These are a Midwestern staple! Scotcheroos are no-bake peanut butter Rice Krispie bars topped with a delicious layer of semi-sweet and butterscotch chocolate.
They are always a huge hit on any occasion, but especially around the holidays! I love making scotcheroos because they are easy, no-bake treats that require just 8 basic ingredients. They are make-ahead and even freezer-friendly.
Today, I’m sharing all the tips and tricks to make sure they are perfectly chewy and delicious!
If you’re a peanut butter, chocolate, and Rice Krispie lover, you’ll absolutely love these!
Scotcheroos are a classic treat in the US, especially in the Midwest. They are basically chewy peanut butter Rice Krispie bars covered with a luscious layer of semi-sweet and butterscotch recipe.
The best part? They are no-bake, so it’s super easy and simple!
Also, all credit goes to Kellogg’s! The original Scotcheroos recipe was printed on the Rice Krispie’s box in the mid-1960s, and it’s been a very popular treat ever since!
I’ve added a few tweaks in this recipe, such as the addition of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt for a touch of extra flavor. You’ll love it!
The Trick to Perfectly Chewy Scotcheroos
- Do NOT over-boil: Dissolve corn syrup and sugar in a pot until it JUST begins to boil, and turn off the heat immediately. Over-boiling will cause the sugar to crystallize, resulting in HARD scotcheroo bars.
- Use light corn syrup: Corn syrup doesn’t harden at room temperature, so it will keep them chewy and soft.
- Use CREAMY peanut butter to get the right, chewy and slightly soft texture.
- Let it come to room temperature so it has a chance to soften.
You only need a few easy-to-find ingredients to make scotcheroos right at home. It’s super easy and simple!
- Light corn syrup: It provides a sweetness, but most importantly, a chewy and softer texture.
- Granulated sugar: For sweetness.
- Salt: To bring out flavors.
- Creamy peanut butter: For best texture, use CREAMY peanut butter. I like to use Jif or Skippy brands.
- Vanilla extract: For flavor.
- Rice Krispies: Also known as crispy rice cereal. They are crunchy and so yummy.
- Chocolate chips: You need both semi-sweet chocolate chips and butterscotch morsels.
1. Melt corn syrup and sugar
In a medium pot, melt and whisk corn syrup, sugar, and salt over medium heat until it JUST begins to boil. Remove from heat immediately. Do NOT over-boil.
Important: Do not let the mixture over-boil. Once it BEGINS to boil, turn it off and remove from the heat. Over-boiling causes sugar to crystallize, resulting in hard scotcheroo bars.
2. Add peanut butter, salt, vanilla
Mix in creamy peanut butter and vanilla extract to the hot sugar and corn syrup mixture. Mix until evenly combined.
Tip: Make sure you use traditional CREAMY peanut butter to give these treats the correct structure and texture. I like Jif or Skippy brands of peanut butter.
3. Mix in the crispy rice cereal
Fold the rice cereal into the mixture until evenly combined.
If your pot is not big enough, you can instead transfer the creamy peanut butter mixture into a large bowl with Rice Krispies.
3. Assemble and refrigerate
While the rice cereal mixture is still warm, transfer to a 9×13 inch baking dish lined with parchment paper, and press down firmly to form a uniform layer.
Melt chocolate chips in the microwave oven, and spread it evenly over the bars. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 40-45 minutes, or until the chocolate is set and hardened.
Tip: It will be sticky, so use parchment paper or a bag as a barrier between your hands and the mixture to press.
4. Slice and serve
Once the chocolate has had time to set, remove from the fridge and cut into squares. Allow them to come to room temperature so they are chewier and softer.
Store scotcheroos in a sealed container at room temperature. There’s no need to store in the fridge.
We really love these super easy, no-bake peanut butter and rice krispie treats. They are great to take to parties and gatherings, and can totally be made ahead.
Everyone will love this classic and timeless scotcheroo recipe!
Here are other great treats to enjoy over the holidays. Check out the recipes:
They turn hard when the corn syrup and sugar mixture was over-boiled. Other causes could be not using creamy peanut butter or corn syrup. You may also want to allow them to come to room temperature if they were refrigerated.
No, I wouldn’t recommend it. Corn syrup has the right consistency and stability (especially at room temperature) to ensure the scotcheroos remain chewy and not hard.
No, there’s no need. However, you need to refrigerate them for 40-45 minutes to allow the chocolate to set and harden.
In a sealed airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Tips for Success
- Do NOT over-boil: Heat the corn syrup and sugar until it JUST begins to boil, and turn off the heat immediately. Over-boiling will cause the sugar to crystallize, resulting in hard scotcheroos.
- Don’t substitute the light corn syrup: It keeps them chewy and soft, especially at room temperature.
- Use traditional creamy peanut butter for best texture.
- Let it come to room temperature after you take them out of the fridge. That way, they’ll be softer.
- 9×13 inch pan
- Parchment paper
- Medium pot
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter see note
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 cups crispy rice cereal (Rice Krispies)
- 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 ½ cups butterscotch morsels
- Butter to grease the pan
- Lightly grease a 9×13 baking pan with butter. Line with parchment paper with overhang, and set aside. Tip: Greasing the pan will ensure the parchment paper stays in place, making it easier to spread the sticky mixture later.
- In a medium pot, melt (and constantly whisk) corn syrup and sugar over medium heat until it JUST begins to boil. Remove from heat immediately. Important: Do not over-boil, as over-boiling will cause the scotcheroos to turn hard.
- Mix in the peanut butter and vanilla into the warm sugar and corn syrup mixture until evenly combined.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold in the crispy rice cereal into the mixture until evenly coated. Spread it over the lined baking pan. Press it down firmly to form a single and uniform layer. Set aside. Tip: Use a bag or parchment paper to press it down since it will be sticky.
- Combine the semi-sweet and butterscotch chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt in the microwave oven in 30-second intervals, giving it a good stir each time, until fully melted.
- Using an offset spatula, evenly spread the melted chocolate over the bars. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 40-45 minutes, or until the chocolate layer sets and hardens.
- Remove from the pan (run a knife around the edges if needed) and cut into about 24 squares. Serve at room temperature so they are softer, especially if you just took them out of the fridge. Enjoy!
- Important: Do NOT over-boil the sugar and corn syrup. You only need to melt them until it just begins to boil, and then take it off the heat immediately. Over-boiling causes the sugars to crystallize, resulting in hard scotcheroos.
- Peanut butter: Look for the traditional “creamy” peanut butter jars. It will help with consistency and texture.
- Make-ahead: If making ahead for a party, I’d recommend doing so the day before so it’s relatively fresh.
- Storage: Store in a sealed airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
- Freezing: You can freeze squares for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator.
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips: Milk chocolate morsels. If you like dark chocolate, feel free to use that.
- Butterscotch morsels: Peanut butter morsels.
- Corn syrup: I would not recommend substituting corn syrup in this recipe. It is needed for a chewy texture.