Whip up a batch of this delicious sweet cereal snack mix with a festive Christmas twist! This Reindeer Munch – aka Christmas Puppy Chow or Muddy Buddies recipe – makes a great treat for movie nights or a fun filler for cookie platters.
Darlings, let’s celebrate the no-bake Christmas recipes. I’m all for turning on the oven, especially when it’s cooler outside, but sometimes that’s not what we need. Sometimes, we need the easy recipes we can whip up in minutes (in pajamas!), that we know everyone will love. This reindeer munch recipe is one of those easy wins.
Ever since I whipped up my first batch of Monster Munch, themed Muddy Buddy mixes have been among my kids’ favorite holiday treats. They like helping, but mostly they like shopping for all the festive mix-ins and planning the fun colors in each batch.
This Christmas version is super fun to make because of all the available seasonal candy! I keep it pretty simple this time, but it’s mostly because I had a moment with the name.
We went with Reindeer Munch for SEO, but I really wanted to call it “Sleigh Snacks”. Alliteration for fun food names is my favorite. Google doesn’t think Sleigh Snacks is a thing though. But can’t it be? Can we make it a thing? I like it better. Sounds jolly.
Anyway, this recipe is a keeper for a couple of reasons…
This is a no-bake EASY Christmas snack mix recipe
Did I mention easy? Look closely at the video… I made the mix on video day in my pajamas. Did I do that on purpose? No. I thought I could hide my lazy morning baker attire and that no one would notice. It was one of the first things the Godfather picked up when he watched the video.
In fact, he said “I love that you shot the video in your pajamas. It really shows how easy it is to make this recipe.” At first, I was a bit mortified, but then realized he makes a great point. This really is a quick and easy recipe to add to your holiday baking list.
Reindeer Munch takes up space
If you’ve ever bought cute packaging to gift treat boxes around the holidays, you know how those boxes always seem bigger than they look! Cookies and macarons make beautiful fillers, but if you have a lot of boxes to make, you’ll be baking a TON to fill the space.
My solution to this is to include a voluminous treat. Caramel corn (like this s’mores caramel corn) is a great option, but so is Christmas puppy chow.
This brings me to my third reason for adding this recipe to my holiday list…
Christmas Muddy Buddies is a great alternative to cookies!
We all love cookies, I know, but does anyone else feel cookie fatigue around Christmas? I find myself looking for alternative treats like gingerbread brownies or peppermint cheesecake for a little variety. This recipe offers that!
I plan the mix-ins to offer an overall salty/sweet flavor combination and a variety of textures. A sweet snack mix like this gives your palate a break!
In fact, this is one of the reasons I love bringing small bags of this to cookie exchanges. It always disappears so quickly because it’s a unique offering.
Reindeer Munch recipe notes and variations
Before I leave you with the recipe, I want to share a few variations and address a few questions that might arise.
Can I make this recipe nut-free or gluten-free?
If you need to modify a recipe to meet dietary restrictions, this is an easy one to adjust. To make this recipe nut-free, swap the peanut butter in the coating mixture for sunflower seed butter or another nut-free butter.
The recipe uses a rice or corn cereal as the base, which is usually gluten-free. Just check your packaging to be sure. After that, all you need to do is look for gluten-free mix-in options.
What mix-ins should I use for my munch mix?
Today, I kept things pretty simple and just used mini pretzels and a bag of seasonal M&Ms. If you’re wondering, they’re the sugar cookie flavor that was released last Christmas. On their own, I didn’t really love them, but the white chocolate and crisp center were a great addition to this recipe.
Other possible options include nuts (dry-roasted peanuts are great!) and sprinkles. Just avoid any sprinkle mixes with peppermint or candy cane pieces. The mint flavor will bleed into everything else and it just doesn’t work in this recipe.
I hope you love this fun Christmas snack mix recipe, darlings! Enjoy!
- 9 cups corn or rice squares cereal
- 1 cup white chocolate chips (see notes)
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 2/3 cups powdered sugar (see notes)
- 1 1/2 cups mini pretzels
- 1 cup candy-coated chocolate candies (like M&Ms)
- dry roasted nuts
- seasonal sprinkles
- extra chocolate chips
- Place the cereal in a large mixing bowl with a lid, or a stockpot.
- Put the chocolate chips, butter, and peanut butter in a smaller, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute, then allow it to stand for 30 seconds. Stir. Heat for additional 30-second intervals as needed until you get a smooth mixture.
- Pour the chocolate peanut butter mixture over the cereal and stir to combine.
- Add the powdered sugar to the bowl, cover, and shake until well coated.
- Remove the lid and add your mix-ins. Stir to distribute.
- Transfer the mixture to your lined baking sheet, breaking up any large clumps of cereal you may find (if any). Refrigerate for about 20 minutes until the chocolate has set. This takes about an hour at room temperature.
- Store the snack mix in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Best if consumed within 3 days.
To make a nut free version, substitute sun butter or another nut free butter for the peanut butter. For a dairy free version, use a dairy free butter substitute like Earth Balance and dairy-free chocolate chips.
Muddy Buddies recipes usually call for semisweet chocolate chips. For this Christmas version, I use white chocolate chips to give the final produce more of a "snowy" look.
If you've made puppy chow before, you know the recipe usually calls for 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar. I use extra because I don't transfer the cereal to a 2 gallon bag for mixing with the powdered sugar. To account for some of the powdered sugar sticking to the sides of my pot in the mixing, I add a little more. This is optional.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 601Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 239mgCarbohydrates: 98gFiber: 5gSugar: 52gProtein: 11g
These nutrition values are estimates. Exact values will vary depending on the ingredients, brands, and quantities used.