Christmas muddy buddies are an easy, tasty way to make your days merry and bright this holiday season! With so few ingredients you can count them on one hand, this quick and easy muddy buddy recipe is a fun food for kids to make and share with friends and family. They’re crunchy and chocolatey — just what you want in a snack!
Why We Love Christmas Muddy Buddies
- You can make plenty in no time at all!
Our muddy buddy recipe yields twelve ½ cup servings in just 15 minutes.
- Bright, cheerful colors.
This dessert is perfect for the holiday season! Just like these Strawberry Cheesecake Cookies, there’s nothing like munching on themed treats during the most wonderful time of the year.
- Christmas muddy buddies are perfectly peanut-free.
Unlike many sweet holiday snack mix recipes. For another Christmas snack without peanut butter, try our Christmas Crack Chex mix and leave out the honey-roasted peanuts to make it completely peanut-free.
Easy and inexpensive ingredients.
The ingredients for this sweet snack mix recipe are easy to find at your local grocery store. They’re also economical which is great during a time of year when there are so many other costs.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Corn or Rice Cereal – You can make some of the best sweets with cereal like these Corn Pops Treats! Feel free to choose the brand and variety you like best as long as it’s crunchy and bite-sized. You can also make it gluten-free by looking for the Chex gluten-free option.
- White Chocolate Chips – We like to use white chocolate for its light vanilla flavor and because it easily takes on the color of the dye. Other types of chocolate can be used, but know that the bright red and green colors won’t show up as vividly.
- Shortening – Vegetable oil is acceptable also, as its main purpose is to keep the chocolate silky smooth as it melts.
- Powdered Sugar – This ingredient gives the Christmas muddy buddies a fresh snowfall look! Unfortunately, this cannot be achieved with granulated sugar, so it’ll have to be powdered sugar for this one.
- Food dye – Those with food dye sensitivities can simply omit the food coloring — the colors won’t be as bright, but the flavor will be just as delicious!
Christmas Puppy Chow Recipe Tips
- Avoid burning the chocolate.
Melting chocolate in the microwave is sort of a delicate process. If it heats too much, the chocolate will burn on the bottom or become crumbly.
Adding shortening (as we do in this recipe) keeps the chocolate smooth, and microwaving in brief, 30-second bursts is the best way to guarantee the mixture doesn’t get too hot.
Take short breaks and stir the chocolate between microwaving to allow the bowl and contents to cool down slightly as you continue to melt it.
- Add food coloring until you get the desired color.
In this recipe, we recommend using 5-6 drops of food coloring, but you can use as much or as little as you like.
A good practice is to add just two extra drops at a time, shake, and then decide if you want to add more since it goes a long way.
You can make them a light pink color or a vivid red color, it’s up to you!
- Remember to tightly seal the bags before shaking them!
After adding the mixture to the large zip-lock bags with the powdered sugar, be sure to seal them tightly before shaking them.
This will ensure that the powdered sugar and chocolate-covered cereal don’t fly all over your kitchen!
Christmas Puppy Chow FAQ
It was affectionately named as such because it seems to resemble kibble.
It’s a fun and silly name that always makes the kids giggle when we make cheerful Christmas puppy chow at home!
The most common muddy buddy recipe came out in the early 2000s, but it’s difficult to truly track down the origin. The candy we know today, and that most recipes are trying to mimic, hit the shelves in 2010 under the Chex Mix brand.
One common homemade muddy buddy mistake is not letting the chocolate cool after coating the cereal. Let it rest for a bit after coating but before tossing in the powdered sugar to prevent soggy results.
Storing and Freezing
There’s no need to refrigerate Christmas muddy buddies. Keep them in a Ziploc bag or other airtight container at room temperature for up to a week! If you do wish to refrigerate them, they’ll last for even longer — up to 2 weeks.
And this is one recipe that freezes incredibly well! We would recommend freezing in smaller portions rather than in one single freezer bag (unless you plan on serving it all at once), as it can clump together.
Christmas Muddy Buddies
- large mixing bowl
- medium microwave-safe bowl
- silicone mixing spatula
- gallon-sized Ziploc bags
- 6 cups crispy corn cereal and/or rice cereal, like Chex, Crispix, or other brand.
- 1 ½ cups white chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon shortening or vegetable oil
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar divided
- red and green food color drops or gel
- Pour the cereal into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the chocolate chips and shortening (or oil) to a medium-sized microwave safe bowl (we use a 2-cup glass measuring cup). Microwave on high for one minute, then use a spoon or whisk to combine. Continue microwaving in 30 second bursts until mixture is completely melted and smooth.
- Pour the melted chocolate over the cereal and stir quickly with a large silicone or wooden spoon to combine. Divide coated cereal evenly into two, 1 gallon-sized zip top bags.
- Add 3/4 cup powdered sugar to each bag. Close and seal the bags; shake both bags to coat the cereal.
- Add 5-6 drops of green food coloring to one bag and 5-6 drops red to the other bag). Seal the bags and shake again to coat with color. Add more coloring as needed to reach desired colors.
- Combine the colored cereals into one bag or airtight container. Store at room temperature for up to one week, or in the fridge for 2 weeks.