If you live in the Midwest, chances are you’ve had a “scotcheroo” a time or two….and if you haven’t, ohhhhh let me tell you – you’re in for a real treat with this easy dessert!! Rich chocolate and butterscotch covers the creamy, crispy, peanut-buttery base layer in this no bake dessert! These are truly the best ever scotcheroos!!Jump to Recipe
Scotcheroos are the Cadillac of Rice Krispie bars. I used to love Rice Krispie treats (still do), but I’d say I make scotcheroos 10x more often. Have you ever brought something to a potluck thinking “this is gonna be a hit!” and been completely wrong? Or put lots of time and effort into a cake or pie and brought it to an event just to have one or two pieces taken?
You will never, EVER have that issue with scotcheroos…….they are a potluck staple here in Iowa and are loved by all ages. (They're also a quick, easy, and no bake treat!)
However, I’ll admit there are okay scotcheroos and then there are flippin’ awesome scotcheroos. And I’ve made both….I’ve tinkered around with the recipe a bit and had a couple flops and some great successes. However, I never kept track of what I was changing. I’d just make a change and hope for the best. I decided the best way to figure this out for once and for all was to do a little experiment…ehh large experiment! 😊
MYTH #1: Following the original recipe (boiling the corn syrup/sugar) will result in a hard scotcheroos
MYTH #2: Using name brand peanut butter will improve the taste and texture of the scotcheroo
MYTH #3: Adding butter to the sugar and corn syrup mixture will improve taste and texture of the scotcheroo
After a little searching, I found a few different variables in Scotcheroo recipes floating around the internet. I had a “control,” which is the recipe that both Karo syrup and Rice Krispies has on their websites. Then the variations were all in the base layer – I tested cooking methods, peanut butter brands, and amounts of corn syrup and peanut butter.
One afternoon I mixed up each of the seven variations. I used a scale to weigh ingredients to make sure they were as precise as possible. I then cut each test batch into small squares and brought them into work for coworkers to blind taste.
CONTROL RECIPE: (Scroll to the bottom for my FAVORITE recipe!)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 6 cup crispy rice cereal
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup butterscotch chips
Grease a 9 x 13” pan with cooking spray and set aside. Over medium heat, cook the corn syrup and sugar in a large saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and remove from the heat. Stir in the peanut butter. Add the cereal and stir until combined. Pour the cereal mixture into prepared pan and press into place. Melt the chocolate and butterscotch chips; stir; spread over base layer. Cool and cut into bars.
A – Control recipe, no boil
B – Control recipe, boil
C – Control recipe + ½ c extra corn syrup
D – Control recipe, but with Skippy peanut butter instead of cheap brand
E – Control recipe + ½ c extra peanut butter
F – Control recipe + ¼ c butter in sugar/corn syrup mixture
G – Control recipe + ⅓ c extra peanut butter + ⅓ c extra corn syrup
NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, I did not bring the sugar/corn syrup mixture to a boil (as I had tested and noticed a negative affect when boiled) an used the That’s Smart brand of peanut butter
|A|| Control recipe,|
|These were good; had decent texture but were |
|B|| Control recipe, |
|Although the recipe says to bring the sugar/corn syrup mixture to a boil, this was by far the worst of all the experiments. The base layer was simply too hard and crunchy|
|C||Control recipe + |
½ c extra corn
|These were the second favorite of the bunch. The texture was chewy and soft, but was lacking a little bit of peanut butter flavor|
|D||Control recipe, |
|Using Skippy peanut butter (rather than the That’s Smart brand) changed the flavor (not bad, just different) and made them slightly more crumbly|
|E||Control recipe + |
½ c extra peanut butter
|Slightly less dense, and a bit less “gooey” than a couple other top favorites|
|F||Control recipe + |
¼ c butter in
|Different flavor; nobody really enjoyed this one|
|G||Control recipe + ⅓ c extra peanut butter + ⅓ c extra corn syrup||This was by far the favorite! It was soft, chewy, and had excellent peanut butter flavor. YUM!|
MYTH #1: Following the original recipe (boiling the corn syrup/sugar) will result in a scotcheroo that is too firm..........TRUE!! DO NOT boil the corn syrup and sugar!!! This was the factor that seemed to have the largest impact on the end product. It’s so important to cook the syrup mixture on low just until the sugar has dissolved. If you see a bubble or two starting to form, pull off the burner immediately so it doesn’t start boiling.
MYTH #2: Using name brand peanut butter will improve the taste and texture of the Scotcheroo..........FALSE!! The peanut butter brand doesn’t seem to have much of an impact on the finished product.
MYTH #3: Adding butter to the corn syrup/sugar mixture will improve taste and texture of the Scotcheroo............FALSE!! The butter took away from the peanut butter flavor and didn’t have a large affect on the texture.
VIDEO: How to Make the Best Ever Scotcheroos
Yes, they are best served at room temperature. Cover the pan with a lid or plastic wrap until ready to enjoy.
Yes, these cereal bars can be frozen in a freezer bag or in an airtight container. If you can't fit them in a single layer, be sure to place a piece of parchment paper between layers so they don't stick together.
Yes! Many people call these Special K Bars because they grew up using Special K cereal instead of Rice Krispies. I like them either way!
I tested this once (awhile back) and had good luck using almond butter in the peanut butter mixture (which is great for people with peanut allergies!).
I don't recommend it because natural peanut butter would give a different texture that might not hold the krispy treats together well.
Sure. I love the butterscotch flavor (for me, it's part of classic scotcheroos) but you could use additional chocolate chips or replace it with peanut butter chips.
Yes. I don't think there would be any problem with that - it'll change the flavor a bit, but not necessarily in a bad way!
I've never tried it, but I think it'll work okay. I'd advise against "extra crunchy" peanut butter as it won't have as much moisture.
Other No Bake Treats
Loaded Scotcheroos - Take the scotcheroos to the next level with some fun add-ins!
So, what's the Best Ever recipe?!! I took the learnings from my experiment and added a little vanilla to boost the flavor. Once I tried it, I knew this was THE ONE. The BEST scotcheroo recipe ever.
Here you have it......the BEST EVER SCOTCHEROOS!