Monday, December 8, 2008

Secret Santa (Well..Sort Of)

Today has been a busy, busy day for me! It is the first time I have gotten a chance to sit right now since about 8-ish this morning. Don't you love those kind of days? Haha. But the reason for all the time spent standing was for a good reason. I was mixing up giant batches of Puppy Chow for all the girls on our dorm floor(about 40 of them to be exact). You may be wondering what Puppy Chow is; sometimes it is called Muddy Buddies or Choco-PB Chex. I have heard many different terms used since I became familiar with this to die for snack! But it's not the name that matters as much as the great taste combo of a crunchy Chex cereal covered in peanut butter and chocolate topped with a dusting of powdered sugar--it's truly a party for the mouth to say the least. I was introduced to this snack as a child. My aunt would always make up giant batches for all of us kids to have for our sleepovers, or just to snack on all day. I love looking back at childhood treats because not only are they good tasting, they also bring back good memories.

So back to my busy morning/afternoon of Puppy Chowing. I had this planned out to do this for all of the girls for awhile because it's finals week and it makes a great study snack, and it's a easy, yet unique Christmas gift. So I got a bunch of little treat bags and filled em' up with Puppy Chow, then delivered a bag to all the rooms. I wanted to do it in a "Secret Santa" fashion so everyone wouldn't have to thank me and blah,blah,blah, but I decided on putting my name just for the fact that if someone left a bag of food by my door with no name, I am not so sure I would eat it! I have already recieved a couple post-it notes on my door thanking me which is very nice. Also a good percentage of the bags have already "disappeared" from the hallway (into a belly I am sure).
Anyways, if you are not familiar with this treat, you NEED to make it ASAP or your life is not complete. Not really, but it's that good. Also if you ever need a treat that's quick and not too messy to whip up in big batches, I would say Puppy Chow is the way to go. So, here's how to do it Big Batch Puppy Chow Style! (Warning: Consupmtion of this snack may be extremely hard to stop!) Don't say I didn't warn you =)

The recipe below makes about 18 1/2 C. servings, but really, who just has a half a cup? You can easily double, triple, etc. the recipe.

Big Bowl
Mixing Spoons
Measuring Cups(1 C, 1/2 C)
2 Quart Ziploc Bag (or I use a small garbage bag to protect against breakage)
Wax paper or tinfoil

9 C Chex cereal(any type you prefer, they even have Chocolate Chex now!)
1/4 C. butter or margarine
1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
1 Tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar

1. Start by measuring out Chex cereal and put it in the big bowl. Next get a smaller microwavable bowl and put the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter in. Microwave for 1 min. then stir. If it is not all the way melted, an additional 30 sec. may be needed. Stir together really good while adding the vanilla extract.

2.Immediately pour the chocolate mixture over the cereal and start mixing! It can be a challenge to coat all of the Chex, that's why the bigger bowl, the better. Once that is done measure out the powdered sugar and place in whatever type of bag you are using. Close TIGHTLY and shake, shake, shake till all those little Chex guys are covered good. Then poor out onto a layer of way paper to cool. (And grab a FEW to test)

3.Your done! It's truly that simple! And if your like me and had to make lots, then while that batch is cooling you can start on the next. You can even put them in cute little santa goodie bags like I did!! Whoo hoo

p.s. There are many variations to this recipe, such as using PB chips for PB lovers. Do you have any awesome creations you'd like to share with me?! Send em' over if you do!

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