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White bowl with homemade patriotic muddy buddies. Wooden surface, colored jelly stars around.

Patriotic Puppy Chow (easy candy)

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This sweet treat or snack recipe combines cereal, pretzels and chocolate. Also known as muddy munch, muddy buddies or reindeer chow, it's crunchy, easy, colorful and a favorite for celebrations like the 4th of July, movie nights and kids' parties. 

  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups


  • 4 cups corn or rice Chex cereal
  • 1 cup red candy melts
  • 1 cup blue candy melts
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 package white chocolate covered pretzels
  • 1 cup red, white, and blue M&M or similar candies
  • Red, white and blue star sprinkles


  1. Heat the red candy melts according to the package instructions.
  2. Divide the powdered sugar into two large plastic bags or containers with tight lids. Reserve.
  3. Pour the melted chocolate over half (2 cups) of the cereal pillows and carefully stir until all the pieces are fully coated. 
  4. Place on a baking tray in a single layer and let dry a little. This will prevent the powdered sugar from seeping into the warm cereal. 
  5. Transfer the chocolate-coated cereal to one of the bags of powdered sugar. Seal and toss to coat.
  6. Spread the coated cereal on a baking sheet to cool completely.
  7. Repeat the process with the blue candy melts and the rest of the cereal. 
  8. In a large serving bowl, combine the cooled red and blue cereal with the pretzels, M&Ms, and star sprinkles and serve. 
  9. Store in airtight containers. You can refrigerate or freeze it if the room is too warm or humid so they stay crisp. 


Organization: read the recipe first and ensure you have ingredients at the correct temperature, utensils and equipment needed, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier. 

Prevent clumps: after coating the cereal with the melted chocolate, spread the mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to cool and set before you coat it in sugar. This is an important step to prevent clumping.

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Mixing
  • Cuisine: American