The Butterscotch Crunchies are sort of like the haystack type treat that many people love. It is simply corn flake cereal coated with peanut butter and butterscotch chips. Such a simple combination and yet so addictive. They are crunchy and sweet and that peanut butter and butterscotch combination is a winner every time. The Scotcheroos I make include this combination along with a little chocolate. (I often make those as a Christmas goodie tray item also.)
The Ritz cookies are one of the most popular things I make at Christmas. Almost everyone I know in Minnesota makes these, but I don’t know if I have ever seen anyone else make them here in Colorado where I live. They are another simple combination of peanut butter and Ritz crackers coated in almond bark. Last year I sent a goodie tray to work with my boyfriend at Christmas, and the Ritz cookies were a big hit, especially with one co-worker in particular. About a month ago, this co-worker came up to Terry and said, “So do you think your girlfriend will be making those peanut butter cookie things for Christmas anytime soon?” She remembered them fondly from last Christmas and couldn’t wait for this year’s fix. Luckily for her, about a week ago, I came across a small container of them that I had put in the freezer last year. They tasted just fine, like I made them today, so off they went to work with him, and the lady was thrilled! I think these are a hit because, once again, you get that sweet and salty combination. If you aren’t a fan of peanut butter, you could try these with another type of spread such as Biscoff (cookie butter), Nutella, or other nut butters.
If you want to involve the kids in the Christmas goodie making, these are good ones with which to let kids help. My older kids (9, 8) have been able to make the Butterscotch Crunchies on their own for the last couple of years, and all of the kids enjoy adding the sprinkles to the Ritz cookies. If you don’t mind having the Ritz cookies a little messy, kids may be able to help with spreading the peanut butter and dipping them.
Make either or both of these treats this Christmas, and the peanut butter lovers in your life will go crazy and the kids will be so proud to get to help making something delicious.
**These are not just for Christmas. I usually make the Ritz for Valentine’s Day treats or even Easter or Halloween. Just change the sprinkles!
- 1 (11 ounce) bag butterscotch chips
- 1 cup (9.5 ounces) peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
- 4-5 cups Cornflake cereal
- Melt the butterscotch chips and peanut butter together in a medium sized pot on low to medium heat. Stir occasionally to make sure the mixture does not scorch on the bottom. (Tip: I LOVE using my scale for measuring peanut butter. It is so much less hassle than putting it in and out of a measuring cup. Set the pot on the scale, add peanut butter with a spatula, stop adding when you get to 9.5 ounces. Easy.)
- Pour the cornflakes into the melted mixture and stir to coat completely. (Tip: You can add between 4 and 5 cups of corn flakes; it just depends how thickly coated you want the cereal to be. I usually do 5 cups.)
- Use a spoon to scoop out portions of the mixture onto a parchment or wax paper lined pan or counter top.
- Allow crunchies to dry and set and then store them in an airtight container.
- Ritz crackers
- peanut butter, crunchy or creamy (or another nut butter or spread you prefer)
- vanilla almond bark
- optional: sprinkles or chocolate for decorating
**I was able to dip 59 cookies with a full 24 ounce package of almond bark. If you want more or fewer, adjust accordingly. Another tip is that if you have just a little more melted bark than you want or need, you can throw some pretzel twists into it and make coated pretzels. Add some sprinkles to the coated pretzels, and you have another easy treat. And yet another tip, if you don’t use all of the melted bark, you can let it re-harden for another day. Just melt it again or add more unmelted bark to it and melt again.
- Melt almond bark in short increments on low power in the microwave or set almond bark in a double boiler to melt. If you don’t have a double boiler, a heat proof bowl set over a pot of water works great too. (Tip: I prefer the double boiler method. There is no babysitting the microwave, and the bark slowly melts while I complete the rest of the steps.)
- Spread a thick layer of peanut butter on the unsalted side of a Ritz cracker. Top with another Ritz cracker to make a peanut butter sandwich. Set aside. Repeat for desired number of cookies. (Tip: You can use Biscoff, nutella, or other nut butters or spreads in place of the peanut butter. I used Biscoff for some of this batch.)
- When the almond bark is melted, carefully and quickly dip each cookie into it and then set on a parchment or waxed paper lined pan. While still wet, add sprinkles if desired. Continue dipping cookies to desired amount. (Tip: I always drop one cookie at a time flat down on top of the melted bark. I use a fork to flip it over and push it down to make sure the sides of the cookie have been submerged in the bark. I then lift the cookie up and tap the fork on the side of the pot to get rid of excess chocolate. Finally, I scrape the bottom of the fork along the edge of the pot to remove more excess chocolate and then set on the pan to decorate and dry. As the amount of bark goes down, I tip my pot at an angle to keep as much bark together as possible. For the last few cookies, I use a spoon to help put enough chocolate on the cookie to coat it.)
- Set pan aside to let cookies dry and set. Once cookies are dry, you can also add chocolate drizzles to plain cookies if you desire.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator. These also freeze extremely well and will still taste fresh even a year later.