This Valentine's Day treat is the perfect mix of sweet and salty. With a fun pink color, our Valentines Puppy Chow recipe takes Chex mix to a whole other level. Ready in 10 minutes with just six ingredients, you won't be able to stop snacking. You might want to make a double batch!
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Nothing beats whipping up a batch of beautifully decorated heart-shaped sugar cookies for your Valentine. But in all honestly, that takes a ton of time. And you all loved our candied fresh strawberries as a quick and easy alternative.
But now we are going to do one better. This quick and easy Valentine's Day treat is so easy to make and perfect for sharing with your Valentine or Galantine!
You are probably wondering why you should make this puppy chow mix over others. Well first off, it is gluten-free (or not, your choice). But most importantly, no weird red candy melts.
No need to go to the craft store or need to order specialty items online. This Chex mix recipe only calls for high-quality white chocolate and other ingredients found at your local grocery store. And yes, we are still going to make it pink!
This recipe has just 6 ingredients and technically one is optional! Be sure to read our notes on selecting the correct chocolate for the best result.
Rice Chex- The rice variety of Chex is my preference but you can also use corn.
Mini Pretzels- I always use Snyder's Gluten Free, my personal opinion they are better than regular. If you aren't concerned about gluten then obviously any mini pretzel works.
White Melting Chocolate- See below.
Powdered Sugar- You can leave the powdered sugar white or follow our tutorial for coloring the sugar red or pink using any type of food coloring (powdered, liquid, or gel).
Valentine's Day M&M Candies
Sprinkles- Any type you like will work. You can buy specialty holiday sprinkles or just use a mix of holiday colors.
The Best White Chocolate for Puppy Chow
The best chocolate for making muddy buddies is one that melts smoothly and tastes delicious. I HIGHLY recommend Ghirardelli white chocolate melting wafers. My local grocery carries them, so they really are easy to find.
Because they are specifically made for melting the chocolate never gets grainy and it has a fantastic vanilla flavor so need to add extra.
If you can't find melting wafers your options are white chocolate chips or candy melts. I don't recommend using candy melts, because honestly, they taste terrible. They melt great but the flavor is pure sugar.
The trick to evenly melting white chocolate chips is to add 1 teaspoon of oil (coconut or vegetable) for every 10 ounces of white chocolate. This will help it melt smoothly.
See the recipe card for exact quantities.
⏲️How to Make Pink Puppy Chow
The key to this recipe is to prep all your items before beginning the recipe. Once you melt the chocolate you need to work quickly for the best results.
Step 1- Prep
First, you will need to line a large sheet pan with wax paper or parchment paper. Add your 5 cups of cereal to a very large mixing bowl and set aside.
Step 2- Powdered Sugar
The final prep step is to make our pink powdered sugar (or whatever color you want). Add powdered sugar to a blender or small food processor. Add a few drops of your food coloring. I used gel but you can use liquid or powder.
Blend until the color is fully incorporated, adding more dye if necessary. Transfer the powdered sugar to a 1-gallon Ziploc style bag.
Note that if you want to make the sugar red a specialty red powder or gel will get the most vibrant color.
Read our full post on how to color powdered sugar.
Step 3- Melt the Chocolate
Place your chocolate (and oil, if needed) in a microwave-safe bowl. Start with 45 seconds and then stir. After that go in 30-second increments stirring at each interval until the chocolate is fully melted and totally smooth. It typically takes about 2 to 3 minutes in total.
Be careful not to overcook or burn the chocolate. You can use a 50% power level if you are feeling unsure.
Pour the chocolate over the rice cereal and stir until fully coated.
Step 4- Mix
Place half the coated cereal into the powdered sugar bag. Seal and toss until the pieces are fully coated and pink.
Add the pretzels to the mixing bowl with the remaining cereal. Gently stir to get the pretzel pieces slightly coated with the chocolate. Quickly lay out the mixture on your wax paper.
Add the sprinkles and M&Ms, then layer on the powdered sugar-coated cereal. Wait for 10 to 20 minutes for the mixture to cool. Then use your hands to toss, breaking up any big chunks. Transfer to your serving bowl and chow down.
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tips
No microwave? No problem! You can melt the chocolate using the double boiler method. Simply place the chocolate in a small glass mixing bowl.
In a saucepan bring 1 inch of water to a simmer. Place the bowl on top of the pan. Heat until the chocolate is fully melted, stirring constantly.
- Melt the chocolate slowly so it doesn't seize up.
- Stick your sheet pan in the fridge to speed up the cooling process.
- Quickly add the sprinkles, they need to stick to the melted chocolate. You can add them to the bowl before laying out if you like.
You can add any candies you like from cinnamon red hearts to Necco sweetheart conversation candies. Be unique! But here are the most common variations for our white chocolate puppy chow recipe.
🍓Strawberry White Chocolate Puppy Chow
Strawberries are always associated with Valentine's Day; somewhat ironic given strawberries are out of season during the month of February. That is where freeze-dried strawberries come in.
Add the bag of freeze-dried strawberries to your food processor and pulse until you have a fine grain. Mix in powder sugar until you have a full ½ cup of the mixture. Use in place of pink powdered sugar.
🥛Dairy-Free Pink Puppy Chow
To make this recipe dairy-free you can use any vegan white chocolate. But I recommend the Enjoy Life mini-chips. They are easy to find and taste great. Remember that when melting regular chocolate chips, you need to add 1 teaspoon of oil (coconut or vegetable) for every 10 ounces of chocolate.
Out of wax paper? Plastic wrap and aluminum foil can be used in a pinch.
Puppy chow can be stored at room temperature for a few days, but you can also refrigerate it and it will last for up to a week. But let's be honest, will it last that long?
My preference is to freeze it. I love cold puppy chow! Another option is to freeze it! Store it in a 1-gallon zip-top bag and pop it in the freezer. It will keep for up to three months in the freezer.
Again... it won't last that long.
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💬Frequently Asked Questions
They are the same thing, just different names for chocolate melted over Chex cereal and tossed in powdered sugar.
To color white chocolate you need a specialty coloring powder that is made without water. Water causes melted chocolate to become grainy. These specialty chocolate coloring powders are not available in regular grocery stores. Therefore, it is much easier for most home cooks to color the powdered sugar using regular food coloring than to color the chocolate.
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Valentine's Day Puppy Chow Chex Mix
- Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. Add the Chex cereal to a large bowl. Place powder sugar in a 1 gallon zip top bag.½ cup powdered sugar, 5 cups Rice Chex cereal
- Place the white chocolate wafers in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second increments stirring in between, until melted. (Or you could use a double boiler method by place a glass mixing bowl over a saucepan with 1 inch of water. Heat on medium and stir constantly until melted).10 ounces white melting chocolate
- Pour the white chocolate over the cereal astir to fully coat. Place half the mix into your powdered sugar bag. Shake to fully coat the cereal with your sugar.
- Add the pretzels to the mixing bowl and gently fold to partial coat with chocolate. Spread the mix on the parchment paper and sprinkles and M&Ms. Add the powdered sugar coated Chex on top.1 cup mini pretzels, 6 ounces Valentine's Day M&Ms, Sprinkles
- Allow the mix to rest for 20 minutes. Gently toss to break up the large chunks and serve.
- See our brief tutorial on how to color powdered sugar to create the look in the final photos.
- White melting chocolate will melt smoother than white chocolate baking chips. If you have the chips add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil or vegetable oil to help smooth out when melting.