Reindeer Chow (White Chocolate Christmas Puppy Chow)

How cute is this Christmas Puppy Chow? This twist on classic puppy chow, sometimes called Reindeer Chow, is a festive, salty-sweet snack for the Christmas season. All you need are 10 ingredients and less than an hour to put together this treat that’s perfect for sharing.

A bowl of reindeer chow with colorful M&Ms and peppermints on a white background surrounded by more Christmas candy

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Christmas Puppy Chow Recipe 

We love Christmastime, and our family is so into making homemade treats throughout the holiday season.

This Christmas-themed puppy chow, AKA Reindeer Chow or Christmas Muddy Buddies, is a new favorite of ours because it highlights some of our favorite flavors of the season and it is an easy recipe for us all to make.

Creamy, salty peanut butter. Luscious white chocolate. Crushed peppermint. Chocolate-covered candies.

It’s a lovely combination that strikes the perfect balance between sweet and salty. It’s also fun to make with kids, even though it’s a bit messy. 

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    You can make a batch of this to serve at a Christmas party or double it up to make homemade treat bags for the people you love.

    Why I love this recipe:

    You’ll love this salty and sweet snack mix recipe for a few reasons…

    • White Chocolate Puppy Chow is a Christmas version of a beloved childhood classic. (If you’re looking for the classic, check out my Muddy Buddies recipe.)
    • You can double or triple it if you want to serve it at a party or share with friends and family.
    • It’s fun to serve to Santa and share with the people you love.
    • All you need are a handful of simple ingredients.
    • Stir in extra! It’s so fun add sprinkles, crushed cookies and more to this puppy chow recipe, if you want. 

    More no bake Christmas treats to make: Christmas Chex Mix | Chocolate Dipped Pretzels | Glazed Pecans | Chocolate Covered Ritz Cracker Cookies | Christmas Rice Krispie Treats

    Ingredients to make Christmas Puppy Chow in bowls on a pinkish surface

    What you need to make this recipe:

    The Speckled Palate participates in affiliate programs. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases. Please refer to my disclosure page for more information about these affiliate programs.

    Let’s talk ingredients!

    In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    • White chocolate chips or white chocolate melts — this is the base of this recipe and makes it different from traditional puppy chow, which calls for regular chocolate chips.
    • Peanut butter — creamy and unsweetened, if possible. A lot of recipes will tell you that the sweetened, more processed kind of best for sweet recipes, but I still enjoy the natural peanut butter. That said, use what you’ve got in your home, and it’ll work like a charm!
    • Unsalted butter — to add some creaminess. If you use salted butter, please omit the salt below so that this dish does not become too salty.
    • Kosher salt — medium grain kosher salt is my favorite. You could use a similarly sized sea salt, too.
    • Vanilla extract — the real deal is key here. It lets the other flavors sing and adds lovely aroma, too.
    • Rice Chex Cereal — you can also use Corn Chex Cereal if you prefer that. Crispix cereal is also a cereal you could use in this recipe, too, though the shape will be different than the reindeer chow shown in these images.
    • Mini pretzels — use whichever type and shape is your favorite. Pretzel twists or pretzel crisps or even the mini sticks work.
    • Powered sugar — there’s no substitute for this, so make sure you’ve got enough to coat your reindeer chow.
    • Christmas M&M candies — or another festive chocolate-covered candy of your choosing 
    • Candy canes — you’ll want to crush these before tossing them into the puppy chow. You could swap them with Andes Peppermint Crunch if you like those.

    How to make Reindeer Chow

    Combine the white chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. You may also melt them in a double boiler, if desired.

    Heat in 20-second intervals, stirring after each time, until everything is just melted and combined. 

    Stir in the salt and vanilla extract.


    Measure the Chex cereal and pretzels into a gallon-sized zip-top bag.

    Pour the melted chocolate mixture over the cereal mixture. 

    Seal the bake and shake until the cereal pieces are well coated. Let it cool for 2 minutes. 


    Add the powdered sugar to the bag, and shake vigorously to coat everything

    Measure in the M&M’s and crushed candy canes. Shake until just combined.

    Store the reindeer chow in the ziptop bag until ready to serve.

    Reindeer Chow Additions

    Hey, this holiday puppy chow is festive already, but you can always add in more of your favorite seasonal ingredients.

    Here are a few ideas:

    • Holiday sprinkles
    • Chopped Oreo cookies
    • Regular or mini peanut butter cups
    • Crushed potato chips
    • Flaky sea salt
    • Red and green candy
    • Chopped nuts
    • Drizzles of melted, contrasting chocolate (like milk chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate chips) 
    • Drizzles of melted, colorful candy melts 

    How to store

    Be sure to store your bark in an airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days. 

    This puppy chow recipe also freezes very well. Freeze in an airtight container in the freezer, then defrost in the fridge before enjoying.

    A bowl of reindeer chow on a sheet pan of more reindeer chow

    Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips

    This Christmas puppy chow recipe would be a tasty addition to holiday parties because it’s great for snacking and beloved by both adults and kids and a fun treat to make.

    Here are some ideas to making this recipe for sharing:

    • Make the Puppy Chow a day in advance. It keeps well and won’t get soggy on you, so you can mix it, store it in an airtight container on the countertop and then share it the next day.
    • Serve it alongside cookies at cookie exchanges, cookie decorating parties and gingerbread house decorating parties this season.
    • Want to share it? Double the recipe. This makes a great homemade gift!
    • Make this for a Christmas party and let guests mix in their favorite toppings. You can pour small amounts of the puppy chow base (which includes the white chocolate mixture on top of the cereal and pretzels) into cellophane bags and let guests scoop in candies, sprinkles, crushed cookies and more. 
    Close up of Christmas Puppy Chow on a sheet pan with pretzels and M&Ms

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Why is this called puppy chow? 

    Because it looks a little like some dog foods, which are also known as puppy chow. This is not dog food, so please don’t feed it to your pup.

    Is puppy chow the same as Muddy Buddies?

    Yes. It is one and the same.

    Does reindeer chow need to be refrigerated? 

    No. It can be kept at room temperature for 4-5 days, but it will last for a week if refrigerated.

    Can I feed this recipe to my dog? 

    NO! This would be terrible for your pet because this puppy chow is for humans only. If you’re looking to make a homemade treat for your pet, check out Peanut Butter Pumpkin Pupcakes and Sweet Potato and Apple Pupcakes.

    Is traditional Chex mix gluten free?

    This recipe can be made gluten free by using gluten free ingredients, such as Gluten Free Chex Mix and pretzels.

    A small bowl of reindeer chow in a bowl next to a sheet pan of more

    Quick tips and tricks to making the best Christmas Puppy Chow

    • Be careful when melting the white chocolate chips because they burn easily. Warm it in short intervals at 50% power, stirring between each. When smooth, remove it. If it burns, you cannot bring it back and will need to start over again.
    • This is a perfect recipe to make with kids. Let them measure all the things, mix up the white chocolate mixture and toss the bag until everything is coated. 
    • Make it gluten free by using Gluten Free Chex Cereal and a gluten free pretzels.
    • How to store: Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temperature.

    More Christmas dessert recipes:

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      A bowl of reindeer chow with colorful M&Ms and peppermints on a white background surrounded by more Christmas candy

      White Chocolate Christmas Chex Mix (Reindeer Chow)

      How cute is this Christmas Puppy Chow? This twist on classic puppy chow, sometimes called Reindeer Chow, is a festive, salty-sweet snack for the Christmas season. All you need are 10 ingredients and less than an hour to put together this treat that’s perfect for sharing.
      5 from 1 vote
      Servings 16 servings
      Calories 306 kcal
      Prep Time 20 minutes
      Cook Time 2 minutes
      Cooling Time 30 minutes

      Ingredients
        

      • 8 cups Chex Cereal
      • 2 cups mini pretzels
      • 1 cup white chocolate chips
      • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
      • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
      • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
      • ½ cup Christmas M&M Candies
      • ½ cup crushed candy cane pieces

      As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

      Instructions
       

      • Combine the white chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter in a microwave-safe bowl.
      • Microwave in 20-second intervals, stirring after each time until everything is just melted and combined.
      • Stir in the salt and vanilla extract until incorporated.
      • Measure the Chex cereal and pretzels into a gallon-sized zip-top bag. (You could also add it to a very large mixing bowl.)
      • Pour the melted chocolate mix over the cereal mixture. Seal the bake and shake until cereal is well coated. Let it cool for 2 minutes.
      • Add the powdered sugar to the bag, and shake vigorously to coat everything.
      • Add in the M&M’s and crushed candy canes. Shake until just combined.
      • Store the reindeer chow in the ziptop bag until ready to serve.

      Notes

      Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. You can also freeze this recipe in an airtight storage container. Defrost in the fridge.
      To make this recipe gluten free, use Gluten Free Chex Cereal and gluten free pretzels.
      To make this recipe vegan and dairy free, swap out the butter for a plant-based butter alternative and leave out the M&M’s. Use vegan white chocolate, too.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1 servingCalories: 306kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 5gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 319mgPotassium: 127mgFiber: 1gSugar: 24gVitamin A: 377IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 88mgIron: 5mg
      Keyword chocolate dessert, chocolate peanut butter dessert, christmas dessert, dessert recipe, desserts, easy dessert recipe, easy desserts, holiday dessert, no bake dessert, no bake dessert recipe, no bake desserts
      Course Desserts & Sweet Treats
      Cuisine American
      Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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      About the Author:

      Erin Parker is a Southern gal living in Texas with her husband and two daughters. She started The Speckled Palate to share what she was cooking as a newlywed… and over the years, it’s evolved to capture her love for hosting. Specifically, the EASIEST, lowest key entertaining because everyone deserves to see their people and connect over good food. Learn more about her

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