Chocolate and peanut butter come together perfectly in these easy, no bake Special K bars that take only 10 minutes to prep! Also called "scotcheroos" these are like a fancy, sophisticated version of a rice krispy treat!
Why This Recipe Works
Growing up my mom made these special k bars every time we would go to the lake in the summer. I looked forward to eating these just as much as I looked forward to running down the Lake Michigan sand dunes and right into the water... they're THAT good! Pure nostalgia.
These Special K bars are, like I said, essentially a fancier version of my salted peanut butter rice krispie bars (minus the salt- but you could add it!) with an added butterscotch and chocolate later on top. This recipe doesn't use marshmallows but instead corn syrup to hold them together.
They're SUPER portable so they're great for taking on picnics, to potlucks or really any time you want a sweet treat without heating up the whole house with the oven!
Ingredients For Special K Bars
- Peanut Butter. I use just "JIF style" peanut butter, the stuff with palm oil VS natural when I make dessert recipes usually. There is typically a little extra sugar in there that makes them sweeter. If you're using natural your results may vary depending on how dry your peanut butter is!
PS. You can learn what the difference between "natural" peanut butter and peanut butter with palm oil is in my blog post that answers if peanut butter without palm oil is really better!
How To Make Chocolate & Peanut Butter "Scotcheroos"
Line a 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper and lightly spray it with nonstick spray. Set aside.
In a saucepan heat the corn syrup and sugar until it begins to bubble.
Remove the sugar mixture from heat and stir in the peanut butter until melted and combined well.
Next, fold in the Special K cereal making sure to coat it evenly with the peanut butter mixture.
Press the Special K mixture into your prepared 8x8 baking dish. Press mixture down firmly!
In the microwave melt together the chocolate and butterscotch chips, mixing well.
Pour the melted chocolate mixture over top of the cereal in one even layer.
Allow bars to cool fully before cutting into 16 squares.
Obviously these Special K bars are typically make with Special K cereal but yes! Get creative! There are no rules! You can use any puffed rice cereal, like rice krispies. You could even use cocoa pebbles for an extra chocolatey treat! You can also use any of your fave gluten free cereals for gluten free scotcheroos.
You can use all regular chocolate chips if you want or don't have any, but I love the butterscotch addition! You can also get creative and use dark or white chocolate, too.
Yes! You can use whatever kind of nut or seed butter you prefer or that might fit your allergy needs.
You can store these in an air tight container for up to a week right on the counter, or in the freezer for 2-3 months.
Your scotcheroos will turn out hard if you let the corn syrup and sugar boil for too long. Be sure you turn it off right when it starts to bubble!
- To easily measure peanut butter for recipes WITHOUT it being a pain to remove from the measuring cup just spray your measuring cup with non-stick spray THEN fill it your peanut butter will slide right out. It's magical!
- When you're pressing the cereal mixture into the pan be sure to lightly wet your hands first to prevent it from sticking to your hands!
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- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 3 cups Special K Original cereal
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
- Prepare an 8x8 pan by lining it with parchment paper and lightly spraying with non-stick spray. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan combine sugar and corn syrup over medium heat.
- Allow mixture to cook until bubbling, stirring frequently.
- Once sugar mixture is uniform (no sugar lumps!) and has just begun to bubble. (let this bubble too long and your bars will be wind up super hard)
- Then remove the saucepan from heat and add peanut butter, mixing until well combined.
- Next, add cereal to the peanut butter mixture right away while it is still very warm. Coat evenly.
- Press cereal mixture into prepared 8x8 pan.
- In a microwave safe bowl melt together the chocolate & butterscotch chips. To do this microwave on high for ~2 minutes, stopping every 30 seconds to stir, being careful not to burn the chocolate.
- Mix chips together when they are melted until uniform and pour over the cereal mixture in one even layer.
- Allow bars to full cool, may also place in the fridge to quicken this process.
- Cut bars once fully cooled and hardened into 16 squares.
Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
May sub rice krispy cereal for Special K
If you can't find butterscotch chips you can use all chocolate, however I highly recommend using a mix!
Peanut Butter. I use just "JIF style" peanut butter, the stuff with palm oil VS natural when I make dessert recipes usually. There is typically a little extra sugar in there that makes them sweeter. If you're using natural your results may vary depending on how dry your peanut butter is! You could also sub another type of nut or seed butter to be allergen friendly.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 185Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 98mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 1gSugar: 22gProtein: 3g