This Halloween Chex Mix Muddy Buddies (aka Puppy Chow) recipe is chock-full of October delight – a little salty, a lotta sweet, with crunchy and chewy textures in each handful thanks to the addition of pretzels, candy corn, chopped Oreos, and Reese’s Pieces. The only thing frightening about it is how fast it will disappear!
Muddy Buddies (or Puppy Chow as we always called it when I was growing up) is one of our favorite, go-to treats when we want something sweet and crunchy. We usually make the basic version, which is so good on its own, but when it comes to Halloween, it’s fun to ratchet up the spook factor by playing off the colors of the holiday – orange, black, and white. I mean, just look at all of these mix-ins!
I mentioned before when I posted these Dark Chocolate Halloween Chip Cookies that I sorely lack skills when it comes to decorating holiday-themed treats. So I rely on color schemes instead of technical skills like intricate piping or cutesy arrangements on things like cupcakes to convey the festive Halloween spirit like in these Halloween Chex Mix Muddy Buddies. And honestly, this recipe came about because I had a whole bag of leftover candy corn after attempting (and failing miserably) at making candy corn cookies with them. I had seen some adorable cookies made with candy corn on Pinterest and even after reading all their tips and tricks for baking with candy corn, I still ended up with a melty, sticky mess and cookies that didn’t look anything like the original post, lol. So I regrouped and came up with a treat using the rest of the candy corn and some other snacky stuff that I just happened to have in my cupboard. Because doesn’t everybody keep a bag of Oreos on hand for “emergencies”? And the pretzels are from my stash of kid-snacks that my 5 & 2 year old love. The Reese’s Pieces were also left over from making the Halloween Chip cookies I mentioned above.
When you divide a batch of Muddy Buddies in half and toss one half with the traditional powdered sugar, but then toss the other half with brownie or chocolate cake mix, you get an awesome two-toned Chex mix base with a fun new flavor twist. Then stir in some pretzels for that salty-sweet crunch that everybody loves, sprinkle in Reese’s Pieces to amp up the chocolate/peanut butter element of traditional Muddy Buddies (I used the mini size candies, but you could use regular size if that’s all you can find), candy corn for chewiness and a true Halloween factor, and chopped Oreos just in case this Halloween Chex Mix Muddy Buddies version wasn’t over the top already. And hocus-pocus, you have a truly outrageous Halloween treat!
The only real problem with this treat is that it is super addicting. Like, I cannot have it in the house or I will snatch a handful every time I pass through the kitchen. And I will find excuses to pass through the kitchen all day long. It’s dangerous stuff.
I took a big batch of Halloween Chex Mix Muddy Buddies to an activity with some friends and it was gone in a flash. A big bowl of it sitting out at a Halloween party won’t last long and looks so festive and fun. And basically irresistible.
Just be gentle with the muddy buddies as you are stirring things together so you don’t crush the cereal too much. I find it’s easiest to use a rubber spatula to just toss the ingredients together in the bowl instead of stirring things in. The powdered sugar from the cereal base will lightly coat the other mix-ins so if you really want a pop of color contrast, keep a handful of candy corn, Reese’s Pieces, and chopped Oreos in reserve to toss over the top just before serving.
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