If you like Rice Krispie treats, then you’ll go head over heels for no-bake Scotcheroos, one of the most decadent peanut butter and chocolate desserts you’ll ever have. They’re ready in minutes and devoured in seconds.

Scotcheroos on a black drying rack.

It’s impossible to resist a sweet and salty Scotcheroo, a Midwest staple at birthday parties, potlucks and picnics. More of a candy than a cookie, this recipe is perfect to whip up at the very last minute, when all of a sudden, you need a dessert.

They freeze like a dream, too, in case you want to save them for a special afternoon snack.

Recipe ingredients:

Labeled scotcheroo ingredients in various bowls.

Ingredient notes:

  • Corn syrup: Light corn syrup, such as Karo brand, is lightly vanilla flavored.
  • Creamy peanut butter: We prefer store-bought here which makes this recipe extra easy. And since 18 ounces is the standard size for peanut butter, you can use the whole jar. (18 ounces= 2 ¼ cups of peanut butter, if you buy it in bulk.)
  • Crispy rice cereal: We prefer these made with cereal like Rice Krispies, but maybe you don’t! Some cooks make Scotcheroos with Cheerios, Special K cereal, Chex cereal, or cornflakes. It all depends on what cereal you are craving.
  • Butterscotch chips: Optional in some circles, but required as far as I’m concerned!
  • Chocolate chips: Milk chocolate, or if you want to go darker, that’s delicious, too.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. First, grease a 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan. Then mix together the sugar and the corn syrup in a heavy-bottomed pan. Bring the mixture to a boil. As soon as that happens, remove from the heat and stir in the peanut butter.
    Peanut butter in a silver pot being stirred with a wooden spoon.
  2. Next, gently fold in the cereal until everything is evenly coated.
    Rice krispies peanut butter being stirred together with a wooden spoon in a silver pot.
  3. Press the warm mixture into the prepared pan. Damp fingertips or the bottom of a glass (coated with nonstick spray) can help keep the mess to a minimum.
    Scotcheroo batter being pressed into a baking pan with a clear glass.
  4. In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the chocolate and butterscotch chips together. This can also be done in a microwave, by placing the chips in a glass bowl and heating for 30-second increments, stirring in between, until completely melted. Spread the melted chocolate butterscotch mixture over the cereal bars. This may be tricky, but an offset spatula can help make the top presentable. Finally, allow everything to cool completely before cutting into squares.
    Melted chocolate and butterscotch being spread on scotcheroo batter in a silver baking pan.

Recipe tips and variations:

  • Keep them soft: Ever taste a rock hard Scotcheroo? That’s easy to prevent! Don’t overcook the sugar and corn syrup; bring it to a boil, then remove the pot from the heat. Over boiling the sugar mixture makes the consistency more like candy.
  • Brown sugar: Some readers swear by the richness brown sugar adds.
  • Butter is better: Another reader tip: add ½ stick of butter (2 ounces) to the pot along with the peanut butter to make it even more lovely and rich, and keep the consistency soft and gooey.
  • Toppings: Add chopped nuts or toasted shredded coconut to the chocolate while it’s still setting up. Gently press down the toppings into the chocolate with your fingertips so they stay put once they’re cut.
  • Gluten-free: A few important things to note for Celiac or those with gluten intolerance. Rice Krispies brand is not gluten-free; they contain malt, which is made from barley. Some name brand butterscotch chips may also contain malt, so please read your labels carefully. Instead, find a gluten-free crisp rice cereal (or other type of cereal that you like) and follow the recipe.
  • No peanuts: Try almond or cashew butter in place of peanut butter, but you may want to add a tiny bit more sugar to the recipe.
  • Storage: Store the bars at room temperature in an air-tight container or covered with plastic wrap. They should stay fresh for up to 5 days, if you have the will power to not eat every last one.
  • Freezer: These freeze like a dream! Once they’re completely cool, wrap up the whole pan in foil and freeze. Or place the cut squares in a single layer in a freezer bag and seal well. They’ll keep for several weeks (unless someone finds them)! Then, the hardest part: allow them to come to room temperature when you’re ready to serve them.

Scotcheroos on a black cooling rack.

More sweet treats:

Scotcheroos on a cooling rack.

Scotcheroos

If you like Rice Krispie treats, then you’ll go head over heels for no-bake Scotcheroos, one of the most decadent peanut butter and chocolate desserts you’ll ever have. They’re ready in minutes and devoured in seconds.
5 from 5 votes
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Servings 32 bars
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 182

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup light corn syrup (see note 1)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 18 ounces creamy peanut butter (see note 2)
  • 6 cups crispy rice cereal (see note 3)
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips (see note 4)
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips (see note 5)

Instructions 

  • Coat a 9-inch by 13-inch pan with butter or nonstick spray.
  • Combine corn syrup and sugar in a large stock pot or Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter.
  • Add cereal to pot and stir until evenly coated. Press into prepared pan.
  • In medium sauce pan, combine butterscotch chips and chocolate chips and heat until melted and smooth. Spread evenly over cereal bars and cool completely. Cut into squares.

Notes

  1. Corn syrup: Light corn syrup, such as Karo brand, is lightly vanilla flavored.
  2. Creamy peanut butter: We prefer store-bought here which makes this recipe extra easy. And since 18 ounces is the standard size for peanut butter, you can use the whole jar. (18 ounces= 2 ¼ cups of peanut butter, if you buy it in bulk.)
  3. Crispy rice cereal: We prefer these made with cereal like Rice Krispies, but maybe you don’t! Some cooks make Scotcheroos with Cheerios, Special K cereal, Chex cereal, or cornflakes. It all depends on what cereal you are craving.
  4. Butterscotch chips: Optional in some circles, but required as far as I'm concerned!
  5. Chocolate chips: Milk chocolate, or if you want to go darker, that’s delicious, too.
  6. Keep them soft: Ever taste a rock hard Scotcheroo? That’s easy to prevent! Don’t overcook the sugar and corn syrup; bring it to a boil, then remove the pot from the heat. Over boiling the sugar mixture makes the consistency more like candy.
  7. Brown sugar: Some readers swear by the richness brown sugar adds.
  8. Butter is better: Another reader tip: add ½ stick of butter (2 ounces) to the pot along with the peanut butter to make it even more lovely and rich, and keep the consistency soft and gooey.
  9. Toppings: Add chopped nuts or toasted shredded coconut to the chocolate while it’s still setting up. Gently press down the toppings into the chocolate with your fingertips so they stay put once they’re cut.
  10. Gluten-free: A few important things to note for Celiac or those with gluten intolerance. Rice Krispies brand is not gluten-free; they contain malt, which is made from barley. Some name brand butterscotch chips may also contain malt, so please read your labels carefully. Instead, find a gluten-free crisp rice cereal (or other type of cereal that you like) and follow the recipe.
  11. No peanuts: Try almond or cashew butter in place of peanut butter, but you may want to add a tiny bit more sugar to the recipe. 
  12. Storage: Store the bars at room temperature in an air-tight container or covered with plastic wrap. They should stay fresh for up to 5 days, if you have the will power to not eat every last one.
  13. Freezer: These freeze like a dream! Once they’re completely cool, wrap up the whole pan in foil and freeze. Or place the cut squares in a single layer in a freezer bag and seal well. They’ll keep for several weeks (unless someone finds them)! Then, the hardest part: allow them to come to room temperature when you’re ready to serve them.

Nutrition

Serving: 1barCalories: 182kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 4gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 101mgPotassium: 108mgFiber: 1gSugar: 20gVitamin A: 5IUCalcium: 9mgIron: 1mg
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Comments

    1. Hi RoseMary, yes I think so. The texture is the same! The only thing is you *might* need more sugar since peanut butter often has added sugar and almond butters, etcetera often do not. But, you will be able to taste the concoction at the end of Step 2 to see what you think. Scotcheroos in generally are pretty sweet so your pallet might not want more sugar (as you will see, you’re already adding 1 cup of sugar so whether you need more is totally up to you). Thanks!

  1. These sound really good. I love the butterscotch and peanut butter together. They are so easy to make.5 stars

    1. Hi Debbie, yes! 2 1/4 cups is right. 18 ounces is a standard size of peanut butter in a jar, so I just buy that and use the whole thing. But if you have a larger container, yes, 2 1/4 cups. It’s also a very forgiving recipe! Thanks.

  2. I have made these for years but I layer the chips. Melt the butterscotch chips and spread over the krispy bars and then melt the chocolate chips and spread over the butterscotch layer. Love them!

    1. I wish I could tell you! I am not sure. I am sure there is SOMETHING that would work… marshmallows, maybe? They would be different but probably still good!

  3. My family always used brown sugar rather than white sugar. The brown sugar will give it a little different flavor, I think a little richer. All recipes I’ve seen use white sugar.

    1. Really?? I am going to go double check some of the church and school cookbooks I have on hand. Thanks for the info, I definitely want to check that out! Thanks again Lori!