Poppy Chow [Chocolate & Peanut Butter-Covered Popcorn]
This popcorn version of the enormously popular muddy buddies (or “puppy chow”) is chocolate and peanut butter-covered popcorn tossed in powdered sugar.
I first discovered the wonder of muddy buddies a few years ago and since then, I have only been able to make them around the holidays, or else I will eat the entire batch within a matter of days. If you’ve never had them, muddy buddies (also sometimes called “puppy chow”) is chocolate and peanut butter-covered Rice Chex cereal that is tossed in powdered sugar. Basically, they’re the most addicting snack ever. This popcorn version simply replaces the cereal with popcorn, and I don’t think I even need to tell you how utterly fantastic of an idea that is. I’m currently hiding this from myself in the garage refrigerator until we have company because if it is easily accessible to me, I will absolutely eat all of it by Thursday.
My mom bears the responsibility for getting me hooked on chocolate-covered popcorn. One Easter about 10 years ago, my mom gave me a basket with some of my favorite chocolates (peanut butter eggs and meltaways, naturally), but there was something new in there. There was a package of chocolate-covered popcorn from a local candy company. I had never had it before, and to be honest, wasn’t sure how I would like it (I know, crazy, right?). Then I tried it… and the rest is pretty much history. I thought it was one of the most genius combinations I had ever eaten.
I typically use plain popcorn for this recipe, but last Friday, we went to the local orchard to buy pumpkins and I felt compelled to buy an enormous bag of kettle corn. About half of the bag got repurposed for this recipe, and it was just as good as the plain popcorn.
I also use large all-purpose bags from King Arthur Flour for coating the mixture in powdered sugar. I have found that it’s the easiest way to make sure that all of the pieces are evenly coated, but if you don’t have large enough bags, you can work in batches with a gallon-size resealable bag.
If you love all things sweet and salty, then this poppy chow was made for you. Grab some chocolate chips and peanut butter and get to it!
One year ago: Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Four years ago: Hardcore Chili
Five years ago: Homemade Cracker Jack
Poppy Chow [Chocolate & Peanut Butter-Covered Popcorn]
- 9 cups (99 g) plain popcorn
- 1 cup (180 g) semisweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup (129 g) creamy peanut butter
- ¼ cup (56.75 g) unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cups (180 g) powdered sugar
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
- Place the popcorn in a very large bowl; set aside.
- Add the chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter to a large bowl. Microwave on 50% power in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until completely melted. Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Immediately pour the chocolate mixture over the popcorn. Using a large spoon, stir until all of the popcorn is evenly coated with the chocolate mixture.
- Place the powdered sugar in a large bag and add the chocolate-covered popcorn. Seal the bag and shake vigorously until all of the popcorn is coated in powdered sugar. (If you don't have a bag large enough, you can work in batches with a gallon-size resealable bag.) Spread the mixture out onto the baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or until set. The popcorn should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
This recipe was originally published on February 24, 2011.
Wasn’t aware this popcorn had a name so my family dubbed our peanutbutter-chocolate coated popcorn… “Martian-Rock Snack Clusters”.
Instead of coating the popcorn with Powdered sugar, we use blanched almond flour.
To sweeten ours up, we mix either honey or agave syrup into the chocolate, peanutbutter, sauce.
In the future I might play around with the color to appear more orange colored (like the Mars surface). Might add 1/2 tablespoon of pure canned unsweetened pumpkin to my chocolate sauce, worried it might be watery but you’ll never know until you experiment. Maybe coconut oil too, we’ll see.
Thanks informing the internet how you make it, its nice to know we had the same idea.
Looks amazingly delicious recipe. Thank You for sharing <3
I just made a double batch to put in treat bags for the neighbors. It’s SO good!!
Oh my gosh these look so good!
Thanks for this recipe! I was going to make caramel corn for neighbors for Halloween, but this sounds even better & I have all of the ingredients.
I want to try this!! However , I’m all out of confectioners sugar. I’m thinking how would it be to reduce the creamy peanut butter and dust with powdered peanut butter a la PB2. That’d also reduce the calories and fat
Hi Jazzy, I am not at all familiar with powdered peanut butter, so I’m not sure how that would work?
I made this and the popcorn came out soggy and tasted stale. Did yours come out crunchy? How did you keep it crunchy?
Hi Olivia, Make sure that the popcorn you are starting with is completely cool at room temperature and not warm.
Hi Michelle, it was completely cool. Any other suggestions?
Hi Olivia, Unfortunately, I’m not sure why it would taste stale if the popcorn was completely cool before proceeding with the recipe.
Popcorn, chocolate, peanut butter…goodness! Yes, please. Do you know about what amount of unpopped kernels I should start with to get 9 cups popped? Thanks!
Hi Abby, Unfortunately, I don’t.
About 6 Tbsp
I had never heard of making puppy chow with popcorn before, so I had to try this. After tasting this chocolatey peanut butter popcorn concoction, I have to say I like the cereal version better because of the satisfying crunch. However, this was still really good and it satisfied my chocolate craving. For popcorn, I think I’ll stick to my marshmallows. Thanks for sharing. Always nice to try something new.
I just made this with my son. It is in the fridge as we speak and all I can say is, YUMM!!!!!!!!!
If it tastes half as good set up as it does after it is first mixed, then we are in trouble. My doctor would def not approve, sshhhh don’t tell him. LOL
Great idea. Thanks so much for the recipe, this is def a new favorite.
Found your recipe for “Poppy” chow through links Pinterest. Made it for my work pals and it almost didn’t make it there. Sooo good! Had to check out the rest of your blog too. Also from the Burgh, Go Steelers! You know have a new follower.
Hi Glenda, Welcome to the blog! Great to “meet” another Pittsburgher!
Yum, what a fun treat!
I’ll be looking for any excuse to watch a movie now that I now about this decadent snack.
Made this for movie night tonight! My boyfriend LOVED it, but I was missing the crunch I get with the chex version. I liked your idea of throwing some peanuts in, think I will try that next time! Thanks for posting this, brought back lots of good memories! I used to BEG my mom to make this for me growing up, haven’t had it in years! :)
We make a wonderful Puppy Chow in our kitchen at My Popcorn Kitchen, located in Scottsdale, AZ. Our recipe calls for our Caramel popcorn (to maintain the crunch), milk chocolate combined with peanut butter and butter, Rice Chex cereal, and mini twist pretzels. We combine in our fudge kettle and then pour into a large bag to shake in powdered sugar. We love the addition of the pretzels and cereal. The caramel popcorn is essential to maintain the crunch. If you try it, let us know. We’d love your feedback!
YUM! I heart popcorn, puppy chow, pb and chocolate, so this sounds just about right!
Oh my… peanut butter chocolate popcorn…
Where have you been all of my life?!
Wish I had this for superbowl :-)
This is a great twist to a classic. Yum.
Oh, my gracious! I WILL be making this. I LOOOOVE puppy chow with the cereal so I can’t imagine how it will be with another love, popcorn. Thanks for sharing!
I have the same weakness!!! So this would certainly fit the bill!
I’ve never made something like this but you reminded me that we received three bags of similar products for Christmas I should check out more.
Leftovers ?? There’s never going to be leftovers of this.. delicious!
This reminds me of some popcorn we got for Christmas 2 years ago, except it was made with white chocolate and peanut butter. Now my hubby doesn’t like popcorn, but he LOVED that one! I may have to give this a try and surprise him!
oy, apparently you CAN improve upon puppy chow! craving, now.
hmmmm… it’s like popcorn and reese’s put together! I will try this with a little hot sauce. Weird but chocolate and hot sauce is amazingly good :)
This sounds amazing! I’ve had chocolate covered popcorn but adding peanut butter really puts it over the top!
YUM. That’s all. Just plain yum. I need to buy popcorn.
This stuff could be the undoing of my diet- it looks seriously addictive!
I could not be trusted around a bowl of this. Hmmm – this chow looks sinfully delicious.
This looks delicious. Yum, I’m going to try this and can’t wait to eat it
Snack food at it’s best!
Oh my goodness that looks amazing. My mama has a popcorn addiction and would just LOVE this! :) Thanks for the recipe.
Any idea how long this would keep if I wanted to make it ahead of time for a party?
Hi Laura, I’d say up to 5 days or so; I’d just keep it in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it. My leftovers are in there now :)
YUM! I’ve never tried this with popcorn but I obviously love the original with cereal. Fantastic idea.
Wow! Before I found your site, I didn’t think there was someone out there that loved peanut butter and chocolate as much as I do. But lucky for me there is because now I have all your recipes to try out. This looks amazing!
Oh what a perfect combo. I’ve been buying the cocoa kettle popcorn, but think I prefer this with peanut butter too!
Poppy chow, puppy chow, tomayto, tomahto. It’s all delicious sounding to me!
Oh how I love combining chocolate and popcorn. Though, I have to admit my favorite guilty chocolate/popcorn combination uses microwaved popcorn and a Hershey bar. Adding peanut butter to the party seems like it would take the creation to a whole new level. Thanks for sharing!
Wow I love this idea! I actually have a popcorn machine and my husband and I make it all the time. I will need to try out this version!
Normally, I’m not a fan of popcorn (it’s like eating buttered sawdust) But…. using it as a vehicle for chocolate and peanut butter… I think I could eat that whole bowl :)
Thanks for sharing
This looks soooo good! Definitely going to be making this one… But, I need to make sure I have some friends lined up to help me eat it, otherwise I’ll probably devour the entire batch.
ooooooh!!! I make popcorn with white and dark chocolate but have never added peanut butter!! Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! – Katrina
Do you air pop your popcorn or pop it on the stove? Also, ever tried it with a sprinkle of salt or does the pb provide enough salt to get that good sweet/salty mix?
Hi Melissa, I pop it on the stove (I don’t have an air popper), but I don’t add any extra salt.
If you like chocolate covered popcorn you need to try black and white kettle corn… it’s in the snack aisle at most grocery stores and it big bags at Sam’s club. It is totally addictive! Then you can post us a recipe for that… :)
Step #5 must be a typo. Leftovers? In what universe?
Must. Have this. Now.
AMAZING. what a cute name for this! my friend and i used to make puppy chow and sneak it into movie theaters (shh don’t tell)…poppy chow will fulfill that role perfectly!
OMG!! Popcorn and puppy chow- why have I never tried this before! Genuis! i think i am making it tonight (and trying smores whoopie pies this weekend!!) Your blog rocks (:
this is amazing. I am MAKING this for my dad’s Oscar party on sunday.
Holy Moley!! This is fantastic!! Drooling everywhere…
Wow! I used to eat the chex kind at camp all the time when I was little. But on popcorn?! Oh deliciousness! I need to make this!
This is so wrong and so right at the same time! I wonder how it would work with fresh caramel corn – not that I am one to gild the lily!
Oh, this looks amazing!
Serves 8-10? More likely serves 1-2 in my opinion :))
But they look so fine…
This is what I’ve been waiting for! I love the popcorn covered in almond bark, and I love pb & chocolate. I hate Crispix or Chex. Yum, yum, yum. I can’t wait to try this.
Do you think it would work with crunchy peanut butter? It looks SO divine!
Yes! In fact, I shared some of this with my mom and said it was fabulous but wondered if I could throw in some peanuts too ;-)
I have made puppy chow with Chex so many times! In college it was the snack of choice for my roommates and me. We never tried it with popcorn though. I imagine it’s incredible!
I’m a sucker for anything pb and choc, too! Like this!
I’ve always wanted to try the popcorn version. I make the Crispix version, and want to test which one is better! Thanks for the recipe :)
Oh dear, this is going to be bad. We’re obviously going to have to make this and then we will undoubtedly finish the entire thing off in one sitting because it just looks too amazing not to. Chocolate + peanut butter + popcorn? Lost cause.
I’ve only had puppy chow made with chex mix, but I think I’d love it even more with popcorn. I am totally with you on the peanut butter/chocolate weakness!
I def have a weakness for chocolate and peanut butter too! But it’s so amazing and this poppy chow recipe looks so simple, but delicious. Thanks for sharing!
What an interesting twist, I’ve only had puppy chow with cereal!
Oh. My. Gosh. Puppy chow made with popcorn?!?! I cannot wait to try this!!