Scotcheroos are a classic Midwestern dessert! This easy no bake recipe creates chewy and sweet bars perfect for potlucks, summer get-togethers, or anytime you’re looking for a delicious and easy treat.
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. 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 had to ask my family where it came from because I didn’t remember making these often at home. One of my aunties noted that my grandma had made this scotcheroo recipe on the farm while they were growing up. She remembers them being made most often 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 scotcheroo bars 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!
Why You’ll Love This Scotcheroos Recipe
Level of difficulty: Scotcheroo bars 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. If you’re cooling your bars on the counter, additional time will need to be added.
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. This 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!
See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
- 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 9×13 pan: gently press your bars into a greased 9×13 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 scotcheroo 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!
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 DIY double boiler using a small saucepan plus a glass or metal bowl). 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? You can use either! While I love toeat natural peanut butter, I’ve found that it can be challenging to bake with. I tend to default to JIF when baking because it has a more consistent, even distribution of the oils which I’ve had better success with.
- TIP: If you are using a natural peanut butter, make sure it has been stirred properly to distribute the oil that likes to separate out. I’ve been most successful with natural peanut if I’ve stirred it, refrigerated it to harden, and then stirred it again before using 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).
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- 1 C granulated sugar
- 1 C creamy peanut butter
- 1 C light corn syrup
- 5-6 C rice krispies
- 1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 C butterscotch chips
- Melt sugar, peanut butter, and corn syrup in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, stirring continuously.
- Mix in the rice krispies. Start by adding in 5 cups 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 9×13 pan.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt your chocolate chips and butterscotch chips together, stirring frequently.*
- Spread melted chocolate and butterscotch over bars.
- Cool until topping has hardened.*
- Slice and enjoy!
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