These easy, no-bake peanut butter rice krispie bars are the perfect treat for any occasion. They are perfectly chewy with a moderately soft bite, and covered with a luscious layer of semi-sweet and butterscotch chocolate.
Lightly grease a 9x13 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.
Substitutions and variations:
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.
Recommended equipment: Medium or large pot, 9x13 inch baking pan, parchment paper, mixing bowl, rubber spatula, offset spatula.
Disclaimer: Nutritional values (per bar) are approximates only.