Scotcheroos aren’t your average cereal bars — they’re totally loaded with chocolate, peanut butter, and butterscotch! Scotcharoos are a sticky, crispy-crunchy handheld snack that no one will be able to resist – and you can make a whole batch in less than 30 minutes!
This is the best scotcheroos recipe – and, quite frankly, the best snack recipe – for anyone who loves chocolate, peanut butter, and a nice crunchy treat.
Scotcharoo bars are no-bake and so simple!
With just a few ingredients, a little bit of prep, and an hour of chill time, you can make a completely classic and spectacularly scrumptious dessert.
Talk about return on investment!
We don’t have too many opportunities to enjoy butterscotch, do we?
Let’s change that! Try out my oatmeal, caramel, and pecan cookie recipes – all featuring butterscotch!
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Crispy Rice Cereal – Name brand Rice Krispies or generic store brand – either will do!
It’s more about texture than flavor, as we’ll be drowning the cereal in delicious chocolate, peanut butter, and caramel.
- Light Corn Syrup – This is a very light, vanilla-like sweetener that’s great for homemade sweets, particularly the sticky ones.
You could also opt for dark corn syrup, which is made with molasses and is much more rich. Baker’s choice!
- Creamy Peanut Butter – I like to use creamy for a nice and smooth consistency, but I won’t exclude crunchy peanut butter lovers here.
If you’d like an even crunchier texture, then go for it! Those who prefer almond or sunflower seed butter could definitely use those instead.
- Chocolate & Butterscotch Chips – Semi-sweet, milk, or dark chocolate chips can be used in my scotcheroo recipe.
Consider your preferences and just how sweet you like your sweets, Butterscotch is awfully sweet, after all!
Tips to Prepare the Best Scotcheroos Recipe!
- Take Care With the Sugar – Overcooking the sugar will absolutely guarantee hard, tough scotcharoos.
So be sure to cook on low heat and stir constantly, and just until a paste is formed. It’ll still be grainy – that’s okay!
- Extra Toppings – Sprinklings of chocolate or butterscotch chips, a peanut butter or caramel drizzle, sprinkles, or really any garnish can be plopped right onto the melted top layer.
Just add your choice of garnish before chilling so it can settle onto the bars.
- Make the Day Before – You need a bit of chill time for the bars to firm up.
If you have time the day before, this is one recipe that’s great for prepping ahead of time. Then, let them sit at room temperature for just a bit so that they’re easier to slice!
- Cereal Substitutes – There are a ton of rice cereal flavors out there: chocolate, cinnamon, and sweet frosted, for example. Don’t hesitate to give them a try!
Storing and Freezing
These peanut butter cereal bars are great to keep and freeze, so they’re fantastic for making in bulk for school lunches, quick desserts, or even a fast on-the-go breakfast bar (it’ll be our secret)!
Make it easy on yourself and store scotcharoos separately, each wrapped in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
That way you can snag one or two (or three) at a time without thawing or bringing the rest to room temperature, helping the batch to last longer.
And don’t skip the parchment paper in the baking dish! It’ll make removal of your peanut butter scotcheroos so much easier!
They certainly are especially popular in the Midwestern United States, especially in Iowa. We have seen them in bakeries and enjoyed them from home cooks during our trips there in the summer.
Interestingly, the best scotcheroos recipe also varies a bit from state to state – everyone has their own favorite that they swear by! Some use corn cereal rather than rice, or maple syrup instead of corn syrup.
The name also changes depending where you are. They may be called Gold Bars or O’Henry Bars, for example.
Because of the butterscotch in the topping! That’s really the only reason – it’s a fun, classic recipe that was originally found on your box of Rice Krispies back in the 60s.
You have a couple of options. Agave nectar or golden syrup are the closest alternatives. You could also use honey or maple syrup, though bear in mind that those have their own unique flavors that will alter the taste of the scotcharoos.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Peanut Butter Dessert Recipes
- 6 cups crispy rice cereal
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 cups butterscotch chips
- Line a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
- To a large mixing bowl, add crispy rice cereal. Set aside.
- To a medium saucepan over low heat, add corn syrup and sugar. Whisk continuously to create a grainy paste.
- Once paste is formed, increase the burner heat and allow the mixture to come to a boil, then immediately remove from the heat.
- Stir in peanut butter. Pour mixture into the bowl with cereal. Using a heat-proof spatula/spoon, stir to combine.
- Grease your hands with butter or non-stick cooking spray. Using your greased hands, press the scotcharoos mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- To a microwaveable bowl, add the chocolate and butterscotch chips. Microwave on High power in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until mixture is smooth.
- Pour over the top of the cereal bars and use an offset spatula to spread into an even layer.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour. Remove from the refrigerator and allow the scotcheroos to come to room temperature for easier cutting.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published October 2022
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