In today’s post: This is the BEST version of the classic Scotcharoos recipe, including tips to make sure they turn out chewy, not hard! A delicious peanut butter rice krispie layer is covered in a mixture of chocolate and butterscotch in this delightful treat.
Related: Loaded M&M Rice Krispie Treats
Scotcharoos are one of those absolutely delightful desserts that can be mixed up in just a few minutes with simple ingredients, but taste amazing! They’re like a totally amped up version of rice krispy treats with rich peanut butter, chocolate, and butterscotch flavor. They’re great option when you’re craving a treat (or need to bring a pan of treats somewhere) but don’t want to bake.
One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it’s so simple. It only has six ingredients and the amounts are easy to remember: one cup of each of the first five ingredients, and six cups of cereal. Here’s what you need:
- Granulated Sugar
- Light Corn Syrup
- Creamy Peanut Butter
- Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
- Butterscotch Chips
- Crisp Rice Cereal
The one cup/six cups ratio is the classic recipe for scotcheroo bars; however when I made them I add a little extra peanut butter, chocolate, and butterscotch to make them taste even better. You’ll see that reflected on the recipe card at the end of the post.
How to Make Scotcharoos
You can make scotcheroos in just a few steps:
- Cook the sugar and corn syrup together in a medium saucepan on the stove. When the mixture just begins to boil, take it off the heat and stir in the peanut butter.
- Pour the peanut butter sauce over the rice krispie cereal and stir to combine, then gently press the cereal into a 9×13 baking dish.
- Melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips together with the butterscotch chips, and pour the chocolate over the cereal mixture. Spread the chocolate out smooth, then let the bars sit at room temperature until the chocolate has set. Cut and serve.
Why Are My Scotcharoos Hard?
Scotcharoos are best when they’re deliciously soft and chewy, similar to the consistency of a rice krispie treat. However, there are a couple common mistakes that can result in hard scotcharoo bars that feel like they’re going to break your teeth. These are the things you want to avoid doing because they can cause hard scotcharoos:
- Do not boil the sugar and corn syrup. Some recipes tell you to boil the sugar and corn syrup mixture for a minute or two before adding the peanut butter. This is not a good idea because you can easily boil the sugar mixture too long, taking it to the “hard crack” stage which means it will be very tough once cooled. You don’t actually need to boil the sugar mixture at all! You want to cook it long enough for the sugar crystals to dissolve. You’ll see some simmering on the side of the pot as this happens, but as soon as bubbles start to roll across the surface of the sugar mixture, remove it from the heat.
- Don’t measure too much cereal. The recipe calls for six cups of crisp rice cereal, but it can be easy when measuring to actually add more than that, which throws off the ratio of “sauce” to cereal. If you want softer, chewy scotcharoos, be sure to level the cups as you measure the cereal and do not add more than six cups.
- Don’t press the cereal mixture down too hard in the pan. Once you dump the cereal mixture into your dish, use your hand to gently press it down and get a smooth-ish top. The harder you push, the harder the finished bars will be.
- Don’t refrigerate the finished bars. You can pop the bars into the fridge for about half an hour to help the chocolate set, but do not leave them in the fridge for longer than that! And be sure to let them come to room temperature before serving. The rice krispie mixture can get very hard in the fridge.
If you avoid these four mistakes, you should end up with soft, chewy scotcharoos that everyone will love!
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 cup Light Corn Syrup
- 1 and 1/4 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
- 1 and 1/4 cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
- 1 and 1/4 cup Butterscotch Chips
- 6 cups Crisp Rice Cereal like Rice Krispies
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- Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment and spray gently with cooking spray. Measure out 6 cups of rice cereal into a large bowl.
- Place the sugar and corn syrup in a medium pot over medium or medium low heat. Stir together and cook for a couple of minutes until the sugar crystals dissolve. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil with bubbles rolling across the center, remove it from the heat.
- Immediately stir in the creamy peanut butter to make a glossy sauce.
- Pour the peanut butter sauce over the cereal in a large bowl and stir to evenly combine.
- Pour the cereal mixture into the prepared pan. Using a damp hand, gently press the mixture into the pan and smooth the top. Do not push the cereal down hard or the bars will be hard.
- Place the chocolate chips and butterscotch chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave 30 seconds at a time until melted, stirring thoroughly in between each time in the microwave. Pour the melted chocolate over the cereal mixture and use a knife or offset spatula to smooth it out.
- All scotcharoos to set up at room temperature until chocolate is firm, 2-4 hours. You can place the bars in the fridge to help chill the chocolate (and may need to on a hot day). Just remove the bars from the fridge as soon as the chocolate is set and allow them to come back to room temperature before serving.
- Use the parchment paper to pull the scotcharoos out of the 9×13 pan and place on a cutting board. Cut into pieces and serve. Store covered.