Iowa's Scotcheroo Is The Rice Krispies Treat Hybrid You Need To Try

As playful as "Scotcheroo" may sound, this is a serious sweet. Imagine your favorite Rice Krispies desserts upgraded with peanut butter, chocolate, and butterscotch. The exact origin of the Scotcheroo original recipe remains hazy, but these treats gained public adoration in the 1960s when Rice Krispies printed instructions on cereal boxes to help chefs make the indulgent squares at home. Though food historians may not but sure where, exactly, the Scotheroo was first made, the treat's popularity in Iowa and the American Midwest is certain. 

With cereal, peanut butter, and a generous coating of chocolate and butterscotch, it is no wonder this recipe has demonstrated serious staying power and remains a beloved recipe presented for picnics and parties. While traditional Scotcheroo recipes include corn syrup as a binder, honey or agave can also be used, and a sprinkle of crunch sea salt can bring the right notes of flavor to round out this sweet and easily snackable dish. "When it's easy to have almost all the ingredients on hand whether you live in the smallest town or one of the metro areas, that's one of the hallmarks of Iowa cooking," food historian Darcy Dougherty Maulsby told the Des Moines Register.

Plan to make these treats in advance

Though the recipe to make Scotcheroos requires only a handful of ingredients, the chewy bars require time to set. After combining warmed honey, sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla extract, invite your choice of rice cereal into the sweet party until all ingredients are equally dispersed. Once every kernel of puffed rice is sufficiently coated, the delicious concoction is to be placed into a pan lined with parchment paper and leveled into the container. 

Top the flattened mound of sweetness with an even coating of warmed chocolate and butterscotch, then cover the dish and place it into the refrigerator for at least two hours to set. Flaky sea salt or desiccated coconut can add extra flavor to the recipe, and mini marshmallows can be folded into mixtures for an even chewier treat. For more mature palates, splashes of bourbon or Scotch can elevate the traditional recipe, and chopped pecans can welcome an enjoyable earthiness to an otherwise sweet dish. "We Iowans are serious about taking our desserts to the next level!" Maulsby gushed.

This no-bake recipe can be stored for up to one week in the fridge so you'll be well prepared the next time you're craving a sweet snack. If you've yet to experience the simple joy of biting into one of these texturally tempting treats, you're in for an experience, particularly when late-night munchies strike. Your biggest challenge will be to not eat the entire dish in one go.