Learn to make the easiest and most addicting Christmas reindeer chow in just 15 minutes! This tasty and festive treat comes together with cereal, peanut butter, chocolate, powdered sugar, and sweet and salty add-ins!
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The Ultimate Party Treat
Call it Christmas reindeer chow or Christmas muddies buddies if you’d like, but whatever you call it, it all amounts to the same thing…the best holiday snack around!
It’s easy to make in just 15 minutes using the microwave to melt the chocolate, so it’s something the kids can do themselves! You can make a big bowl of it to serve a crowd or to snuggle up and watch Christmas movies.
Save some to wrap as a gift and don’t forget to leave some out for Santa and his reindeer! Magic reindeer food is another great way to feed his friends!
Why This Recipe Works
- It’s irresistible. Christmas reindeer chow has all the good stuff. Sweet, salty, chocolatey, crunchy, and gooey!
- Perfect for the holidays. Whether as something to snack on while wrapping gifts or as part of a Christmas dessert board, it’s one you’ll be making every year from now on.
- Super easy. When it comes to quick and simple, I consider this one of the best holiday desserts for a no-fuss treat.
- Festive! The powdered sugar reminds me of snow and the red M&M’s remind me of Rudolph’s nose and the knot pretzels remind me of antlers! So fun!
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- The basics: For most puppy chow recipes (also another name for muddy buddies or reindeer chow) you need Chex cereal, chocolate chips, creamy peanut butter, and powdered sugar. Those are the basics.
- Salted butter & vanilla extract: We’re adding these for extra flavor!
- Tasty add-ins: Mini pretzels, Reese’s minis, Red and Green Christmas M&M’s. This Chex reindeer chow is very flexible. You can add more of any one of these add-ins if you’d like.
For as many names as this snack goes by, there are just as many ways to make it!
Add in all the extras you’d like. You can swap the M&M’s for peanut butter M&M’s, or add in some chocolate chips, chopped Oreos, chopped candy bars (Heath is great!), salty nuts, or mini marshmallows. The sky is the limit!
If preferred, you can substitute the semi-sweet chocolate chips for white chocolate chips instead.
How to Make Reindeer Chow
- Melt the coating. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt together the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter for 1 minute. Stir until melted. If needed, microwave for an additional 15 seconds. Stir in the vanilla.
- Combine everything. In a separate large bowl, add the Chex cereal then pour the chocolate mixture overtop. Stir until well-coated. Transfer to a Ziploc bag and add the powdered sugar. Shake until coated then add in all your delicious add-ins and even more powdered sugar, if desired.
Spread on a large baking sheet lined with wax paper or parchment paper and allow your Christmas reindeer chow to cool at room temperature before serving. Enjoy!
You can just as easily melt the chocolate mixture in a double boiler instead of the microwave. Here are some extra tips on how to melt chocolate depending on your preference.
- Do not overheat the chocolate. You don’t want it to seize so it’s important to only heat it for 1 minute and then 15-second intervals after that (but you shouldn’t need any more than that).
- Stick with regular peanut butter. Any natural peanut butter tends to separate and be too runny.
- Cut in half or double. Easily adjust the recipe to what you need. It stores well, so I’d say go with doubling! Just make sure you have a Ziploc bag large enough (2 gallons perhaps) to shake everything all at once.
- Be gentle when mixing. Once you’ve given everything a shake, be careful not to overmix or shake it too hard. You don’t want to crush any of the candy or cereal.
Since we’re using rice Chex cereal, the base of the snack is gluten-free. It’s the add-ins you want to watch out for. Skip the pretzels and check the labels for certification of whatever you do decide to add.
Sure! Swap the peanut butter for melting candy wafers (chocolate melts) and coat the cereal in that. Of course, you’ll want to stay away from any peanut butter M&M’s or mini peanut butter cups but there are plenty of tasty additions to use instead!
It doesn’t need to be refrigerated, but it does need to be covered! Keep it in an airtight container, Ziploc bag, or mason jar for up to 1 week. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.
Wrap it in cellophane or put a ribbon on a jar and give it to a friend or neighbor as a delicious edible gift!
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- 4-5 cups Rice Chex cereal
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ⅓ cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 Tablespoons salted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup powdered sugar , plus more if desired
- 1 cup mini pretzels , plus more if desired
- 1/2-1 cup Reese's Minis , plus more if desired
- ½ cup Christmas M&M's , plus more if desired
- In a large bowl, add Chex cereal.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter. Microwave 1 minute. Stir until melted. Microwave an additional 15 seconds, if needed. Stir in vanilla.
- Pour chocolate mixture over the cereal. Stir until well coated. Transfer to a zip-top bag.
- Add powdered sugar and shake until well coated. Pour in the pretzels, Reese's Minis, and M&M's. Add more powdered sugar, if desired. Spread onto a piece of wax paper to cool before serving.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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