These scotcharoo bars have a layer of crunchy SunButter coated cereal with a coating of dark chocolate on top for an easy and simple no-bake treat. Made with just 6 simple ingredients, this homemade crispy bark has all the flavors of a traditional scotcharoo with a healthier twist.
If you're looking for a quick and easy holiday treat to whip up this season, let me introduce you to these scotcheroo bars. They're salty and sweet and make great gifts for family and friends. I also put my own spin on the recipe and made them nut free, dairy free, and gluten free so everyone can enjoy them!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- It's made with only 6 ingredients
- The bars are sweetened with maple syrup
- They're made nut-free with the help of SunButter
- It's an easy and simple recipe even your kids will enjoy making
- No baking is required
What are Scotcheroos Bars?
Traditional scotcheroo bars are made with butterscotch, peanut butter, sugar, and crispy rice cereal. They're like a rice crispy treat minus the marshmallow. They also usually boast a silky smooth chocolate layer on top!
I took the standard scotcheroo recipe and made some simple swaps to come up with this chocolate bark situation. These bars are thinner with a better chocolate to crispy layer ratio in my opinion ;).
Ingredients & Notes
- SunButter - This is what is used in place of peanut butter in traditional scotcheroos. SunButter is made from sunflower seeds and is a great nut-free alternative to nut butters. It still has a nutty salty taste without the nuts!
- Maple syrup - Used to sweeten the bars. Honey or agave will work as well.
- Coconut oil - Added to the crispy layer to help bind everything together. Use butter if needed.
- Brown rice cereal - They key to the crispiness. I used the WholeFoods brand but I also like One Degree Organics and Nature's Path. Make sure to use a gluten free brand if needed.
- Chocolate - We melt this down and spread it over top of the bars. Use a high quality chocolate for best results. I like this brand for a dairy free option.
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1 : Melt the SunButter. In a pot, add the SunButter, maple syrup, and coconut oil. Heat the pot over medium-low heat and stir well until the mixture becomes smooth and thick. This should take about 3 - 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and stir in the vanilla extract.
Step 2 : Add the cereal. Mix the cereal into the SunButter mixture. Use a spatula to coat all of the cereal.
Step 3 : Transfer the cereal mixture to a pan. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. While the cereal mixture is still warm, use a spatula to spread it out onto the parchment paper in one even layer.
Step 4 : Melt the chocolate. In a pot on the stove, melt the chocolate over low heat. Stir continuously to prevent burning. You can also make a make-shift double boiler by placing the pot with the chocolate over a pot of simmering water. The indirect heat from the steam will effortlessly melt the chocolate.
Spread the melted chocolate over the layer of cereal. Tap the pan on the counter gently to even it out. Let the scotcharoo bark set at room temperature on the counter.
Step 5 : Slice. When the chocolate has set, use a sharp knife to slice the bars. The bars don't have to be perfect, I actually prefer them when they aren't!
- Only cook the SunButter and maple syrup until melted. Don't let it boil or get too hot.
- Make sure the cereal is well coated in the SunButter mixture. This is what holds the bars together.
- Use parchment paper on the baking sheet. This is key! Your scotcharoo bars will be very hard to remove from the pan without parchment paper.
- Let the bars set at room temperature, not in the fridge. If you immediately store them in the fridge with melted chocolate, condensation can build up. Let the chocolate set at room temperature first.
How to Store
Place the bars in an airtight container or bag once set. You can store them at room temperature or in the fridge if you prefer them chilled. They will keep for up to a week at room temperature and 2 week in the fridge.
You can freeze them for later too. I recommend storing them in a flat container and placing parchment paper in between each layer so they're easy to remove. Thaw at room temperature before enjoying.
Frequently Asked Questions
Because of butterscotch which is used in traditional scotcharoos.
I used a 9 x 13 pan but you can use something smaller if you want your bars to be thicker. I don't recommend using anything bigger unless you double the recipe.
Yes, these bars can be frozen for later when stored in an airtight container for up to 3 months. I recommend using a piece of parchment paper in between layers so they don't stick to each other. When ready to enjoy, let them thaw at room temperature.
For more tasty treats, check out my:
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SunButter Scotcharoo Bars
- ½ cup SunButter - I used creamy no sugar added
- ¼ cup maple syrup - or honey or agave
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup brown rice cereal
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Sea salt - optional
- In a pot, melt the SunButter, maple syrup, and coconut oil over medium-low heat. Stir well until smooth and thick. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Add the brown rice cereal to the pot and toss well to coat the cereal in the SunButter mixture.
- Spread the cereal out evenly onto a 9 x 13 inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a separate pot, melt the chocolate chips over low heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning. The chocolate should be thick and glossy. Spread the chocolate over the cereal on the baking sheet with a spatula. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to even it out if needed. Sprinkle some extra sea salt on top (optional). Let the bars set at room temperature for a few hours until the chocolate is firm.
- When ready to enjoy, use a sharp knife to cut the bars. This doesn’t need to be perfect, you can cut them into rectangles or squares or cut them into pieces of “bark” too.