Scotcheroo bars are an old school treat that are always a big hit! The first scotcheroo recipe was printed on the back of the Rice Krispies box in the 1960s, and these no bake dessert bars continue to be a crowd pleaser today, especially in the Midwest.
I’ve had this scotcheroos recipe written down on a recipe card in my cabinet for ages. I asked my mom and aunties why I had it because most of these hand-written recipe cards are miscellaneous family recipes of yore and I did not remember my family making these often (if at all) when I was growing up. There was a bit of a debate on the origin. One of my aunties noted that my grandma had made this scotcheroo recipe on the farm while they were growing up, especially in the summertime because you didn’t have to turn on the oven. My mom thought this no bake dessert was actually a specialty on the other side of my family. The mystery still remains, but I can tell you this scotcheroo recipe is the real deal!
I recently made this scotcheroos recipe to bring in to the guys on my jobsite. They went nuts for them. I was told by multiple people that these were the best scotcheroos they’d ever had (and one guy apparently drives to the gas station to get a scotcheroo bar every day!). I’ve had a few of the guys seek me out to thank me and tell me how good they are. I was so glad they enjoyed them so much; it made my heart happy.
So if you’ve been looking for new easy dessert recipes to try, or want a fun no bake option for this summer, scotcheroos should be added to your short-list!
TELL ME ABOUT SCOTCHEROOS
Level of difficulty: Scotcheroos are one of the most easy desserts to make! You basically do 2 rounds of melting, a bit of stirring, and then spreading each layer into your pan.
Flavor: Chocolate, peanut butter, and butterscotch are the main flavors in this no bake dessert.
Texture: This scotcheroo recipe creates chewy scotcheroo bars that have an ever-so-slight crunch factor from the rice krispies.
Time: Including prep and cooling time, plan for about 40 minutes to make your scotcheroo bars. This assumes you’re cooling them in the fridge (because who wants to wait for the chocolate and butterscotch to set on the counter?)
INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO MAKE SCOTCHEROOS
Granulated Sugar: You’ll need 1 cup of granulated sugar to make your scotcheroos.
Creamy Peanut Butter: You’ll need 1 cup of your favorite creamy peanut butter for this no bake dessert recipe. Wondering if you should use regular to natural PB? See my notes below!
Light Corn Syrup: You’ll need 1 cup of light corn syrup for your bars. I’ve always used Karo brand, which I like because it does not contain high-fructose corn syrup. The corn syrup helps to give these bars the perfect soft and chewy texture (if you’ve had a hard scotcheroo, you’ll know this is a good quality!). It also contributes to the bar's sweet factor.
Rice Krispies: You’ll need 5-6 cups of rice krispies cereal which adds that little bit of crunch and texture that these bars are known for. I always start with 5 cups, and stir in additional cereal as needed if the base layer is too liquidy.
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips: You’ll need 1 cup of chocolate chips for the top layer
Butterscotch Chips: You’ll need 1 cup of butterscotch chips for your top layer. Important, as this gives you the ‘scotch’ part of scotcheroos!
OVERVIEW: HOW TO MAKE SCOTCHEROOS
Melt sugar, peanut butter, and corn syrup: in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, stirring continuously.
Mix in the rice krispies: start by adding in 5 cups of rice krispies, and stir to coat. If there appears to be extra liquid add additional rice krispies in, ¼ cup at a time until evenly coated and not runny.
Press into a greased 9x13 pan: gently press your bars into a greased 9x13 pan. Do your best to create an even layer with a flat(ish) top. Set aside.
Melt chocolate chips and butterscotch chips: In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt your chocolate chips and butterscotch chips together, stirring frequently.
Spread melted chocolate and butterscotch over bars: spread evenly over your bars
Cool until topping has hardened: I like to put my bars in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to expedite the process, but you can also cool your bars on the counter. In either case, cool until the chocolate has hardened.
Slice and enjoy!
TIPS & TRICKS FOR MAKING THE BEST SCOTCHEROOS
What’s the best way to melt chocolate? There are a few methods to melt chocolate. Melting chocolate can be frustrating if your chocolate seizes up (and it happens to the best of us). I have the most consistent success using a double boiler over medium heat on the stove (you can also create a double boiler effect using a small saucepan plus a glass or metal bowl, like this). Alternatively, melting chocolate in the microwave is another option but you need to make sure to keep an eye on it and stir it frequently. If melting in the microwave, I recommend heating in 20-second increments, stirring in between (you’ll check the melt-status of your chocolate as you stir). Once you see almost all of the chocolate ‘lumps’ are gone, continue to stir to encourage it to melt without additional heat. Your chocolate is ready once it is totally smooth.
Should I use regular or natural peanut butter? As I’ve noted in other recipes, while I love to eat natural peanut butter, I’ve found that it can be challenging to bake with. I tend to default to JIF (now usually JIF Natural) when baking because it has a more consistent, even distribution of the oils which I’ve had better success with. If you are using a natural peanut butter, make sure it has been stirred properly to distribute the oil that likes to separate out. When I’ve been most successful with natural peanut butter in bakes, I’ve stirred it, refrigerated it to harden, and stirred it again before even attempting to use it.
These scotcheroos are pretty sweet...is there a way to tone this down a bit? It’s true, classic scotcheroos are a very sweet treat. If you would like to reduce the sweetness in your batch, I would recommend reducing the amount of granulated sugar in the bars to ½ or ¾ cup as a starting point (*please note: I have not done this myself and cannot say how this may affect the texture).