Bengal Spice Chai Muddy Buddies: a chai-flavored snack made from a sweet herbal tea with the flavors of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, black pepper, cloves and nutmeg.
I am a life-long fan of Chex Mix. Mom made some every year along with the Christmas cookies and candies, and it was a welcome break from all the sweetness. She used the original recipe, made with melted margarine, garlic powder, onion powder, and more than a little worcestershire sauce. Sometimes we made a hot-and-spicy version.
I’m not sure who came up with the idea for muddy buddies, the sweet version of Chex mix (a.k.a. “puppy chow”) but I want to knight that person with a wooden spoon. (“I dub thee… Sir Sweetus of Chexington!”) The first time I had muddy buddies, they were the (original, I assume?) chocolate and peanut butter version – Chex cereal, coated with a mix of melted chocolate chips and peanut butter, then enrobed in velvety powdered sugar. They are the original, and probably the best, version of muddy buddies.
The first new flavor of muddy buddies I encountered was snickerdoodle. Besides being a great insult and/or substitute swear word when you’re around the kids, the snickerdoodle is one of my favorite cookies. It’s chewy and soft, like all cookies should be, and it’s my dad’s favorite cookie. So the snickerdoodle muddy buddies were very addictive, and the bag didn’t last long. Soon I was roaming around Pinterest, looking for a recipe.
Find one I did – and now I have the power to create a portable snickerdoodle snack in less than 15 minutes, using only one bowl and no oven. Whelp. Pinterest, you are my weakness.
As it turns out, there are many creative versions of muddy buddies out there as well: mint chocolate, s’mores, chocolate churro, cookie butter (speculoos! – I never miss a chance to say that), Nutella, butterbeer, samoa… unicorn poop… and the list goes on. I started thinking about how I could infuse different flavors into my own muddy buddy versions, and I thought the chai-like flavors of Celestial Seasonings’ Bengal Spice Tea would make a delicious sweet snack.
The flavors in this herbal tea infuse readily into melted butter. I melt the butter together with the tea in a small saucepan, simmer on low (barely bubbling) for about 10 minutes, then strain the solids out and press them to extract all the butter. Then, because I like a strong, spicy flavor, I add a teaspoon of the grounds back into butter while it’s being mixed with melted white chocolate. If this is too strong for you, add less than a teaspoon.
I’m already thinking about the next flavor-infused muddy buddies I’ll make. Green tea? Earl grey? Or… what about coffee?
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Bengal Spice Chai Muddy Buddies
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 5 bags Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice Tea
- 2 cups Ghirardelli White Chocolate Chips (1 11-oz bag)
- 8 cups Corn Chex cereal
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Add powdered sugar to a gallon-sized zipper bag and set aside.
In a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Open teabags and tea to the butter. Stir to combine.
Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Mixture should be barely bubbling. Make sure the butter does not burn.
Remove from heat. Pour through a fine strainer and press on the grounds to remove all of the butter.
Add 1 tsp of grounds to the butter mixture and set aside.
In a large bowl, microwave white chocolate chips on 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. When chips are completely melted, add butter and stir well.
Pour melted chocolate over cereal, and gently fold to combine.
Pour immediately into zipper bag. Seal bag and shake to coat cereal.
Spread on cookie sheet. Cool for at least one hour. Store in a tightly-sealed container.