PUPPY CHOW!

The last time I had this puppy chow, or muddy buddies – whichever you prefer, was a few years ago (during the earlier portion of my college years), and I have been meaning to make it for SUCH a long time. Of course, my procrastination, and lack of motivation to dedicate much time for a messy project would just about always set in.
This past weekend delivered the perfect opportunity to put my crafty treat-making skills in working order! We were having a holiday party for Coffee Bean – yes, I loved their coffee so much that I got a job with them haha – and figured I couldn’t find a better group of people to make these for!

Yes, you guess it, I altered the traditional Chex recipe to make it somewhat healthier 🙂 and made it the messiest way possible…the first time is always the messiest!

10 cups Rice Chex
3 1/2 TBSP Earth Balance Butter
2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
2 TSP vanilla extract
1 Cup natural peanut butter
2 squares of a Lindt 90% dark chocolate bar (broken into small pieces)
1 Cup powdered sugar
1 TBSP cinnamon

First up, place aside 10 cups of chex mix into a LARGE bowl — but if you are lacking misc kitchen items like me, a few medium sized mixing bowls will do! (It just causes more mess / clean-up time)

place the butter, powder, chocolate bar bits, cocoa powder, peanut butter, and vanilla extract into a microwaveable bowl
Microwave for 1 minute, stir, re-microwave for an additional 30 seconds, re stir.
Pour your chocolately mix over all of your Chex – be sure to scrape your bowl clean to get use out of the whole mixture.
Using your hands, after you have cleaned them (and removed any rings –oops!) mix together the mixture.

mom please don't look my rings... I cleaned them well afterwards, I promise 🙂

Sprinkle in little by little your cinnamon (this is where an extra set of hands comes to excellent use — thanks mat!!!)

Line the bottom of a gallon container with 1/2 cup powdered sugar,  and add in your chocolately chex mixture.
Again, using your hands, mix it all together.

I had to refrain from licking my fingers while mixing!

Add in the remaining 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, and 5 good extra dashes of cinnamon.
Mix and keep stored at room temp until ready to serve!!

finished product!!

This treat was a great hit at the Coffee Bean holiday party…and at our apartment, as Mat ate just about all that I had saved to keep at home! What a piggy!!

The cinnamon (which I add into just about ANY sweet treat) really contributed an extra satisfying taste. The original recipe did not call for it, but I figured it would compliment the peanut butter and chocolate very well. Thus, making this snack sweet & salty with that comforting warm spice – SO perfect for the holidays! (And by holidays, I AM including Thanksgiving into the mix!)

The health perks about this recipe, is that it is about 50 calories less than the original recipe, per half cup, AND it is loaded with antioxidants from the dark chocolate. One extra side note – by using earth balance instead of regular butter, you’re still getting the same amount of calories; however, it is all natural AND there is less saturated  fat.

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