Chocolate-Coconut Puppy Chow Recipe

It's no secret that sweet snacks are a total hit everywhere — from solo households to after-school carpools to parties and events. Puppy chow definitely fits the bill, even if the name might momentarily confuse the uninitiated. The bite-sized snack comes from the Midwest, though the specifics are ambiguous (apart from the fact that Chex cereal is fundamental). The original recipe is made with peanut butter and chocolate, but Tasting Table recipe developer and food stylist Michelle McGlinn takes a different approach. She shares that this chocolate-coconut puppy chow recipe is "a nice twist on regular puppy chow while still satisfying that chocolatey sweet tooth!" 

We can certainly sympathize with a love for chocolate, and this tasty treat provides the ideal spectrum of flavors. Caramel, chocolate, and coconut paired with an irresistible crunch pretty much summarizes everything we need. When you dig in, you'll get all of those flavors in one bite, evoking a certain ever-popular Girl Scout cookie that comes in a purple box.

This recipe makes 5 cups of the sweet crunchy snack, and chances are it will disappear faster than you think. With less than 10 minutes of prep time and a short wait, you've got yourself a bowl of chocolate-coconut puppy chow begging to be eaten. 

Gather up the ingredients for this puppy chow

The ingredient list is short and sweet — just the way we like it. Nonetheless, McGlinn highlights the flexibility of this recipe and the fact that you can easily experiment with add-ins. She was inspired by one of her favorite cookies (ones that you may find sold door-to-door) with this combination and notes, "to go along with the cookie theme, you could add chocolate chips or butterscotch chips after tossing in the powdered sugar." 

For McGlinn's version, you'll need a 12-ounce package of milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips and ½ cup of caramel sauce (look for a product you'd use to top ice cream). Next, you'll need 5 cups of rice Chex cereal, 1 to 2 cups of powdered sugar, and 1 cup of coconut flakes. McGlinn uses sweetened coconut, but if you want to tone down the sugar (there's a lot of it regardless), opt for unsweetened. 

Melt the chocolate and combine it with the caramel

Pour the chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl and pop it into the microwave. Melt them in 30-second intervals, ensuring that you give the chocolate a good stir after each duration. Once the chocolate has melted and the texture is smooth, add the caramel sauce to the bowl. Mix the two together until they are properly combined. In case the chocolate starts to stiffen, carefully add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water to reduce the thickness. 

Coat the cereal with the chocolate mixture

Dump the rice Chex cereal into a large bowl and pour the chocolate caramel mixture over top. Toss the contents until the cereal is nicely coated — alternatively, you can shake everything together in a sealed plastic bag. Place the bowl (or the bag) in the refrigerator and give the mix 10 to 15 minutes to chill. The chocolate should no longer be warm, but avoid letting it get too hard. McGlinn describes the ideal consistency as being "tacky."

Mix the powdered sugar and coconut

Meanwhile, in another bowl, mix the powdered sugar and coconut flakes. McGlinn recommends starting with 1 cup of sugar and adjusting once you've combined it with the chocolate-caramel Chex. "The powdered sugar makes it very sweet," she notes, "so adding the additional cup will make a particularly sweet puppy chow."

Combine the coconut-sugar mixture with the chocolate-coated Chex

Once the chocolate has sufficiently cooled on the cereal, remove it from the fridge and stir in the coconut sugar mixture. McGlinn warns that "if your sugar is dissolving and melting into the chocolate, you'll want to chill [it] a little bit longer and add the powdered sugar again."

Serve this sweet snack immediately, or keep it in the refrigerator for up to one week or at ambient temperature for a few days. You'll want to watch out if you're storing it on the counter in the summer. Our recipe developer cautions that "it can get a little melty and messy!" McGlinn likes to eat this chocolate-coconut puppy chow as a sugary snack or for dessert by itself, but it could work as a sundae topping or with yogurt. 

Chocolate-Coconut Puppy Chow Recipe
5 from 40 ratings
You deserve a sweet treat! This creative twist on puppy chow is inspired by a certain Girl Scout cookie that you may find in a purple box.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Hand picking chocolate-coconut puppy chow
Total time: 17 minutes
  • 1 (12-ounce) package milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup caramel sauce ice cream topping
  • 5 cups rice Chex cereal
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
Optional Ingredients
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water
  • additional powdered sugar (up to 2 cups total)
  1. Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second increments, stirring in between each increment, until smooth and melted.
  2. Stir the caramel sauce into the melted chocolate to combine. If the mixture becomes too thick or dry, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water to loosen the chocolate into a sauce.
  3. Pour the Chex cereal into a large bowl.
  4. Drizzle the chocolate-caramel mixture over the Chex and toss to combine. (You could also shake the chocolate and Chex together in a large plastic bag.)
  5. Put the chocolate-covered Chex in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to cool slightly. The chocolate should be tacky, but not warm or hard.
  6. In the meantime, mix the powdered sugar with the coconut flakes.
  7. Once the chocolate has cooled slightly, remove the Chex from the refrigerator and toss the cereal with the powdered sugar mixture. If needed, add more powdered sugar to coat.
  8. Serve at room temperature. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place or in the fridge.
Calories per Serving 275
Total Fat 13.8 g
Saturated Fat 9.5 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 2.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 40.6 g
Dietary Fiber 3.4 g
Total Sugars 27.8 g
Sodium 111.4 mg
Protein 2.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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