Nutella Mocha Muddy Buddies

Happy New Year’s Eve! Will you be spending the night out on the town, or at home in your pjs with take-out? We’re keeping things pretty low-key here this year; odds are good that we’ll be sitting in front of the tv watching the ball drop at midnight and I’m a-ok with that. After a busy holiday week, a cozy night at home is the perfect way to ring in 2014!

We will not, however, be ordering take-out. We made the mistake of trying to get Chinese several years ago and after waiting 2+ hours for our food, we vowed never again. Since then, we’ve started making our own little feast at home. This year I think we’re going with a Mexican theme: chips and salsa, enchiladas, margaritas, and more. YUM!

Nutella Mocha Muddy Buddies

I also like to have a few sweets on hand too. I’m still trying to decide between these margarita cupcakes or these churro cupcakes, but pretty sure we can’t go wrong either way. And in a complete deviation from our Mexican theme, Nutella Mocha Muddy Buddies will also be on hand for snacking.

I don’t know if it’s a regional geographic thing or what, but I’ve never had Muddy Buddies in my life. Earlier this month I was talking to Shane and discovered he’d never even heard of them. I decided before 2013 was over we were going to remedy this situation. I started with the classic chocolate and peanut butter combo and we loved it. This stuff is crazy addictive! It’s so simple too – maybe 10 minutes of work, if that?

Nutella Mocha Muddy Buddies

Since the original recipe is already so popular, I decided to make another variation to share with you. My mind immediately went to the jar of Nutella in my pantry and then while grabbing it I saw the espresso powder too and thought why not a Nutella mocha combo? I used the Nutella, instant espresso powder, as well as some dark chocolate to create this version. It’s just as easy as the original but with a totally different flavor. This one is slightly less sweet but no less addictive. I never really understood the hype surrounding Muddy Buddies but having now tried them myself, I totally get it. Perfect last-minute snack for any of your party needs :)

Hope you all have a safe and fun New Year’s Eve – see you in 2014!

Nutella Mocha Muddy Buddies
inspired by Chex

{Note: you can taste the Nutella mixture after adding the espresso powder, and if you want more coffee flavor, feel free to add another 1/4 teaspoon. Alternatively, if you’re not a fan of coffee flavor, you could skip the espresso powder entirely.}

4 1/2 cups Chex cereal
1.5 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup Nutella
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Place the Chex in a large bowl and set aside. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add the chopped chocolate, Nutella, and butter to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second bursts at 50% power, stirring in between each, until the mixture is melted and smooth. Whisk in the espresso powder and salt until completely combined. Pour the Nutella mixture over the cereal and gently toss until the cereal is evenly coated.

Transfer the cereal to a large resealable plastic bag (you can do this in batches if you don’t have a large enough bag). Add the confectioners’ sugar then seal the bag and shake until the cereal is coated in the sugar. Spread the cereal on the baking sheet in a single layer and allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container in your refrigerator.

Makes about 4 1/2 cups