*muddy buddies are also called puppy chow, monkey munch, or sweet minglers
Do you like going on road trips? By road trip, I mean traveling long distances by car to a specific location. I tend to like it, mostly because I know I’ll be in good company (why go on a road trip with someone you don’t like?) and that there will be snacks on the road.
When I was younger, my family would go on these 8-hour long drives to Baguio city, a popular summer destination in the Philippines. Eight hours is really long and for a kid that was epic – it really felt like an adventure. We had a big van and I would look forward to the multiple pit stops to stretch our legs. And eat.
My most recent road trip was just a little over a week ago. I was invited along with Dan and a few other bloggers for a weekend event in New York by Jones Dairy Farm (more on that soon). We drove from Boston on a Friday afternoon and arrived at our destination in 3 hours. By “we” I mean Dan drove both ways while I was warm and snug in the passenger’s seat (thanks, Dan!) I brought a couple of baggies of muddy buddies and I thought they made for a pretty good road trip snack!
I was inspired to make these after seeing Sally’s Salted Peanut Nutella Puppy Chow. I actually made a different batch at first, using peanut butter and coconut butter. It was good, but I couldn’t get Nutella out of my mind so I made this new batch and it turned out fantastic.
Muddy buddies (or puppy chow, or monkey munch, or whatever they’re called) is usually just cereal – typically Chex or Crispix – coated in a mixture of peanut butter and melted chocolate, then tossed in confectioner’s sugar. I used Puffins – corn and oat pillows from an organic cereal brand I like. I also used almond butter and bittersweet chocolate chips because that’s what I had at home.
Even with almond butter and organic cereal though, these little cereal crunchies can never masquerade as healthy snacks. There’s too much Nutella and chocolate and it’s tossed in sugar. But road trip snacks aren’t always healthy, right? Besides, these lean more towards treats than snacks.
But still, these are perfect for road trips. And for parties. Perfect for midnight snacking after a night out with several cocktails. Perfect as pre-breakfast treat (yes, there is such a thing… come on, this has cereal!) Perfect for munching on by yourself while watching House of Cards. These are so good straight out of the freezer. These would be great gifts, too. I packaged these in little envelope bags with wax paper and washi tape to give away. The cute name and the cute packaging will have your friends say “awww” collectively. You might also get an open invitation to the next road trip.
Nutella Almond Butter Muddy Buddies
3/4 cup Nutella
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup bittersweet or dark chocolate chips
10 oz Original Puffins cereal (around 7 cups)
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
- Combine the Nutella, almond butter and chocolate chips in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Heat on full power for 1 minute, then remove from microwave and stir. Everything would have started to melt together but you’ll still have some lumps. Heat again in 30-second intervals and stir until the mixture turns smooth.
- Place cereal in a large mixing bowl and pour Nutella mixture over it. Toss until cereal pieces are well coated.
- Divide mixture into two and place into large ziploc bags. Divide sugar equally and add to the bags and shake vigorously. Break up any pieces that clumped together, and shake some more until the cereal pieces are well coated. Keep refrigerated or frozen in an airtight container.
If you like Nutella as much as I do, you will go crazy for these muddy buddies. The Nutella flavor is very prominent, with only a slight nuttiness from the almond butter, complemented nicely by the bittersweet chocolate. And if you want more Nutella recipes, I have plenty. Here are a few:
Would you call these treats muddy buddies or puppy chow or something else?