Your family may have called Scotcharoo Bars by a different name. Options include Special K bars, O Henry bars, and Scotcheroo bars spelled with an e instead of an a. Even if we cannot agree on what to call or spell them, we can all agree that Scotcharoo Bars with Peanut Butter are chewy and soft with peanut butter and butterscotch flavors, all inside with crunchy cereal, topped with chocolate and butterscotch frosting.
Whether you make scotcharoo bars with rice crispies, Special K cereal, or a gluten-free version with Rice Chex’s - all options fall under the classic scotcharoo recipe the whole family loves. Leave your oven off. These bars do not require baking. They are an easy treat and a family favorite at family gatherings, often ending with an empty pan.
- Rice Chex - Instead of using rice krispies - the snap, crackle, pop version- which is not gluten-free. Rice Chex cereal is gluten-free and an excellent option for the cereal base.
- Corn Syrup - This is not High Fructose Corn Syrup. Karo syrup is a popular brand, and Aldi sells its version during the holidays.
- Sugar - White granulated.
- Peanut Butter - Creamy is best.
- Butterscotch Chips - Gives scotcharoos that distinctive flavor.
- Chocolate Chips - Semisweet chocolate chips are the best option.
- Butterfinger Candy Bars - Chopped and sprinkled on as a topping, optional but delicious.
- Mini M&M’s - Adds a pop of color for a topping, again option but so pretty.
See the recipe card for the exact measurements and complete instructions. Selected ingredients are based on current serving sizes measured by the Monash FODMAP App at the time of publishing. As always, follow your gut and modify as needed.Jump to Recipe
In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and corn syrup over medium heat. Cook until it comes to a boil. Boil for one minute, then remove from the heat.
Add the peanut butter and stir until combined with the sugar mixture.
In a large bowl, add the peanut butter mixture to the rice chex cereal. Gently stir.
Grease with nonstick spray a 9 x 13-inch pan or similar casserole dish. Pour the cereal mixture into the pan. Press the mixture evenly into the pan.
In a small microwave-safe bowl, add the chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips. Melt the butterscotch and chocolate chips in the microwave, stopping to stir at 30-second intervals. If you do not have a microwave, use a double boiler. Once melted, pour the melted chips over the rice chex in the pan. Spread the frosting evenly over the entire pan.
Chop up your Butterfinger candy bars. Sprinkle the Butterfinger candy bars and mini M&M’s over the top of the bars while the frosting is still warm.
Allow the bars to set up for a few hours before cutting, or put them in the refrigerator to speed it along. Bring them to room temperature before trying to cut them. Unless you have muscles and patience, then go ahead and tackle cutting them while they are cold. Best of luck!
- Chocolate Chips - Use dark or milk chocolate chips for a different flavor.
- Rice Chex - Switch out the cereal. Options include: Special K Cereal, Crispix (not gluten-free), Corn Chex, Rice Krispie Cereal (not gluten-free)
- Topping Options - Instead of Butterfingers, try mini Peanut Butter Cups or Resee’s Pieces. Sea salt flakes would be great too!
Store the Scotcharoo Bars with peanut butter in an air-tight container. If it is warm room, keep the bars in a cooler place so they don’t melt and become a mess. Scotcharoo bars will keep for five days, maybe longer. Honestly, they never last very long in my house.
If you want to store (or hide) the scotcharoo bars in the freezer, they freeze beautifully. To freeze, cut the cereal bars and place parchment paper between the layers. Freeze the cut bars in a freezer bag. Defrost the frozen chewy scotcharoo bars before eating. Otherwise, you may need dental work. You have been warned.
Adding sweets to your meals is in my blood. Every single member of our family needs “something sweet” after a meal. Blame it on our sweet tooth. A pan of scotcharoo bars with peanut butter was always on our counter growing up.
More than likely, the sugar and corn syrup mixture was cooked too long. Once the mixture starts bubbling, start the clock. Only boil it for one minute and then remove it from the heat to prevent the dense, rock hard bars.
Corn syrup is 100% glucose. High fructose corn syrup has both glucose and fructose, but more fructose, hence the name “high fructose” corn syrup.
Corn syrup is a safer option, but it is still sugar. Monash University has not tested it. Depending on your stage for your low FODMAP journey, corn syrup may be best to try after you have been working through your tolerances. As always, test serving size and modify based on what your body tells you.
Scotcharoo Bars with Peanut Butter
- Medium Saucepan
- 9x13 Pan
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 7 cups Rice Chex
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup butterscotch chips
- ½ cup Butterfinger Candy Bars - Optional
- ¼ cup Mini M&M’s - Optional
- In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and corn syrup. Cook until it comes to a boil. Boil for one minute then remove from the heat.
- Add the peanut butter and stir until combined with the sugar and corn syrup mixture.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the peanut butter mixture to the rice chex cereal. Gently stir.
- Grease a 9x13 pan. Pour the Rice Chex mixture into the pan. Press the Rice Chex into the pan.
- In a small microwave safe bowl, add the chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips. Melt the chips in the microwave or double boiler. Stir the mixture every thirty seconds. Once melted, pour the melted chips over the rice chex in the pan. Spread the frosting evenly over the entire pan.
- Chop up your Butterfinger candy bars. Sprinkle the Butterfinger candy bars and mini M&M’s over the frosting while still warm. Allow the bars to set up for a few hours, or to speed it along, put them in the refrigerator to speed it along. Bring them to room temperature before trying to cut.
- Store the bars in an airtight container or cover with plastic wrap.