Skip to content

Recipe Trial: Muddy Buddies

November 25, 2011
dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, & nut-free Muddy Buddies

The Willing Cook is taking this week off for Thanksgiving, but I still wanted to try out a quick recipe before the feast. I have wanted to make Muddy Buddies (also known as Puppy Chow or Penguin Poo) Joseph-safe for a long time, so I took this as a perfect excuse.

The Changes

Using Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips and Sunbutter instead of peanut butter was a no brainer. Before I discovered Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread, I scratched my head to figure out how I could replace the butter. If I hadn’t found the spread, I would have attempted to use corn syrup to achieve the viscosity. I also bet coconut oil would work (and be healthier).

Chex, vanilla, sunbutter, powdered sugar, Enjoy Life Soy-free buttery spread, Enjoy Life semisweet chocolate chips

The Method

Combine chocolate chips, sunbutter and buttery spread in a microwave-safe bowl.

Microwave for one minute, then stir. I always find it interesting that chocolate chips will hold their shape when melted until you give it a stir. If it’s not completely smooth (ie, there are still solid bits of chocolate chips) microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring inbetween, until it is completely smooth.

Stir in the vanilla, then pour over the Chex cereal (which has previously been measured into a large bowl). Stir to coat the cereal.

Measure the powdered sugar into a gallon-size zipper bag. Add the cereal. Seal the bag, and then shake to coat the cereal with sugar.

Serve immediately or store in the fridge until ready.

dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, & nut-free Muddy Buddies

Chex Muddy Buddies (aka Puppy Chow or Penguin Poo)

Adapted from

Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Soy-free, Nut-free


  • 4 1/2 cups gluten-free Chex cereal (choose your favorite, mine is corn)
  • 1 cup Enjoy Life semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup sunbutter
  • 2 Tablespoons Earth Balance Soy-Free Buttery Spread
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar

Measure cereal into a large bowl, set aside. Measure chocolate chips, sunbutter, and buttery spread into a microwavable bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring between, until completely smooth.

Add vanilla to chocolate mixture. Pour over cereal and stir to coat.

Measure sugar into a gallon-size zip-loc bag. Add cereal, seal, then shake to coat. Serve immediately or store in the fridge.

Makes 9 half-cup servings


cover copy copy


This recipe is featured in my cookbook The Best of the Rice of Life: Over 70 Gluten-free, Dairy-free, and Nut-free Recipes available now in print (Amazon, Create Space) and e-book (Kindle, iBooks, nook, Kobo and Smashwords).



What I Thought

I’ve read many claims that you can’t tell the difference between peanut butter, and sunbutter and other replacements. This is as true as claims that you can’t tell that a food is fat-free. I have found that while the initial taste of sunbutter is very similar to peanut butter, it leaves an earthy aftertaste that I don’t like. So I was very curious as to how that would affect the Muddy Buddies.

The earthy taste is still there, but it doesn’t linger (which was my main complaint with plain sunbutter). The combination isn’t the same as peanut butter and chocolate, but it’s not half bad. Joseph tried to stuff as many in his mouth at one time as he could. My husband also chowed down, commenting on how he hadn’t eaten Penguin Poo in forever, and didn’t make any comments about it tasting different (I didn’t point out how I had made them Joseph-safe). My daughter liked them when initially trying them after making them, but when I served them for Family Home Evening treat, she refused to touch them. *sigh*

Not only would I make these again, but I would take these in to a party so Joseph could have something to eat and share.

Shared on Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Gluten-free Wednesdays, Allergy Friendly Friday, and Time Out for Women

14 Comments leave one →
  1. December 6, 2011 1:33 pm

    This adaptation is helpful and a good reminder of this great snack.

  2. Dori permalink
    December 6, 2011 2:07 pm

    Peanut butter was my life-before the allergy results ! :o( I too have not been fond of replacing pb with either almond or sunbutter no matter what everyone says! Was wondering if you have tried cashew butter? It’s expensive, but if I knew it worked it would be soooo worth it! Not Christmas without peanut butter fudge!

    • December 6, 2011 2:42 pm

      No I haven’t tried cashew butter, but it sounds like it would taste good. I’m just hesitant to test any more tree nuts after seeing my son’s reaction to peanuts and almonds until I get him tested.

  3. susie D'onofrio permalink
    December 22, 2011 4:46 pm

    This was a fantastic recipe! I’ve made a trial batch today and i will be making more for our entire family for Christmas as my beautiful cousin has celiac. Thank you for posting!

  4. January 8, 2012 7:29 pm

    I’m not sure what your son can and can’t have! But I really like the Trader Joe’s brand of Sunbutter!! I don’t taste the “earthy” taste after eating it!

  5. lauren permalink
    July 7, 2012 12:12 pm

    My dd is very allergic to cashew and cashew allergies elicite very severe reactions if an allergy is present so be really careful! thanks for posting this! I didn’t have the butter tub so I went ahead with coconut oil 2 Tsp. and it turned out great. I actually had to add a tad more sugar because they were still wet.


  1. Recipes Free of Top 8 Allergens Roundup « The Rice of Life
  2. Your Favorite Posts – 2012 « The Rice of Life
  3. Your Favorite Recipes for 2013 | The Rice of Life
  4. The Best of The Rice of Life Cookbook Now Available! | The Rice of Life

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: