Salted Peanut Butter Scotcheroos are a chewy, peanut butter crispy cereal based dessert topped with decadent, melted dark chocolate and butterscotch chips. This scotcheroo recipe includes a light, flaky salt topping to kick the flavor up a notch.
If you grew up in the Midwest, these scotcheroo bars will bring back childhood memories. While scotcheroos are great any time of the year, these treats really shine in the summer.
They’re no-bake and easy to transport to all of your summer activities—a morning at the park, a potluck, or a BBQ at a friend’s house. They can feed a crowd…or you can keep your own stash at home (the perfect afternoon sugar pick-me-up). Dare you to eat just one.
These chewy scotcheroos are made without corn syrup, using low-cost ingredients you likely already have on hand. They’re also gluten-free!
What KJ Loves about Salted Peanut Butter Scotcheroos:
Scotcheroos are a dessert staple around here, and I love how this is a fun twist on a classic! Give me any excuse to add a bit of flaky sea salt to my chocolate desserts and I’m in. Loaded full of peanut butter flavor and nostalgia. Plus, they are easily transportable and storable! It’s a win-win for everyone involved. The perfect dessert for any time of the year!
What are Scotcheroo Bars?
Scotcheroo bars are a chewy Rice Krispie treat made with peanut butter, topped with chocolate and a hint of butterscotch (the “scotch” in the “scotcheroo”). The recipe was originally featured on the back of a Rice Krispies box in the 1960s. Traditionally, corn syrup is used for the base of this treat, but we’re making scotcheroos with marshmallows.
How to make Salted Peanut Butter Scotcheroos
01) Melt the sauce.
You’ll start by melting the butter, peanut butter, and marshmallows together. You can do this in a large pot or in the microwave. Don’t overcook the sauce—you should only heat it until the mixture is smooth. This is the most important step to make sure you have moist, chewy scotcheroo bars—not hard. Sugar caramelizes at high heat, so it will begin to harden and make a break-your-teeth dessert. Not what we’re going for (especially since the tooth fairy doesn’t come around anymore).
02) Add the Rice Krispies.
Gently fold in the puffed rice cereal. You can use name-brand or off-brand—either will work great! Spread in a greased 9×13 pan and flatten. You can use wax paper over the top to flatten the mix to keep it from sticking to your hands (although this is a great excuse to lick your fingers and “test” out the treat).
03) Melt the topping.
Microwave the dark chocolate, butterscotch chips, and coconut oil. If you’d like, you can also heat these ingredients on the stove. The key is to make sure you routinely stir the mixture! Pour the topping over the scotcheroo base and spread it out evenly. The coconut oil makes the topping extra shiny but can be omitted if you don’t have it on hand.
04) Sprinkle with flaky salt.
Salt it up! The light topping of flaky salt brings out the other flavors. Then, let the dessert set for 2 hours (if you can handle waiting that long).
The secret to a clean cut: Run a knife under hot water, and you’ll have super smooth lines. Voila.
We like Maldon sea salt flakes, which are perfect for finishing dishes. They look and taste great. You can usually find these at your local supermarket, but they’re also available at Walmart and Amazon.
Creamy is our favorite. You can use natural peanut butter, but it may cause the bars to be runnier. Regular peanut butter helps the recipe set better.
While normal scotcheroos use corn syrup, we find most people are more likely to have marshmallows on hand.
Never not into butter.
Puffed rice cereal
Any type will work, whether you prefer Snap™, Crackle™, and Pop™ or a “value” brand.
The “scotch” in the scotcheroo!
How do you store scotcheroos?
Store scotcheroos in an airtight container or bag at room temperature. They keep for around a week (if you haven’t polished them off by then!).
Why are my scotcheroos so hard?
It’s all about the sauce! The sugar will caramelize and harden if you heat the sauce for too long. Heat the base mixture just until smooth for soft, chewy scotcharoo bars.
How do you soften scotcheroos?
If your scotcheroos have started to harden after a few days, you can microwave them for a few seconds before eating. Careful, they’ll be hot!
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Thanks for following and cooking along with me!
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Recipe originally posted on October 1, 2018 – it has since been updated with new photos and additional words.