Scotcheroos

5 from 1 vote

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These classic no-bake bar cookies are crispy with rice cereal, bound together with a sweet peanut buttery mixture, and topped with a combination of melted chocolate and butterscotch chips.

Stack of Scotcheroos on a small, blue plate.

There are those of us who love a good bar cookie for its thick chewy texture, and those of us who love bar cookies because we don’t have the patience to make individual drop or cut-out cookies. Or perhaps we like bar cookies for both reasons, depending on the day. And a no-bake bar cookie that doesn’t require turning on the oven? Yet another point in the Scotcharoos favor.

Three Scotcheroos stacked on a plate.

What Are Scotcheroos (or Scotcharoos!)?

The spelling with the “e” is more common, but you’ll also see it often spelled Scotcharoos. Think of these as a cousin to rice krispie treats. Only instead of marshmallows the cereal is bound together by a mixture of sugar, corn syrup, and peanut butter. Then, a combination of chocolate and butterscotch chips are melted and spread over the top. You can quickly see the appeal of these dessert bars, yes? And if you make sure to pick a gluten-free rice cereal, then this is a gluten-free dessert.

And to reiterate: no bake. You do have to heat the peanut butter mixture, and melt the morsels; you can do that in a microwave in a glass bowl in short 20 second or so bursts, stirring after each burst, until the morsels all melted and smooth. Or, you can melt the morsels in a microwave or on the stovetop (see the directions in the recipe for creating a makeshift double boiler).

Pan of Scotcheroos with one taken out and on a plate.

Scotcheroo Making Tips:

Why are My Scotcheroos Hard? 

The reason Scotcheroos can become hard and not soft is because the sugar mixture was boiled too long. As soon as you see the tiniest bubbles around the edges of the pan, and the sugar has dissolved into the corn syrup, remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the peanut butter. You don’t want to allow the sugar molecules to crystalize which means they will firm up like caramel as the bars cool.

If you are storing your scotcheroos in the fridge, do let them come to cool room temperature before serving – the cold will also make them harder.

Woman grabbing a Scotcheroo from a stack.

Pressing the Mixture Into the Pan:

Once the peanut butter has been added to the hot sugar mixture, immediately stir in the cereal and quickly press the mixture into the prepared pan as it will firm up quickly. Use wax paper or parchment to cover the mixture as you press down to even it out, if you have it, as the mixture will be hot.

Scotcheroos: These classic no-bake bar cookies are crispy with rice cereal, bound together with a sweet peanut buttery mixture, and topped with a combination of melted chocolate and butterscotch chips.

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Peanut Butter Scotcheroos

You can use either smooth or chunky peanut butter in this recipe, and they will be great. Obviously there will be little bits of peanut crunch if you use crunchy peanut butter, and with smooth the only crunch will be from the cereal.

Woman holding a Scotcheroo over a pan of them.

Scotcharoos with Corn Syrup

I rarely use corn syrup in recipes, except when it’s really necessary. This recipe is basically a tweaking of the one that appeared on the back of the Rice Krispie box for years, and while I have seen other scotcharoo recipes that skip the corn syrup in place of more sugar, or other sweeteners, to get that authentic scotachroo taste and texture, you have to lean into the corn syrup here.

Storing Scotcharoos

Store in an airtight container in the fridge or at room temperature for up to a week.

Stack of three Scotcheroos in front of a glass of milk.

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5 from 1 vote

Scotcheroos

These classic no-bake bar cookies are crispy with rice cereal, bound together with a sweet peanut buttery mixture, and topped with a combination of melted chocolate and butterscotch chips.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes
Servings: 24 Cookies
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Ingredients 

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
  • 6 cups crisp rice cereal (such as Rice Krispies)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 cup butterscotch morsels

Instructions 

  • Grease a 13x9x2 baking pan, or spray with nonstick cooking spray
  • In a large saucepan combine the sugar and corn syrup. Heat over medium heat just until small bubbles form around the inner edges of the pan. Remove from the heat, add the peanut butter, and stir until well combined. Immediately stir in the cereal and press the mixture into the prepared pan (use wax paper or parchment if you have it, as the mixture will be hot).
  • You can melt the morsels in a microwave or a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler you can make one by nestling a metal or heatproof glass bowl over a pot with a bit of water in the bottom – place the chocolate and butterscotch morsels in the bowl, bring the water in the pot to a boil over high heat, and stir the chips frequently until they melt. If you want to melt it in the microwave do it in a glass bowl in short 20 second or so bursts, stirring after each burst, until the morsels all melted and smooth.
  • Spread the hot melted chocolate mixture over the top of the cereal mixture. Allow to cool completely, about 1 hour (you might want to put them in the fridge if the kitchen is warm), then cut into squares. Store in an airtight container in the fridge or at room temperature for up to a week.

Notes

The reason Scotcheroos can become hard and not soft is because the sugar mixture was boiled too long.  As soon as you see the tiniest bubbles around the edges of the pan, and the sugar has dissolved into the corn syrup, remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the peanut butter.  You don’t want to allow the sugar molecules to crystalize which means they will firm up like caramel as the bars cool.
If you are storing your scotcheroos in the fridge, do let them come to cool room temperature before serving – the cold will also make them harder.

Nutrition

Calories: 225kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 87mg, Potassium: 118mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 29g, Vitamin A: 11IU, Calcium: 12mg, Iron: 1mg
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About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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