.

  • Vanilla extract. I love using vanilla for additional flavor and “cozy” factor.

  • Powdered sugar. After the cereal is evenly coated in the chocolate mixture, you’ll add in the powdered sugar. This adds additional sweetness to the recipe and makes it socially acceptable to lick your fingers 😉


  1. Place chex cereal into a large bowl. Set aside.

  2. Place chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter into a large microwave safe bowl or measuring cup.

  3. Melt until smooth, then stir in vanilla extract.

  4. Pour chocolate mixture over the cereal and gently stir together.

  5. Stir in the powdered sugar.

  6. Enjoy!

It’s sweet, peanut buttery, extra chocolatey, and slightly crunchy, so you know you can’t put it down!