Scotcheroos are like a peanut butter rice krispie treat topped with rich melted chocolate and butterscotch. They’re a classic treat that’s chewy, sweet, and irresistible!
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Scotcheroos (sometimes called scotch bars) are an easy classic treat that always remind me of childhood and family gatherings. Maybe it’s a midwest thing, but if there’s a dessert spread at a church or holiday, scotcheroos are definitely on the table.
They have their place for good reason. This recipe is incredibly crowd pleasing. The base is chewy and sweet, and the combination of milk chocolate and butterscotch on top compliments it perfectly.
What makes this the best scotcheroos recipe
This is a classic midwestern American no-bake dessert, and you won’t find a lot of variation between recipes. However, unlike most I prefer to use natural peanut butter, which gives it a sophisticated nutty flavor, and use slightly less cereal so they’re a little extra gooey and chewy. You just need to try them to see how good they are!
- Crisp rice cereal
- Peanut butter
- Corn syrup
- Granulated sugar
- Milk chocolate chips
- Butterscotch chips
How to make scotch bars
- Combine corn syrup and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture just barely comes to a boil.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the peanut butter until smooth.
- Add cereal and stir until completely coated.
- Press the mixture evenly into a lightly buttered 9×13 pan.
- In a small microwaveable bowl, microwave chocolate and butterscotch chips for 1 minute. Stir, then microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring in between, until just barely melted.
- Spread the chocolate mixture over the bars and let cool and set completely before cutting and serving.
Top tips and questions
Why are they called scotcheroos?
The original scotcheroos recipe was printed on boxes of Rice Krispies in the 1960’s, and likely got its name from the butterscotch used in the topping. Be aware that even if the name is shortened to scotch bars there is no alcohol in this recipe.
Are scotcheroos gluten free?
While it may seem like they should be, scotcheroos are not necessarily gluten free. Most crisp rice cereal contains malt, which comes from barley and contains gluten. If you want to make gluten-free scotcheroos you’ll need to purchase gluten free crisp rice cereal or use another gluten free cereal.
Can I make scotcheroos without corn syrup?
If you’re looking for a slightly healthier treat, it’s not as easy as doing a 1:1 swap. I recommend trying these healthier scotcheroos instead.
Is it ok to let the corn syrup and sugar boil?
Make sure you heat the mixture just to boiling and then remove it from the heat. If you let it boil for a while your bars will be extremely hard and difficult to bite.
What kind of peanut butter should I use for scotcheroos?
I love the taste of natural peanut butter on it’s own an in baked goods, but make sure you’ve stirred it well to incorporate the oil before using. If you prefer using processed peanut butter like JIF they will also turn out great.
How to melt butterscotch chips
Melting butterscotch chips is not as easy as melting chocolate. Similar to chocolate, if they spend too much time in the microwave they will turn into a crumbly mess.
To melt butterscotch chips, combine them with the chocolate and microwave in 30 second bursts in the microwave, stirring each time. If you mixture starts to look crumbly, let it rest for a few minutes, then stir until it starts to become smooth. The residual heat from the bowl should gently melt the butterscotch down enough to continue.
Using a higher ratio of chocolate to butterscotch can also help it melt more evenly. If you prefer, you could melt them in a small pot on the stove over medium low heat, stirring constantly.
How to store scotcheroos
Scotcheroos will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. You can also cut and freeze them in a freezer zip top bag for up to 3 months. Let the bars come to room temperature before enjoying.
Tips for customizing
- If you don’t like butterscotch flavor, swap it for caramel chips or all milk chocolate in the frosting
- Swap the crisp rice cereal for corn flakes or chex cereal
- Use a cookie cutter to cut the bars into fun and festive shapes
- Replace ½ cup of the cereal with ½ cup finely chopped peanuts or cashews
- Double the chocolate butterscotch frosting
More dessert recipes
- Almond Butter Cups
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
- Pumpkin Seed Butter Cups
- Applesauce Cupcakes
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake
- Peanut Butter Blossoms
- Gingerbread Bars
- Vegan Cookie Dough Bars
- Butternut Squash Cake
- Pretzel Cookie Dough Truffles
- Pecan Pie Bars
- Sweet Potato Brownies
If you make this recipe, be sure to rate it, leave a comment, or tag #theliveinkitchen on Instagram!
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 4 ½-6 cups crispy rice cereal, (like Rice Krispies)
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1 cup butterscotch chips
- Lightly butter a 9×13 baking pan. Set aside.
- Combine corn syrup and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture barely reaches a boil.
- Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter until smooth.
- Add the cereal and stir to coat.
- Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
- In a small microwaveable bowl, microwave chocolate and butterscotch chips for 1 minute. Stir, then microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until just barely melted.
- Spread over bars and let cool completely before cutting and serving.