The classic sweet cereal treat is getting a holiday makeover! Gingerbread puppy chow is the perfect crunchy sweet snack to serve this winter season. Warming spices of ground ginger, cinnamon, and clove tossed with melted white chocolate, a hint of classic molasses, and a dusting of confectioners sugar that you can make in less than 10 minutes!
If you're having an, "Oh no, I'm supposed to bring something to the the thing I'm going to" moment, this is the answer. Bring this gingerbread puppy chow! The compliments are going to pour in!
Puppy chow, muddy buddies, muddy much, reindeer chow (tré appropriate for this post I think) - this sweet treat has lots of names and lots of spins, but this gingerbread version is seriously addicting.
During the holidays, it's so great to have a go-to, easy-to-make dish or snack so you're not showing up empty-handed but also not stressing about making anything.
Similar to this Two Ingredient Gingerbread Bark, this particular holiday puppy chow recipe takes mere minutes to make. The bulk of the time is just melting the chocolate.
Ingredients you'll need
Easy-to-find ingredients is exactly what you want to hear, right?
You need 9 ingredients total (but 4 are spices) to make Gingerbread Puppy Chow:
- Cinnamon Chex cereal (regular will work too!)
- White chocolate chips
- Unsalted butter
- Ground ginger
- Confectioner's sugar
See recipe card for quantities.
How to put a holiday spin on classic puppy chow
Seriously, the hardest part of this recipe is not hiding in a corner, hoarding your delicious gingerbread-flavored puppy chow. Okay, maybe that's just me.
But on a scale of 'I could do this in my sleep' to 'Will this recipe make me cry?' you're going to feel like a well-rested babe at the end.
The most labor-intensive part is melting the chocolate. You can technically melt it in the microwave. If that works for you, I love that.
For me, I always get impatient and end up burning the chocolate. So I prefer to use the double boiler method - set a heat-proof bowl with your chocolate chips over a pan of simmering water and stir with a spatula until melted.
Other than that, you're just mixing things and then tossing it in a bag together. Sounds okay, right? Take a look:
Mix the spices and confectioner's sugar in a bowl and set aside. Pour the Chex into a large mixing bowl and have ready.
Melt the butter and stir in the molasses. Set aside until the chocolate is melted.
Melt the white chocolate. Toss the cereal with the butter and molasses mixture first, then add the white chocolate and mix until combined and evenly coated.
Transfer the chocolate-coated cereal to a plastic zip bag. Add the spiced powdered sugar. Close the bag tightly and shake until all the cereal is coated with the sugar. Transfer to a serving dish and enjoy!
The best part of the recipe is the last step. Don't ask me why but shaking that bag is just so satisfying.
Hint: Some of the cereal will break when you're coating it with the melted chocolate. That's totally ok! It gives it an extra crunch at the end.
How to serve and store
If the puppy chow feels a little warm and tacky after shaking, you can always transfer it to a parchment-lined sheet pan to cool. Once the chocolate is dry, you'll be good to go, but this step isn't vital to success.
I like to serve mine on a festive platter or bowl. Low maintenance, but still cheery. If you're planning on giving it as a delicious food gift, you can go the route of these Christmas-themed food boxes - the fun of a festive tin without the guilt of hanging on to it and filling it with sewing materials when the tasty treats are gone.
Be sure to store your gingerbread puppy chow in an air-tight container until you're ready to serve it or package it up to give away.
You betcha! Many traditional puppy chow recipes call for peanut butter, but not this one.
I would recommend following the directions the way they're written and doing the butter and molasses separately. In my tests, the molasses would always mess with the white chocolate and break the chocolate leaving a mess.
If kept in an air tight container, your chow should stay crunchy and delish for up to 2 weeks.
More gingerbread goodness!
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Gingerbread Puppy Chow
- gallon size plastic storage bag
- large mixing bowl
- non stick spatula
- 6 cups cinnamon Chex cereal (regular Chex is good too!)
- 12 ounces white chocolate chips
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- ¾ teaspoons ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground clove
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- Pour the cereal into a large mixing bowl and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the confectioners sugar and the ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Set aside.6 cups cinnamon Chex cereal, ¾ teaspoons ground ginger, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 cup confectioner's sugar, ⅛ teaspoon ground clove
- In a small bowl, melt the butter. Add the molasses and stir until combined. Set aside.4 tablespoons unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons molasses
- Melt the white chocolate chips. Set a heat proof bowl over a pot with about 1 to 2 inches of simmering water on the stove top. Add the white chocolate chips to the bowl and stir with a non stick spatula until melted. (See notes for alternative methods).12 ounces white chocolate chips
- Give the butter and molasses mixture a quick stir and pour over the cereal. Toss to combine. Then pour the melted chocolate over the cereal and mix with a spatula to until the cereal is well coated and the chocolate is mostly evenly spread throughout. Some of the cereal may break, but that's ok!
- Transfer the chocolate coated cereal to a plastic zip storage bag. Add the spiced confectioner's sugar. Seal and shake well, about 10 to 15 seconds, until all the cereal pieces are completely coated in the sugar mixture.
- Transfer to a parchment lined sheet pan for about 10 minutes to let the white chocolate set before transferring to an air tight container for best results.
- Melting the chocolate....use your preferred method. If that means melting in a microwave safe bowl for 10 seconds at a time, stirring after each round - go for it. Because white chocolate is so tempermental, I find the double boiler method mentioned in the recipe above the most fool-proof way, but do what works best for you!
- Cooling: Because this recipe does not involve peanut butter, I find that it 'sets' faster. You don't necessarily have to let it dry spread out on parchment paper, but if you don't want any pieces sticking together at all that's the best option.
- Important tip! Don't combine the butter, molasses and melted white chocolate. The molasses and white chocolate don't play well together. Doing a quick butter and molasses coating before the chocolate yields the same tasty results without the headache of broken chocolate.