Friday, December 28, 2012

Fast Friday: Puppy chow

Have you suddenly run out of cookies and need to whip up something sweet in a flash?  You know it's going to happen to all of us at least once over the holiday season.

A good friend will call and say, "Hey, we're in the neighborhood and thought we'd visit!  Is that okay?"  You look down at yourself, clad in the same sweats you wore yesterday and planted on the couch, and enthusiastically chirp, "Ohmygosh, of course!  We'd love to see you!"  "Great, we'll see you in about 15 minutes!"

15 minutes.  15 minutes!

You jump up, panicked, and look around the house, thinking, "Thank goodness I already cleaned the place."  That's one major headache carefully avoided. All that's left are munchies for company and your less than presentable self.

If you can manage to get yourself into some, ahem, real clothes in 10 minutes, I can help you get dessert made in the remaining 5 minutes.  Yes, 5 minutes.

Puppy chow!

White it's not very dog-friendly, years of research has shown that humans totally love it! :)

A classic finger food of Chex cereal, tossed in melted peanut butter and chocolate and dusted in powdered sugar, has been in my life since the days of yore preschool.  It's made appearances at sleepovers, birthday parties, all-night study sessions, and even work.

Fancy it is not, but delicious and utterly addictive it sure is.  Kids from 1 to 92 can't get enough of this stuff.  Watch as even the most disciplined and restrained folks reach for seconds, thirds, and fourths!

Ahh, the joys of the holidays are really grand, aren't they?  Spending time with family and friends is the true gift, isn't it?

That or those rare double or triple pieces of puppy chow.  That's really all I wanted for Christmas anyway :)

One year ago: Winter vegetable pot pie
Two years ago: Peanut butter fudge

Chex Puppy Chow
(adapted from the Chex website)

A few notes: If the full recipe seems like too much (trust me -- it's not), feel free to halve the quantities for a smaller batch.  But I'm pretty sure you'll be wishing you'd made the full amount or even a double batch.  Also, use whatever combination of Chex cereal that suits you.  I used half Rice Chex and half Corn Chex.

9 cups Chex cereal
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
4 Tablespoons butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar

Place cereal in a large bowl and set aside.  Pour powdered sugar into a large gallon-size resealable plastic bag and set aside, too.

In a microwave-safe bowl or large measuring cup, place chocolate, peanut butter and butter.  Microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring between, until completely melted and smooth.  Stir in vanilla extract.

Pour melted chocolate peanut butter mixture over cereal.  Toss with a rubber spatula until all cereal is coated and no excess remains at the bottom of the bowl.  Carefully pour cereal chocolate mixture into bag with powdered sugar.  Seal well and shake, shake, shake! until well coated.

If using immediately, place in a bowl or on a serving plate and enjoy.  If you have a few more minutes to spare, toss the sealed bag into the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes to cool and allow coating to set.

Storage: Keep in airtight container in fridge for up to 1 week.

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