No end to Puppy Chow snack mix possibilities

Sunday, August 5, 2012

My niece Christa and our daughter, Lexie, love the snack mix Puppy Chow more than anyone I know. As you may know, this is for human consumption and is wildly addictive once you start eating it. Christa introduced Lexie to Nutella and Funfetti Puppy Chow, and now there is no end to the possibilities to creating new flavors of this hard-to-resist snack mix. I have so many recipes to share with you today, I will keep my comments short and get right to the recipes. Try one or more of these exciting recipes and enjoy.

Funfetti Cake Batter Puppy Chow

1 (12-ounce) package white chocolate candy melts

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 cups Funfetti cake mix (dry powdered)

2 tablespoons colored sprinkles

6 cups Rice Chex or Crispix cereal

In a double boiler (or the microwave on 50 percent power) melt the white chocolate until smooth and runny. In a small bowl, combine cake mix, powdered sugar, and sprinkles and stir to combine. Set aside. Measure out the 6 cups of cereal into a large bowl, drizzle the chocolate all over and use 2 forks to gently toss the cereal to coat each piece. Once cereal is completely coated in white chocolate, dump the cake mix/sugar mixture on top and gently toss again with the forks to coat each piece. Spread out on parchment paper to cool completely then store in a gallon plastic food storage bag. Makes 6 cups.

Mexican Chocolate spin on Puppy Chow

Ancho-Roasted Pecans

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup pecan halves (about 3 ounces by weight)

For the cereal mix:

6 cups Rice Chex cereal (just about 6 ounces by weight)

3 1/2 ounces 85 percent cocoa chocolate (This is often a bar's worth.)

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

2 tablespoons butter

1/8 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon (split into 1/2 teaspoon and 1/4 teaspoon proportions)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 cup powdered sugar (split into 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup proportions)

Measure the cereal into a large bowl and set aside. In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt butter with 1/4 teaspoon salt, ancho and cayenne. When butter starts to get foamy, add the pecans, and stir frequently. Toast pecans in the chili butter for 5 minutes, taking care not to burn the pecans. When toasty, set aside to cool.

In a 2 cup microwaveable bowl, microwave chocolate, peanut butter, 2 tablespoons butter, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon on high for 30 seconds and stir. Continue to microwave in 30 second intervals and stirring until mixture becomes smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal, and fold in until evenly coated. Spread the mix out on a Silpat or parchment-lined sheet pan for 30 minutes to cool. After a half-hours' time, pour the mix into a 2 liter lidded plastic tub, add 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar and shake until well coated. Freeze for 20 minutes and finish by tossing with the pecans, the last 1/4 cup of powdered sugar and a 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Store in an airtight container in a cool place.

Almond Joy Puppy Chow

We love Almond Joy candy bars, so just the thought of making a snack mix that resembles an Almond Joy, is just a natural love at first taste.

1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup shredded sweetened coconut flakes

8 cups Crispix cereal, or any kind of your choice

2 cups unsalted almonds

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup almond butter

4 tablespoons coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a food processor, combine the powdered sugar and coconut, and chop until the mixture is mostly a powder. Place the sugar-coconut mixture in a large plastic storage bag. Combine the cereal and almonds in a large bowl and set aside. Combine the chocolate chips, almond butter, and coconut oil in a medium bowl and microwave on high power for 1 minute. You can also melt on the stove over low heat, over a double boiler. Stir until completely melted. Pour the chocolate mixture over the cereal and almonds, and stir until the cereal is completely coated. Dump the mixture into the plastic storage bag with the sugar and coconut, seal, and toss until the cereal and almonds are evenly coated. Pour onto wax paper to cool and dry. Stir in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Note: If you don't have coconut oil, you could use butter, and maybe a little coconut extract for an added coconut flavor.

Nutella Puppy Chow

My daughter loves all recipes that contain Nutella as an ingredient, so making a Nutella version of her favorite snack, Puppy Chow, was a no-brainer. By just replacing the Nutella for the peanut butter, this version is amazing, and makes the traditional puppy chow even better. The crispy cereal is filled with chocolate hazelnut fudge and then rolled in powdered sugar, and is even better served cold out of the refrigerator. When we make this recipe, we omit the stick of butter and it does fine. We also use a large rubber spatula and gently scrape along the bottom of the bowl, turning the mixture over and over. We have found it works better then the two forks method of mixing.

13 cups, or one 12 ounce box of Crispix cereal

1/2 cup butter, or 1 stick

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup Nutella

1 pound box powdered sugar, or as needed to coat the cereal

Measure out cereal into a very large bowl and set aside. In a medium saucepan, over low heat, or in the microwave, melt the butter and chocolate chips until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in Nutella until combined, then pour over cereal and toss gently with two forks until cereal is completely covered. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top and toss again gently until cereal is coated in sugar and no longer sticky. Spread out on parchment paper and allow to cool completely. Once cool, store in an airtight container or plastic resealable bag. Refrigerate if desired. Makes 13 cups

Thin Mint Puppy Chow

4 cups Rice Chex Cereal

1 cups Andes Creme de Menthe Baking Chips

1/2 cups peanut butter

1/4 cups butter

2 cups powdered sugar

Place cereal in large mixing bowl, set aside. In a small microwaveable bowl, heat Andes Creme de Menthe Chips, peanut butter and butter in microwave for 2 to 4 minutes. Stir well and add to cereal, gently mixing until cereal is thoroughly coated. Place powdered sugar in a large paper grocery bag and add cereal mixture. Close top of bag tightly and shake until cereal pieces are coated, separating pieces if necessary. Spread on wax paper to cool.

Lemon Chex Buddies

This recipe could very well be my new favorite, as lemon is one of my favorite flavors. I love lemon anything. I will definitely be making this very soon. I found this on a website called Chocolate Therapy, and the writer suggests adding a little sugar sweetened lemonade Kool-Aid drink mix, or powdered lemon gelatin to the powdered sugar when mixing. Sounds like a great idea, but probably won't take much. Start small and add until you reach the desired result.

9 cups Rice Chex cereal

1 1/4 cup white vanilla baking chips

1/4 cup butter or margarine

4 teaspoons grated lemon peel

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 cups powdered sugar

Measure cereal into a large mixing bowl and set aside. In a microwaveable bowl, microwave chips, butter, lemon peel and juice uncovered on high for 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 more seconds or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into a 2-gallon resealable food storage plastic bag. Add powdered sugar, seal bag and shake until all the cereal is well-coated.

Butterscotch Puppy Chow

1 to 2 cup powdered sugar, or enough to cover

1 cup good quality butterscotch chips

1/4 to 1/2 cup peanut butter

6 cups Crispix cereal

Place the powdered sugar into a 1 gallon resealable plastic bag. In a large microwave safe bowl melt the butterscotch chips for 1 minute. Stir and heat for 30 seconds longer or until melted when stirred. Stir in the peanut butter. Stir in the cereal and mix until evenly coated using a big spoon-ula for this. Pour the cereal mixture into the sugar filled bag and gently toss the mixture to coat it evenly. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator, if desired.

Captain Crunch Cereal Treat

In looking for puppy chow varieties I ran across this snack mix and it seemed to pop out at me, so thought I would share it with you, and try it myself.

5 cups peanut butter Captain Crunch cereal

5 cups Rice Krispies

3 cups miniature marshmallows

3 cups mixed nuts

1 1/2 lbs. white chocolate

Carefully combine first four ingredients in large bowl or roaster pan. Place white chocolate (cut into chunks) in microwaveable dish. Cook on high for 1 minute, stir, then again for 1 minute. Continue this until all the chocolate is melted. Pour over mixture and gently stir. Spread out on waxed paper. After it cools and hardens, break into pieces and store in covered, sealed containers. Preparation time includes microwaving time.

Have a great week, and until next time, happy cooking.

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at news@semissourian.com or by mail at P.O. Box 699, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701. Recipes published have not been kitchen-tested by Southeast Missourian staff.

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