Intro: Bacon Puppy Chow
Puppy Chow can be found at family reunions and block parties all over the Midwest. It's extremely surprising that it has not fully caught on nationally; it is one of the all time best snack foods. The only thing missing was bacon, until now.
This Instructable will teach you how to make bacon puppy chow. It is sure to be a hit anywhere you bring it, especially if you live in an area unexposed to it!
I honestly didn't know if it would taste good, but after trying it I think it's excellent. This is how puppy chow should be made from now on, It is completely irresistible!
Please feel free to express any suggestions that you have regarding the recipe, or share your iteration of it! I'd love to hear how the bacon grease version turns out...
I made this to be entered into the MakerBot Challenge, the Bacon Contest, the Party Challenge and the Chocolate Contest, so if you enjoyed it please vote for it in them!
Step 1: Ingredients and Tools
- 1/2 package thick cut bacon
- 12 oz. box Crispix cereal
- 1 stick butter
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
- 7-10 cups powdered sugar
- perforated baking sheet
- Large spoon*
- Cutting board*
- small microwave-safe bowl*
- extra large bowl*
- XL Zip-Lock bag*
- Rubber scraper/spatula
- Parchment paper
- Paper towels
Step 2: Cooking the Bacon
The best way to cook the bacon for this application is in the oven. It allows the bacon to cook slower, more evenly, and with less grease. Cut your package of bacon in half. Leave the wrapper on while you do this if you're not too worried about packaging fragments in the food, I took it off to be safe. Cut a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil the size of your cookie sheet and press it into the corners, then place the perforated baking sheet on top of it. The liner will catch any bacon grease and avoid mess on your cookie sheet. Make sure that there's a gap for grease in between the baking sheet and the paper. Place one half of the bacon evenly on the corrugated baking sheet, and put the other half in the fridge.
For bacon afficionados, try adding all of the bacon. You should still cut it in half, and you'll need two pans, but it might just be worth it.
Put the bacon in a cold oven, and then heat it to 400° F. Start the timer for around 22 minutes for thick cut, or 17 minutes for regular. It helps to turn the bacon over halfway through the timer. Make sure to check the bacon every few minutes until the fat starts looking yellow, but really the best way to make sure it's good is to take it out, dab it on a paper towel, and leave it to cool for a few minutes. Keep in mind that the bacon continues to brown and cook a surprising amount after you take it out of the oven. Ideally for this application your bacon will not be crispy or floppy, instead right on the verge of crunchy and chewy. My bacon turned out perfectly after about 25 minutes in the oven.
Once your bacon is finished, wad up several layers of paper towel on your cutting board, and lay out your bacon on it. If you see excess grease, dab the bacon with a paper towel. Leave it to cool for about five minutes.
After it's cooled, cut each strip into small squares. I did this by cutting each piece on the cutting board down the center first, and then about every .5-1 centimeter across both halves. When you've finished cutting all of the bacon, you can wrap it up in a few layers of paper towels in order to further degrease it.
Note: The bacon instructions were adapted from the set here
Step 3: Mixing the Chocolate
While the Bacon is cooling, you can start making the chocolate inner layer for the puppy chow. In your small microwave safe bowl, add 12 Oz. of semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, and 1 cup of peanut butter. Place this all in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, stirring about every 45 seconds. Make sure that everything is homogenous.
For the bacon fanatics out there, consider using the bacon grease that dripped into the parchment paper or tinfoil as a supplement to the butter
Note: the Puppy Chow recipe can also be found here
Step 4: Chocolate Coating the Crispix
Pour the whole box of cereal in a huge bowl. I mean the biggest bowl you can find. It helps to have a lot of room to mix so that you don't crush a lot of the cereal. Add all of your bacon into the bowl, and mix it all gently in. use your spatula to scoop out all of the chocolate mix onto the cereal. At first it might not seem like it, but there will be enough. Mix this slowly and gently with a big spoon until all of the ingredients are evenly covered with chocolate.
Note: You could use Chex cereal, but Crispix seems to be the traditional ingredient, and I believe that it has more volume in the middle, which makes it's crunch and taste superior.
Step 5: Sugarcoat It
Fill your large Ziplock bag with about 7-10 cups of powdered sugar. Like the bowl, the bigger the bag is, the gentler you can be with the pieces to ensure that few break. Spoon in all of your chocolate coated bacon and Crispix mix and seal the bag tightly (avoid getting chocolate in the zip, it makes it hard to close). If you can't find a bag big enough to fit all of your mix, split it up into two or three batches; you need room in the bag to work with. Flip your bag end over end until the pieces are fully coated in sugar and stop sticking to each other. The bag's chocolate coated inside will gradually turn white as this happens. If it's taking too long, just add more powdered sugar. You can't really overdo it.
After you've coated the pieces, it is now called Puppy Chow. Many people stop here, but I find it advantageous to then put my chow, a little bit at a time, in a large strainer over a large dish in the sink, and shake it back and forth in order to get some of the excess sugar off. A lot of sugar may come off, and it will be graced with chocolate and cereal and bacon pieces, so you may not want to recycle this back into your normal powdered sugar container.
You may find large clumps in your mix. After tasting the nuggets, you'll realize that they're actually the best parts, however if you're looking to make picture perfect Puppy Chow, try spreading it all out into a single layer on some parchment paper to let it cool after you sugarcoat it.