The Step You Can't Skip For Powdery Puppy Chow Coating

Puppy Chow, also known as "muddy buddies," "doggy bag," and on the rare occasion, "people chow," is a classic Midwestern American snack that has been enjoyed for decades. In fact, the homemade treat became so popular that in 2010, General Mills began selling their own version under the Chex Mix brand.

This mouthwatering confection is made by coating Chex cereal in a mixture of melted butter, peanut butter, chocolate, and powdered sugar. The resulting concoction is a crunchy, sweet, and crave-able snack that will always have you coming back for more.

While Puppy Chow is a relatively easy treat to make, careful attention must be placed on the mixing process in order to ensure the final texture comes out correctly. A thick, powdery coating is a crucial element to a successful batch of puppy chow and the key step to achieving the perfect powdery layer is all in the timing.

No matter how loudly the flavor of this iconic treat is calling your name, you mustn't rush the process, or else you might find yourself munching on a batch of regret. 

Powdered sugar doesn't stick to hot Puppy Chow

Puppy chow gets pretty warm before the very necessary final step of dusting it in powdered sugar. This is because the other flavorful coatings are melted down so they can easily adhere to the plain Chex Mix. You might think that at the point where the chocolate and peanut butter are evenly coating the cereal, you can pour on the sugar — but you couldn't be further from the truth. If you were to make that fateful mistake, the powdered sugar would dissolve right into the warm chocolate and peanut butter, creating a clumpy mess instead of giving you the snowy aesthetic that makes puppy chow worth eating.

In her recipe for Chocolate-Coconut Puppy Chow, Tasting Table recipe developer Michelle McGlinn recommends placing your warm puppy chow in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 in order to chill. However, she also warns against letting the mixture cool for too long, suggesting it's time for powdered sugar once the chocolate-coated cereal has a "tacky" texture.

The good news is, even if your hasty quest for muddy buddy bliss leads you to ignore these suggestions, your clumpy puppy chow will still be perfectly edible, despite not looking as good. With so many variations of this famous snack, the least we can hope is that you do better next time. But if not, we understand. It's hard to wait when the food is just that good.