Unusual name, delicious and fun cereal snack mix! You may have heard of puppy chow or muddy buddies. Well, that is what this is. I just put my own spin on it! It's delicious and I can't wait to hear what your spin is on this blissful cereal snack mix!
Have you ever had puppy chow or muddy buddies? I think I have once before and I remember thinking it was a very strange recipe, but surprisingly delicious! I love the savory cereal snack mix and I created a spin on the traditional Chex mix in my Flavors of Fall Cookbook, but this is the time of year my sweet tooth really kicks into high gear!
So, I decided to spur of the moment, to create a recipe and film it! I NEVER do that. I always test my recipes 3 or more times, but you know what? This one is so easy, that wasn't necessary.
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I did end up making it again though. Just as easy and just as good! There are a few things that I'll talk about that are different than the video, though, and I think it will make it even easier!
What is Puppy Chow, Muddy Buddie, or in this case Almond Joy Bliss, Cereal Snack Mix?
Usually, it is a cereal like Chex or Crispix that is coated in chocolate and peanut butter and then tossed in powdered sugar. I really did not think I would like it at all, but it is surprisingly delicious. The powdered sugar is really what threw me off, too sweet for me. The powdered sugar isn't too sweet when combined with the other ingredients and it is a little addicting to be honest.
There are so many ways you can make this cereal snack mix and I decided to make one that would remind me of one of my favorite candy bars, the Almond Joy! I just love coconut, almonds, and dark chocolate together. This happens to be one of my Mom's favorite candy combinations, too!
The wonderful thing about this cereal snack mix is how quick it is to make. Seriously FAST. Think 12 minutes fast. Yeah. Fast. You don't have to bake it, no fancy equipment is needed. It's a wonderful snack mix to give as gifts, too. It's simply blissful!
I decided to make it in the Ninja Foodi and I love that everything can be done right in the same pot, quick and easy. You can certainly make this on the stove or even by using the microwave. Toasting the nuts and coconut do add a depth of flavor, but it isn't absolutely necessary!
What Variations Can I Make to This Cereal Snack Mix?
Honestly, pretty much any combination you can think of will be just fine. Just start with the base of cereal and melted chocolate and let your imagination run wild!
Chocolate and peanut butter are a very popular combination, you can even add in peanut M&M's!
You can use any type of chocolate you like, you can even add in chocolate chunks.
I'm thinking about a dark chocolate with dried cherries and white chocolate chunks right now! Oh my, that sounds like heaven. Add in a little cherry emulsion to the chocolate and it would taste like a chocolate covered cherry with a crunch!
Add in cranberries or any kind of dried fruit. What about an apple pie version? Coat the cereal with white chocolate, add cinnamon, dried apples, and even some caramel bits!
Peppermint would be great, too! White or dark chocolate with peppermint pieces. Delicious!
I hope you have fun with this recipe and let me know how you make your cereal snack mix!
How to Make Almond Joy Bliss in the Microwave
- Put the cereal in a large container, preferably one with a lid that you can shake.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave. Make sure to do this at 15 second intervals and stir between each one so you don't overheat the chocolate. When the chocolate is 75% heated, remove and stir until the remaining chocolate is melted.
- Pour the chocolate over cereal and stir to coat cereal. Add in the coconut, crushed almonds and powdered sugar. Shake to coat the cereal with the powdered sugar.
- Store in an airtight container until you are ready to serve.
How to Make Almond Joy Bliss in the Ninja Foodi
This is my preferred way because you can toast the coconut and the almonds, and then melt the chocolate and mix it all up right in the same pot. I love the Ninja Foodi! If you aren't familiar with the Ninja Foodi, you can read all about it right HERE: How to Use the Ninja Foodi
These instructions are going to vary a little from the YouTube video, but making it either way is perfectly fine and it is going to be delicious!
The first thing you want to do is crush up your almonds. You can do this in food processor, a blender, or by hand. You want decent size pieces though, so be careful and only use the pulse function on a blender or food processor. Personally, I like to do it by hand for this recipe. I use a heavy duty meat tenderizer from Pampered Chef.
Believe it or not, that is the most time consuming part of this recipe.
In the YouTube video, I used a crisper tray that comes in the Ninja Foodi baking kit for the next step. PLEASE do not think you have to use it! Honestly, it was sitting right there and I grabbed it to use.
You can use ANY pan or use the air crisp basket. After the video, I asked myself, "Why didn't you use the air crisp basket?" The answer is, I don't know! I should have. I'm pretty sure that will be the #1 comment on the video. Anyway, use any pan or basket you want, it will be fine.
Earlier, I mentioned that these instructions are going to be a little different from the video and that is because I think the almonds could have toasted a little longer than they did. You can still do it the way I did and save time, but I recommend adding in your almonds first and broiling for about 3 minutes before adding the coconut. You can mix them up. You don't have to keep them separated like I did.
Make sure to stir them at least once and watch them, especially during the first few minutes after the coconut goes in. Once they start to toast, it goes quickly and you don't want the nuts or coconut to burn. Err on the side of caution here, it is much better to have them under toasted then burnt.
Once the nuts and coconut are toasted, remove from the Ninja Foodi. Add in chocolate chips and turn sear/sauté on medium-low. Stir continuously until almost all of the chocolate is melted. The remaining pieces will melt by the residual heat.
Add in ½ tsp of coconut emulsion and the cereal. Stir until the cereal is coated with the chocolate. I prefer using the emulsions over extracts because I don't have as much trouble with the chocolate seizing up. It can still happen, so I add the emulsion and quickly add the cereal. If you want to use extract instead, I would add ½ the cereal and stir, then the extract and stir, and then add the remaining cereal. You can also get coconut flavoring oils, but I haven't tried this yet and I'm not sure how it would taste in the cereal snack mix.
Once the chocolate is mixed with the cereal, add in the toasted coconut and mix to coat. You can also wait to add the toasted coconut and nuts until after you put in the powdered sugar if you want to see the different colors. In the batch I made, I actually add a few more almonds, chocolate chips, and untoasted coconut for contrast and it was really pretty.
I find it easier to coat the cereal snack mix if I transfer to a container with a lid and shake. The inner pot may be too hot and melt the powdered sugar.
You only want to add enough powdered sugar to lightly coat the cereal so it is easier to handle without having melted chocolate all over your hands. Believe it or not, the sugar does not come off on your hands, so it's not nearly as messy to eat as you may think. I ended up using 1 full cup, but use your judgement on this.
Serve & Enjoy!
How long will the Cereal Snack Mix last?
As long as it is kept in an airtight container, it will last several months. You can also freeze it for longer storage. I bet it won't last as long as it will keep! Happy Cooking!
Almond Joy Bliss Cereal Snack Mix
- Crush the almonds into medium size pieces. You don't want them too small. You can even keep some whole if you like.
- Place the crushed almonds on a tray on the rack in the low position or even in the basket. Set the Ninja Foodi to Broil for about 3 minutes. No need to preheat. Add the coconut and broil an additional 5 minutes. Make sure you check on them every few minutes, they can burn quickly. You want the coconut to be brown, but not burnt.
- Remove the almonds and coconut chips and add the chocolate chips to the inner pot. Don't worry if there are some almonds or coconut in the pan. Turn on the sear/saute to low-medium and gently melt the chocolate. Stir continuously, this only takes about 1-2 minutes. Turn off the Ninja Foodi.
- When the chocolate is melted, add in the coconut emulsion and stir. Immediately add in the cereal and stir to coat the cereal with the chocolate. Add in the coconut & crushed almonds and stir to combine.
- Transfer the mix to a container with a lid and add in ¼ cup of powdered sugar. Shake to coat. Add another ¼ cup powdered sugar and shake. Repeat this until all the cereal is lightly coated with powdered sugar. I ended up using about 1 cup of powdered sugar. Store in a sealed container. Serve & Enjoy!
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Seeing the need for easy, delicious, and high quality recipes, she is focusing all of her efforts creating recipes specifically for the Ninja Foodi. Her recipes are easy for the home cook to follow and provide step-by-step instructions.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can.