Last year I attended a book club meeting just before Valentine’s Day, and I wanted to bring a sweet Valentine snack to share. When my net surfing failed me for a suitable recipe, I decided to invent my own Cupid’s Crunch. Keep in mind I use the word “invent” rather loosely here. I mean, I literally mixed a few red and pink candies in a classic munchies recipe: Chex Puppy Chow. Remember that stuff? Slightly messy and absolutely horrid for you, yet this treat is delicious enough to justify making once a year. So, here I am making it for my 2011 ration.
Making Cupid’s Crunch doesn’t take long, and you probably have most ingredients in your pantry. First, make some Chex Puppy Chow. (You can find the recipe and directions below.)
Next, I had my boys help me select some red and pink candy at the store. We came up with dried cranberries, Valentine peanut M&Ms, cherry-flavored, chewy hearts, and Valentine-shaped, chewy candies.
To help my boys feel like chefs, I let them each mix in the candies of their choice to make a “custom” batch for their various teachers. To do that, I placed all the candy out in little bowls. Then, I put a small portion of the Chex Puppy Chow in a larger mixing bowl. My boys then added the various candies to their batch and mixed gently (or as gently as possibly for two toddler boys) with a rubber spatula.
Once stirred to perfection we poured the mix into glass jars and labeled. We used IKEA SLOM jars because that’s what we had on hand; yet just about any jar or cellophane bag would work as well.
To make the crunch extra sweet, we added a label. If you’re not up to making your own label, download our free printable label here. Print on sticker paper, cut and adhere to jar or bag. As an alternative, print the labels on cardstock and hang from the jar with twine.
Directions for Chex Puppy Chow
:: 8-9 cups Chex cereal
:: 1 cup chocolate chips
:: ½ cup peanut butter
:: 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
:: 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 :: Melt the peanut butter and chocolate chips in a small saucepan over low heat. When melted, remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
2 :: Put your Chex cereal in a large bowl. Pour the melted chocolate mixture over the cereal and gently stir until the cereal is evenly coated.
3 :: Pour your powdered sugar into a paper grocery sack. Add your chocolate-coated cereal. Fold the bag down and shake, shake, shake.
4 :: Spread your sugar-coated cereal onto a baking sheet to finish drying.
A couple notes :: (1) Most people prefer to use Rice Chex. We used Corn Chex because my youngest has a rice allergy, and it still tastes great. (2) Some people opt to add butter to the recipe. I didn’t add butter, and I didn’t miss the added taste—or calories. (3) My oldest son did the shaking for me… I sent him outside so there was absolutely no powdered sugar mess in our house.