Up until last year – when I received a free sample of the stuff with a basket of vegan goodies from Sweet V Confections – I’d never heard of “puppy chow.” At the time, I thought it sounded gross. Looked gross, in fact. (I’m not joking when I say that I’m the fussiest eater you’ll ever meet, at least outside of the six- to eight-year-old age group. Hey, I’m working on it!) The baggy of white stuff sat in the fridge for nearly a year before I cracked it open. (And then, only after I’d finished most of the other junk food in the house.) Then I promptly devoured it all. Not that there was much of it, but still. PUPPY CHOW IS DELICIOUS, Y’ALL!
So much so that I made a batch all for my own bad self. I started with a rather simple recipe from PETA, which I altered slightly; the recommended 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar wasn’t nearly enough to coat all the squares, so I ended up using nearly twice as much. Also, the chocolate-peanut butter sauce required much more time in the microwave, especially near the end: the hotter the sauce, the more fluid – and the more fluid, the easier to mix with the rice cereal.
Anyway, it’s really good! Not as pretty as Sweet V’s specimen – really, I found it impossible to evenly coat all the rice squares, and ended up with a number of large globular chunks of chow – but still yummy. And that’s what counts, yes?
Vegan Puppy Chow (for Humans Only!)
(Based on this recipe from PETA.)
Makes 9 cups.
1 cup semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup vegan margarine
9 cups rice cereal squares
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1. Combine the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and vegan margarine in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave for one minute. Remove and stir; continue microwaving in 15-second increments, stirring in between, until the chocolate, peanut butter, and margarine are blended well. Add the vanilla and mix well. Then microwave the mixture for 15 to 60 seconds, so that the chocolate-pb sauce becomes hotter and more fluid.
2. Place the cereal squares in a large (preferable flat and shallow) container and pour in the chocolate mixture. Stir gently until all the squares are coated.
3. Add 1 1/2 cups of the powdered sugar to the container and seal with a lid. Shake gently until the sugar has coated all the squares. Add additional sugar and repeat if necessary.
4. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes, or until the chocolate hardens. Once solidified, store in the refrigerator.