No bake, easy to make, scotcharoos for any and all seasons! An off the charts delicious, portable treat to pack for picnics, potlucks, and parties.
It is hard to decide what to focus on when describing the many pluses of scotcharoos! They are a cook’s best friend when it comes to convenience and prep time. Scotcharoos use only six ingredients and can be thrown together in as long as it takes to melt then cool peanut butter!
Then there’s the fact that they produce a generous 9 by 13 inch size helping of tasty dessert or snack food. This portion size especially comes in handy when you are faced with last minute potlucks, school events, friendly gatherings, or spontaneous family trips! The portability factor is also a great help here. You can easily pack them into a bag or Tupperware for trips out of the home and into the great outdoors. And they are less messy than many granola bars are these days!
What’s more, you do not need to constrain scotcharoos to summer or winter events. They work perfectly in any season, and you can dress them up to suit the occasion! Try candied ginger for the winter holidays, sprinkles for birthdays, or chopped caramels for summer! Whatever the occasion, I hope you enjoy scotcharoos as much as my family does.
WHAT I LOVE MOST ABOUT THIS RECIPE:
- This recipe makes a very generous helping of scotcharoos!
- There’s no greater reward than the smile on my kids’ faces.
- I love that they are easy to truck around to both indoor and outdoor gatherings.
- No bake means no preheating the oven and a lower energy bill!
What Are Scotcharoos?
We can thank the Rice Krispy company for the invention of Scotcharoos. Popularized in the 1960s, these two-layered dessert bars have been feeding families for five decades now. The bottom layer is a peanut butter and cereal delight, and the top is a rich chocolate butterscotch coating – nothin’ wrong with that my friends!
What Ingredients Do You Need For Scotcharoos?
I think the best ever scotcharoos are those made with Rice Krispies folded into a light corn syrup, granulated sugar, and creamy peanut butter mixture and covered with a butterscotch chocolate chip spread.
I touch on a few variations in the notes below, however! You can also make them with marshmallows, without corn syrup, or with a different cereal. Scotcharoos Tumblr ready recipes abound but you need go no further. One fun variation is a pretty, festive topping like coconut flakes or fresh mint leaves.
How Do You Make Scotcharoos?
Scotcharoos really require only two main moves. The whole process is quite easy! First, you melt and mix the sugar, syrup, peanut butter, and cereal.
After pressing this mixture into a pan, you coat it with melted chocolate and butterscotch. It’s really that simple! Just don’t forget to butter the pan and cool the scotcharoos before cutting.
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
- 6 cups Rice Krispies
- 1 cup butterscotch chips
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Generously butter a 9x13 inch baking pan. Set aside.
- In a large pot, mix together corn syrup, sugar, and peanut butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring until peanut butter melts.
- Bring mixture to a boil. Remove from heat, and fold in the cereal.
- Spoon mixture into the prepared pan and gently press (if you push them into the pan with too much force, they will be hard when they cool) into an even layer.
- In a medium saucepan, over medium-low heat and stirring constantly, melt chocolate chips and butterscotch chips together until smooth. Spread over top of bars and let bars cool. Cut into squares.
- Let the mixture come to room temperature and set. Then cut and serve.
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Recipe Notes For Scotcharoos:
Scotcharoos too hard: If the final product is too dense, you have made one of two mistakes: boiling too long or packing too tightly. In order to avoid creating rock hard scotcharoos, you must remove the corn syrup, sugar, and peanut butter mixture from the heat at the very first sign of a bubble. With continuous stirring, the sugar should have fully dissolved at the first sign of a boil. If you bring the mixture to a full boil, you will end up needing to throw out the baking pan along with the scotcharoos! You might also destroy the knife you were trying to cut them with! Also remember to gently pack the mixture into the pan. If you press too hard, you will run into these same density problems. We certainly don’t want any broken teeth!
Scotcheroos without corn syrup: To achieve the trademark soft and chewy texture of these bars, simply omit the corn syrup! And don’t worry: the chocolate, sugar, and peanut butter will provide plenty of sweetness.
Melting butterscotch chips: I know it is tempting to make every step of scotcharoos microwave style, but remember that butterscotch chips scorch very easily. For this reason I recommend melting the chips on the stovetop instead of in the microwave. With the stovetop, you are able to stir constantly and keep a closer eye on the melting progress. Check out this Seattle Times article for more butterscotch melting tips.
Serving suggestion: Scotcharoos are best served at room temperature. If served too warm, they may melt messily; if served too cold, they may be tough to chew.
Cereal variations: Some people like scotcharoos with Chex cereal instead of Rice Krispies. I prefer the more delicate texture of smaller cereal, but to each her own! Pretty much any cereal that is on the more fragile side will get the job done. If you are looking for another variation, you might also try scotcheroos with corn flakes.
Topping: I think the chocolate butterscotch layer is a more than adequate topping, but if you want to beautify the treat for a party, you could use mint, candied ginger, chopped nuts, shaved coconut, sea salt, orange zest, colorful sprinkles, or small candies like m&ms. The ideal time to add the additional decorations is while the chocolate layer is still warm.
Scotcheroos with marshmallows: For a chewy texture closer to that of Rice Krispy treats, substitute 12 cups of mini marshmallows for the sugar and corn syrup. Mix into the melted peanut butter on low heat to avoid scorching. Then proceed with the remainder of the recipe as described!
Scotcharoos gluten free: For a gluten free version of this recipe, select a peanut butter that is certified gluten free. Most peanut butters are, since peanuts on their own do not contain gluten. Do the same for the chocolate and butterscotch chips. Some common additives in these chips contain gluten. Finally, use a gluten free cereal! While rice is safe for the gluten intolerant, Rice Krispies are not, because the cereal is made using things other than rice! So be sure to select a package labeled as safe. You should not need to worry about the sugar and corn syrup. Check out San Francisco Gate’s healthy eating article for the deets on corn. Gluten Free Living has another nice article on ingredients you don’t need to worry about.
How Do You Make Scotcharoos Soft And Chewy And Not Hard?
The best scotcheroos recipe is one that is edible and doesn’t destroy your cookware! To achieve the desired softness, do not overcook the peanut butter mixture, and refrain from packing the scotcharoos too densely into the pan.
These are very common mistakes, so don’t despair if you have to start over a few times in your life. Great cooks are made through trial and error!
Can You Make Scotcharoos In The Microwave?
It is theoretically possible to complete steps two and five of this recipe in the microwave, but I would advise against it. Chocolate and butterscotch burn easily, and it is very easy to overcook the peanut butter mixture.
You run the risk of ruining the whole thing with a few too many seconds in the microwave. This scotcharoos recipe is quick and easy enough as it is without cutting corners!
What Do Scotcharoos Taste Like?
Scotcharoos taste like a wonderful combination of peanut butter, chocolate, and butterscotch blended with a hint of wholesome cereal grain. They are very sweet but not unpleasantly so. Imagine a magical cross between Rice Krispy Treats and Brookie Bars. Yum!
How Do You Store Scotcharoos?
You can store scotcharoos before slicing by covering the pan with plastic wrap, tin foil, or another air tight covering. Earth 911 has an interesting article on eco-friendly alternatives to plastic wrap and tin foil. BuzzFeed also has a nice video up on how to make your own cling wrap from old cloth and beeswax!
Store scotcharoos in a Tupperware or Ziploc bag after slicing. They will keep for about two days on the counter and up to two weeks in the fridge.
Can You Freeze Scotcheroos?
You can indeed! Just use an airtight, freezer safe container as always, and place a sheet of wax paper between layers. Scotcharoos will keep in the freezer for about two months.
Treats like this are so convenient for the winter months. Make some for Thanksgiving or a birthday, then pull out the leftovers for your Christmas or New Year’s gathering!
Is It Scotcharoos Or Scotcheroos?
The correct spelling is in fact … scotcheroos with an “e”! But both spellings are common, so don’t sweat the small stuff. I use “scotcharoos” because that is what we are used to around here!