Yummy Candy Cane Muddy Buddies introI’m fairly certain the name “Muddy Buddies” is trademarked so I’m creatively naming these- but let’s be real: these are Candy Cane Muddy Buddies!  You can call it puppy chow if you want, but that kind of grosses me out.  Something so crazy delicious should not be named after dog food.  I’ve had this recipe mulling around in my brain for the last few Christmases.  Chex actually sells a peppermint muddy buddy mix, but it’s white chocolate, and I was sorely disappointed when I tried it (Target however sells a chocolate version, but not even close to as tasty as these homemade ones).  The thing that was holding me up was that one of the signature elements in not only the flavor of muddy buddies, but the texture, is the creamy peanut butter and I couldn’t find a perfect replacement for that.  It wasn’t until I tried that crazy peppermint chocolate peanut butter that Jif makes that it dawned on me that it might not be crazy after all to just include peanut butter in my peppermint version.  So I tried it out and, surprise!  They’re amazing.  So don’t be weirded out when you see peppermint and peanut butter together here.  It works.  I promise.  The amount of peanut butter isn’t enough that it competes with the peppermint.  It actually enhances everything and rounds out the flavor profile, while at the same time lending itself to the soft chocolate texture.  Just trust me and go with it.  These might change your life (or if nothing else, your jean size.)

To start off, we’ll make one of the world’s greatest creations (if I don’t say so myself.)  I figured if regular Muddy Buddies are tossed in powdered sugar, than candy cane Muddy Buddies should be tossed in candy cane sugar.  Solid thinking, right?  Place some powdered sugar in a food processor, and break up a bunch of candy canes in there with it.  I was too busy instagramming to actually take a photo of this part, but lucky for me I was so busy instagramming that I instagrammed it.

Candycanes and Sugar

Pulse that a few times to break up the candy canes, and then let that baby rip.

Blended Candycanes and Sugar

 

 

 

 

I keep it processing until it goes from loud crunching to smooth little cracking sounds.  You can tell when it’s done when you open your food processor and you have fluffy white peppermint snow.  It’s soft powdered sugar with little teeny crunchy bits of peppermint.

Peppermint Powdered Sugar

This is great on all sorts of things you would use powdered sugar for.  Try making a buttercream frosting with this stuff.  Holy delicious.

Peppermint Sugar Snow

Take a few more candy canes and put them in a ziplock bag.

Crushing Candycanes

Grab a heavy rolling pin, or a mallet, or the bottom of a heavy cup, or anything that can smash stuff.  And smash them.  You don’t need to pulverize them like we did in the food processor.  These little bits are getting tossed in with our cereal mix so you want little bites of peppermint.

Crushed Candycane

Place your Chex cereal in a big (no really, BIG- it will make mixing so much easier) bowl.  I’m showing my crushed candy canes in here, but I actually think it works better if you toss them in after the next step, so you’ll see that reflected in my directions, just FYI.

Candy Canes in Chex Mix

Now here comes the good stuff.  I love these Mint Chocolate Chips that Hershey’s makes.  These should be available at most grocery stores right now (check the holiday end caps!) but if you can’t find them (or another brand of mint chocolate chips), no worries.  You can still make these, just use a bit more extract, or preferably, peppermint oil if you have some.  There are a couple brands of chocolate that make peppermint flavored chips that aren’t actually chocolate (they’re just peppermint flavored candy coating) and I would avoid those.  We want chocolate here, so use something that is actual chocolate chips, with peppermint flavoring.

Hershey's Mint Chocolate Chips

Place those in a microwave-safe bowl,

Chocolate Chips

and add some butter, and peanut butter.  I know that sounds strange, seeing as we’re using peppermint, but trust me on this one.  If you have peanut allergies, you could use a different nut butter, or I did experiment with 1/2 the amount of coconut oil.  While my taste testers all agreed that the PB version tasted better, the coconut oil will work as a replacement.

PB, Chocolate, Butter

Melt it until it’s creamy and smooth and immediately add in some peppermint extract, or peppermint oil.  If you’re using regular chocolate chips, I would try to find some peppermint oil, and then add in extra.  You’ll have to do it to taste, and I would suggest adding more than you think you’ll need, since the flavor will be mellowed once it’s combined with the cereal.  If you use extract, I’d double it.

Melted Mint Chocolate

Dump the chocolate in with the cereal and candy cane bits.

Melted Chocolate on Chex

and mix, mix, mix.  The chocolate mix may be slightly thick, and seem like it’s not covering everything at first, but just keep stirring and you’ll soon see that all of those cereal pieces has a nice chocolatey coating.

Tossed Chex Mix

Then dump in the peppermint-sugar.

Candy Cane Sugar on Chex mix

Quickly toss everything together.  Mix, mix, mix again until it’s all dusted snowy white.

Tossed Muddy Buddies

Now stick your fingers in there and taste them.  Amazing, right?  This is the perfect little treat to package up for gifting.

Candycane Muddy Buddies from Our Best Bites

Or for holding the entire bowl in your lap while you watch your favorite dvr’d shows after your kids are in bed.

Candy Cane Muddy Buddies Close Up from Our Best Bites

You get that creamy smooth chocolate, with cool burst of peppermint, and cute little pieces of red and white candy.  It’s pretty addicting, so consider yourself warned.

 

Yummy Candy Cane Muddy Buddies from Our Best Bites

 

GIVEAWAYS!  We still have a few giveaways going on right now?  These are your last days to enter my Favorite Things Giveaway, our Silhouette Giveaway, and our Crock Pot Giveaway! 

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51comments

  1. 1
    Sharon says:

    I’m allergic to peanuts, so I eat almond butter or sun butter instead of peanut butter. Would either of those work in place of the peanut butter?

  2. 2
    Liz says:

    I’m so glad you mentioned the puppy chow thing. Seriously ? So gross! I’m glad I’m not the only one who hates it when people call it that…
    I’m super excited to make these! Thanks for another fun recipe! :)

  3. 3
    Lynness says:

    I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I love reading you guys- even when it’s posts about stuff I would never make (I hate chocolate…yeah, I know….crazy). But I just love your voice/tone/style: “These might change your life (or if nothing else, your jean size.)” or “Or for holding the entire bowl in your lap while you watch your favorite dvr’d shows after your kids are in bed.”! Merry Christmas!

  4. 4
    Jennifer S. says:

    and it’s gluten free!!!!! Yeah!

  5. 5
    RitaMarie says:

    So, I just bought some of the Jif mint on Saturday and was wondering if there was a recipe to use it in and along comes your post! However I’m not clear, did you use the Jif mint and mint flavor and mint chips??? I love mint but I’m thinking that would be too much. Thanks for the recipe, definitely on my “gifting” list.

  6. 6

    These are TOTALLY my new favorite Muddy Buddy!! I mean, I haven’t tried them yet, but I can already tell. I can taste them through the computer!! Is that weird?

  7. 7
    Diane says:

    These look yummy! Random question–do you guys have a digital kitchen scale you would recommend?

  8. 8
    Frankie Nelson says:

    Could you use Nutella instead of peanut butter?

    • 8.1

      Sure, that would probably be delish. I mean, I can’t think of how putting Nutella in anything could NOT be good. :)

      • Megan says:

        I just made this with Nutella. It’s excellent. I’m not sure if it was the Nutella, or the extra mint extract I used because I forgot to get mint chocolate chips, but my chocolate really seized up, so I added a couple extra tablespoons of melted butter.

  9. 9
    sarah says:

    does anyone know how sunbutter or other “non” nut butter would taste in these? We just found out we have a nut allergy—but I love these.

    • 9.1
      Holly N. says:

      I think Sunbutter should work just fine. I’ve used it in similar recipes for my nut-allergic child. Just make sure to stir it really, really well as it is very prone to separation.

    • 9.2
      Michelle says:

      I made these with Sunbutter (as well as dairy-free butter and chocolate chips) and they were delicious!

  10. 10
    Amy L says:

    I haven’t tried these yet but we use cashew butter to make Muddy Buddies as we have a peanut allergy. Usually I like the more “fresh” ground butter but for muddy buddies you really do need the more smooth texture for them to turn out right. I have found Jiff cashew butter works really well.

  11. 11
    Candee says:

    This is probably going to be way too addictive for my family! True fact: many, many years ago when I worked in the office of a manufacturing plant, I routinely spoke with THE Bob of Bob’s Candy Co., maker of the best peppermint sticks – they were a customer of ours. I am happy to report that he was such a nice, polite, down to earth man. :-)

    • 11.1

      Candee- I’m not even kidding when I say I would be more starstruck by meeting THE Bob, than I would be meeting any Hollywood celebrity! I’ve been obsessed with Bob’s since I was a kid, and now that I’m a grown up, I realize it’s for good reason. They really are the BEST candy canes around!

  12. 12
    Kayla says:

    I’ve always hated that people call it puppy chow, too. Super gross! It’s always been Muddy Buddies to me.

  13. 13
    Kari says:

    Yum! My daughter was just diagnosed with Celiac Disease so I’m always looking for special gluten free treats she can have, and these should work!

    PS- I subscribe to your blog in my reader, and I just noticed I actually had to click over to your blog to read the entire post. *gasp!* Only the first few lines show up now, where the entire post used to show up on it’s own. This just makes it harder to read when I’m on the go, because clicking over has to load extra things from your page that has other things going on with it. Is it too much to ask to put it back how it was, and let the whole post load in my reader?! Please? :)

    • 13.1

      Kari- I’m sorry we had to make that change. Unfortunately, there are dishonest people out there and our content is being stolen and redistributed via that feed. The only way to combat that is to truncate it. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we hope you’ll still take the time to make the one click to come over here!

  14. 14

    For what it’s worth, I am NOT diggin’ the summary of the blog post in my email updates. Please change your feed back to show the full post. Like the previous commenter, it makes your updates super hard for me to read on the go. I always click on the post title to go to the actual blog post when I am home and at my computer later. I just need to see it in my email when I’m checking my mail on my phone! Thank you :-)

    • 14.1

      Kim, I’ll copy what I wrote to the previous commenter, to make sure you see it too! I’m sorry we had to make that change. Unfortunately, there are dishonest people out there and our content is being stolen and redistributed via that feed. The only way to combat that is to truncate it. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we hope you’ll still take the time to make the one click to come over here!

      • I can understand wanting to protect your content, but I don’t think faithful and honest readers (and consumers–I have all your cookbooks) should be put through this hassle in the hope that it will prevent bad people from acting bad. If you know people are redistributing your stuff, then you need to send those people a takedown request. One thing you could do, which would NOT be an inconvenience to your readers, is to add your watermark to all your pictures, with your URL on it. If your feed is being directly re-published, the pics will go through with everything else. Then readers can see and type in your URL and visit your site. I *always* find the original site when I can see the watermark doesn’t match up with the web site where I’m seeing it.

        • Holly says:

          On my way down to post a comment on this recipe, I ran across your comment and feel the need to respond. I don’t understand how you’re so concerned with one click but obviously have the time to get one here and write a detailed paragraph expressing your negative feelings toward these ladies. This is their “job” and their decisions. I wouldn’t want someone telling me how to do my job and not make a choice that was going to protect my original work. I think all of us “consumers” need to respect that. I give Sara and Kate a pat on the back for having to read these comments and still be positive through the grind! Thanks Sara and Kate for all you do! :)

  15. 15
    Angela says:

    I saw a similar recipe that called this Reindeer Food. Super cute idea for teachers gifts!

  16. 16
    Auntiepatch says:

    YUM!

  17. 17
    Kim says:

    I live in your area…where is the best place to find those chocolate chips? I’ve tried several stores today and only found a couple of bags at Fred Meyer.

  18. 18
    Jenn says:

    Oh my goodness, this looks amazing! I love Puppy Chow (sorry lol), and I’m loving all the different versions. I’m really big on mint chocolate too, so I’m betting this will be really good.

  19. 19
    Monica says:

    I’ve decided to make these for a ‘cookie exchange’ but since I’m hosting, I will be taking creative liberties and making these and putting them in baggies. Oh, I’ve heard people refer to Muddy Buddies as White Trash. I don’t know where people come up with these names.

  20. 20

    Genius idea breaking up the candy canes in the food processor. I bet these taste wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

  21. 21
    Allison says:

    I saw you posted this recipe on Facebook yesterday and I just HAD to make it last night! My grocery store didnt have mint chocolate chips, so I used some Andies mints instead of the chips. Super good! Thanks for sharing this recipe – I love holiday snacks!

  22. 22
    Patti says:

    Happy Birthday Kate! Have a great day! You are loved and adored by us all!

  23. 23
    becky says:

    Where did you find those adorable containers?? Those would be perfect for teachers!!

  24. 24
    Heather D says:

    Very tasty! I added about 1/4 cup more powdered sugar, I don’t know if my candy canes were slightly smaller (I used brach’s) but it didn’t come out as powdery as I like with just the candycane/powdered sugar mix.

  25. 25
    jessica says:

    i wonder if one could substitute regular chocolate chips and some peppermint extract? or maybe with all the peppermint candy, just plain chocolate ones… will have to give it a whirl!

  26. 26
    Rochelle says:

    Yum! I have a rice allergy and a nut allergy, so I make my Muddy Buddies with cookie butter and corn chex instead of pb and rice chex. It is DELISH! I just bought some of those mint chips the other day….can’t wait to use them in this!

  27. 27
    Amy says:

    What in ‘All things that are Holy’ have you done to me…OHMIGOSH! I might have died a little…

  28. 28
    Lenoria says:

    Yum, yum! I wish I had tastevision because I would love to just grab a handful or three of this. I absolutely love chocolate/mint and this sounds fantastic! Bob’s candy cane is what I grew up with (especially the “giant” peppermint sticks which were at least 2 inches in diameter). We always bought my Dad one for Christmas and he would take a hammer and chip all the kids off some and we couldn’t wait.

  29. 29
    Sarah says:

    Delicious! My new fave holiday treat. Used Nestle mint & chocolate chips and it worked great. Thanks for sharing.

  30. 30
    Shelly P says:

    Can’t wait to make this and sorry to hear about Spangler candy cane not being as good as Bob’s I live in the small town where they are made.

  31. 31
    Lou says:

    Just made and tried these five minutes ago. Picky step-son-approved recipe. Not recommended for people who have prior addictions to crack or other habit-forming substances! I forgot to add the peppermint oil, and I think I needed more candy cane than I put in, as I was using the Bob’s mini-sized, which were the only size available at my local market.

    Step-son wants me to make this recipe again. Waiting for wife to get home from her meeting to see what she thinks.

  32. 32
    Susan says:

    My husband doesn’t like chocolate, so he misses out on great treats! But he loves mint, so I made these for him today and used chopped white chocolate instead of the chocolate chips. He LOVES it! Thanks for a great recipe!

  33. 33
    Debra says:

    Can I use regular coco chips and add peppermint extract?
    ,

  34. 34
    Holly says:

    Don’t mess up like me and do a whole teaspoon of peppermint oil! *gag* I LOVE peppermint and chocolate combined but totally read the directions wrong where it says peppermint oil to taste…. yeahhh. And did an entire teaspoon. After a few bites I felt like I had swallowed mouth wash. At least I’ll be over this by next Christmas and can try again lol!

  35. 35
    Jodi says:

    Can’t. Stop. Eating. Just made this and it turned out great. I needed to make it dairy free for a friend and substituted coconut oil for the butter and used dairy free chocolate chips. I used 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint oil. They seemed to need more powdered sugar and a little more mint flavor so I pulsed another 1/2 cup of powdered sugar with 4 more candy canes. Perfect! Thanks for a great recipe.

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