A Spicy Perspective

Scotcharoos (Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Bars)

Best Scotcharoos Recipe – These classic no-bake treats are made with a combination of Krispies cereal, butterscotch chips, and crunchy peanut butter, all topped with a thick chocolate ganache.

Plate of stacked Scotcharoos.

What are Scotcharoos?

This is an old-school treat with tons of comforting appeal! Scotcharoos are similar to Rice Krispies treats, but are way more decadent and delicious.

They’re made with your favorite noisy cereal, peanut butter, butterscotch chips (hence the “scotch”aroo) and chocolate chips, all pressed together into irresistible hand-held snacks. No marshmallows required!

Hand holding Scotcharoo with bite taken to camera.

Why This is the Best Butterscotch Bars Recipe

Classic no-bake Scotcharoos are pretty amazing already, to be sure. They can be whipped up in about 15 minutes – which is perfect for those last-minute houseguests, potlucks, bake sales, and casual get-togethers.

We love to add crunchy peanut butter to our Scotcharoos recipe for extra texture. Plus a little sprinkle of sea salt on top to offset the sweetness. So these butterscotch bars are that much more flavorful with just a couple of minor tweaks and a hint of fanciness. *wink*

Pulled back view showing Scotcharoo with bite taken out in the foreground, plate stacked with squares in the background.

Ingredients You Need

  • Peanut butter – we prefer crunchy PB
  • Light corn syrup – see substitutions suggestions below
  • Granulated sugar – or coconut sugar
  • Rice Krispies cereal – or your preferred puffed rice cereal
  • Butterscotch chips – essential for true “scotch”aroos, but see suggestions below for other ideas
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips – see variations below for more ideas
  • Butter – unsalted
  • Coarse sea salt – optional
Ingredients needed: Crunchy peanut butter, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, Rice Krispies cereal, and corn syrup.

How to Make Scotcharoos with Peanut Butter and Chocolate

Set out a large mixing bowl, a medium microwave-safe bowl, and a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Line the baking dish with parchment paper.

Pro Tip: I like to make a diagonal cut at the four corners of the paper so that it fits neatly down into the pan.

Measure the Rice Krispies into the large mixing bowl. Then in the microwave-safe bowl, combine the peanut butter, corn syrup, and sugar. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring in between, until the mixture is smooth.

Large white measuring cup with melted butterscotch chips and peanut butter, combined with a spatula.

Pour the hot peanut butter mixture over the Rice Krispies and mix until well combined.

Hand pouring butterscotch and peanut butter combination onto a bowl of Rice Krispies cereal.

Then press the rice cereal mixture into the prepared pan, in an even layer.

Crispy rice cereal, peanut butter, and butterscotch combo pressed into a pan.

Wash out the microwave-safe bowl and dry it thoroughly. Then measure the butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, and butter into the bowl.

Get the Complete (Printable) Original Scotcharoos Recipe Below. Enjoy!

Bowl with butterscotch and chocolate chips.

Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring in between, until the mixture is very smooth.

Spread the butterscotch chocolate mixture over the top of the bars in an even layer.

Spreading chocolate ganache on top of pressed cereal treats in a pan.

Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired, and refrigerate until the chocolate layer has hardened.

Once the chocolate is firm, carefully lift the whole sheet of bars out of the pan by the edges of the paper. Then cut the butterscotch bars into squares.

Pro Tip: Use a damp cloth to wipe the knife clean between slicing, for the neat edges.

Scotcharoos cut into little squares on parchment paper.

This recipe yields 35 regular size bars, or 70 mini bars.

Close view of Scotcharoo square.

Recipe Variations

  • Make gluten-free Scotcharoos by using your preferred GF-friendly crispy rice cereal.
  • The traditional recipe is made with semi-sweet chocolate chips. But you can change things up and use milk chocolate or dark chocolate chips if you like.
  • Not a fan of butterscotch? Substitute them with peanut butter chips, cinnamon chips, or your preferred chocolate chips. These bars won’t technically be Scotcharoos, but they’ll certainly still be tasty!
  • Swap the sea salt with other toppings like colorful sprinkles or chopped salted peanuts.
  • This recipe can be made with smooth and creamy peanut butter, or even other nut butter variations like almond butter and cashew butter.
Plate stacked 3 treats high, filled with Scotcharoos.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make Scotcharoos without corn syrup?

There are a couple of options to make this recipe without corn syrup…

  • Marshmallows: Add 3 cups of mini marshmallows to the butterscotch and peanut butter mixture; microwave and stir in bursts until all is smooth and creamy.
  • Honey: Substitute 1 cup of corn syrup with 1 cup of quality honey.

Note that these swaps will slightly change the flavor and texture of the treats.

Why are my Scotcharoos so hard?

If your bars are a bit too hard, you likely overheated the corn syrup, peanut butter, and sugar mixture. Take care to microwave the combination in short bursts, and heat until just combined and smooth.

What is the best way to store homemade butterscotch bars?

After the treats have been cooled so that the chocolate on top hardens, they can then be kept at room temperature. Store in an airtight container, and keep in a cool dry place for up to a week.

Hand holding Scotcharoo square with bite taken out, slightly away from camera.

Looking for More Classic Dessert Recipes?

Scotcharoos (Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Bars)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
These classic no-bake Scotcharoos squares treats are made with a combination of Krispies cereal and crunchy peanut butter, topped with a thick butterscotch-chocolate ganache. Butterscotch bars are delightfully delicious and fun!
Servings: 35 bars

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Set out a large mixing bowl, a medium microwave-safe bowl, and a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Line the baking dish with parchment paper. (I like to make a diagonal cut at the four corners of the paper so that it fits neatly down into the pan.)
  • Measure the Rice Krispies into the large mixing bowl. Then in the microwave-safe bowl, combine the peanut butter, corn syrup, and sugar. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring in between, until the mixture is smooth.
  • Pour the hot peanut butter mixture over the Rice Krispies and mix until well combined. Then press the rice cereal mixture into the prepared pan, in an even layer.
  • Wash out the microwave safe bowl and dry it thoroughly. Then measure the butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, and butter into the bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring in between, until the mixture is very smooth.
  • Spread the butterscotch chocolate mixture over the top of the bars in an even layer. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired, then refrigerate, until the chocolate layer has hardened.
  • Lift the whole sheet of bars out of the pan by the edges of the paper, then cut into 35 regular size bars, or 70 mini bars.

Notes

If you don’t have sea salt for the tops, add one 1 teaspoon table salt to the chocolate mixture.
Storage tips: After the treats have been cooled so that the chocolate on top hardens, they can then be kept at room temperature. Store in an airtight container, and keep in a cool dry place for up to a week.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar, Calories: 174kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 2mg, Sodium: 210mg, Potassium: 95mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 19g, Vitamin A: 586IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 9mg, Iron: 3mg
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier

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