I feel like a failure at making Rice Krispies treats. I know. These are probably the first recipe that many people ever made on their own as kids, and I, who supposedly know something about baking, struggle with them. It seems like they are always just so sticky. I can’t seem to get the krispies to mix in well, and then when I pour them out of the pot, it seems like half of the good stuff is still stuck inside. I’ve tried them in the microwave and on the stovetop, and they are o.k. but not worth the frustration.
When I want a krispy treat without having to deal with actual Rice Krispies treats and all of the stickiness, I think of Scotcheroos. They are basically a peanut butter Rice Krispies Treat that is then topped with a blend of melted chocolate and butterscotch chips. If they are made right, they will be soft and chewy. As I was making this batch and thinking about how to describe them, one of my favorite candy bars from childhood came to mind–Whatchamacallit. Do you remember Whatchamacallits? I was not sure whether or not they are still around, but I Googled it and apparently they are. The candy bar consists of a peanut crisp layer and a layer of caramel that is dipped in chocolate. Scotcheroos do not have a caramel layer, but they are somewhat similar to Whatchamacallits.
I thought everyone knew about Scotcheroos. Where I grew up, it seemed like everybody made them, but that has not been the case here in Colorado. I have had a few friends just about flip over them. One has even requested Scotcheroos in lieu of a birthday cake. If you have never had or heard of Scotcheroos, today is your lucky day. They make a great sweet treat, and they would be an awesome item for a potluck gathering because they come together quickly.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 generous cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy–I always use crunchy)
- 6 cups crispy rice cereal
- 1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/4 cups butterscotch chips
- Prepare a 9 X 13 pan. You can butter or spray the pan or line the pan with parchment paper and lightly spray it. (I almost always use parchment paper and spray, so I can lift the whole pan of bars out of the pan at once for easier cutting.)
- In a medium to large pot, combine sugar and corn syrup and bring just to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. (Be careful to let the mixture reach a gentle boil for just a few moments. If the mixture boils too hard and too long, the bars will come out hard and crunchy instead of soft and chewy.)
- Remove pot from heat and stir in the peanut butter until melted and combined. Add the cereal in two or three additions, combining well. Be sure to scrape all the way to the bottom of the pan to get all the good stuff.
- Dump the mixture into the prepared baking pan and lightly press to fill the pan evenly. Do not pack the bars into the pan too tightly or your final product will be harder.
- In a small pot on low heat, melt the chocolate and butterscotch chips together, stirring frequently. (You can also do this in the microwave on low heat in short intervals if you prefer.) [Note: the original recipe calls for 1 cup of each chip, but I found it difficult to adequately cover the whole pan of bars with that amount. I recommend 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups of each to have enough to cover the pan well.]
- Immediately pour the melted chocolate over the bars and then spread evenly with a spatula, spoon, or knife.
- Allow the bars to cool at room temperature long enough to set the chocolate. You can speed up the process by putting the pan in the refrigerator, but you will need to let the bars sit out for a while afterward to warm up in order to cut them more easily.
- If you used parchment paper to line your pan, remove the whole pan of bars to a cutting board and cut into pieces. (These bars are quite rich, so most people will be satisfied with a smaller than average piece.) Note that these bars are a bit of work to cut, even if you made them soft and chewy, so be sure to use a strong sharp knife.
- Store the bars in an airtight container at room temperature. These bars also freeze very well.
Source: I originally got this recipe from my mom, but hers is identical to the one at the Rice Krispies website. I have adjusted the topping amount based on my experience.