butterscotch peanut butter chocolate rice krispy treats

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I did something very, very stupid with this recipe. It calls for 1½ bags of butterscotch chips. The thing is, I don’t like butterscotch chips very much, so I didn’t want half a bag leftover that I would feel obligated to keep around indefinitely, where it would take up valuable cabinet space. I only bought one bag, deciding to wing it (always trouble) for the remainder.

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I started regretting this shortly after leaving the store. Because obviously I could have just dumped that half bag of chips into a batch of chocolate chip cookies and they would be hardly noticeable. Or, heaven forbid, I could just throw a handful of butterscotch chips away if I didn’t plan to use them.

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Instead of making an extra trip back to the store, I forged ahead. Things looked bad from the beginning when I measured out my single bag of butterscotch chips and it was even less than I was expecting. I still forged ahead, adding in a couple tablespoons of butter and another couple tablespoons of corn syrup to make up for the fat and sugar I was missing from the extra chips. I knew I was in bad shape when I poured in the entire box of cereal, and it filled my pot to the brim. I thought about shoveling some of the cereal out before mixing it into the melted butterscotch and peanut butter mixture but stubbornly forged ahead instead.

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No one is surprised that my rice krispy bars were a crumbly mess, are they? There simply wasn’t enough glue to hold together all that cereal. They tasted good, like that classic combination of peanut butter and chocolate, but, while I did manage to cut a few clean squares, they’re so delicate that they crumble as soon as they’re touched. Of course I ate them anyway, because they’re butterscotch peanut butter chocolate rice krispy bars. Crumbles aside, what’s not to love? But next time, I’ll follow the directions, half bag of extra chips be damned.

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One year ago: Strawberry Buttercream
Two years ago: Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Dates
Three years ago: Beer-Battered Fish
Four years ago: Julia Child’s French Bread

Printer Friendly Recipe
Butterscotch Peanut Butter Chocolate Rice Krispy Treats (slightly adapted from Cara’s Cravings)

About 32 tall bar cookies

3 cups (1½ to 2 11-ounce bags) butterscotch chips
1½ cups (13½ ounces) creamy peanut butter
1 (12-ounce) box crisp rice cereal
4 cups (2 12-ounce bags) semi-sweet chocolate chips
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
1½ cups (6 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup water

1. Spray a 9-by-13 inch pan with cooking spray.

2. In a large (at least 5-quart) pot over medium-low heat, melt the butterscotch chips with the peanut butter and ¼ teaspoon salt. When the mixture is smooth, which will take 8-10 minutes, add the cereal and stir to thoroughly coat the cereal with the peanut butter mixture.

3. Meanwhile, bring 1-inch of water to a simmer in a saucepan. Place the chocolate, water, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and butter in a heatproof bowl and set it over the simmering water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted and smooth, 6-8 minutes. Stir in the powdered sugar.

4. Transfer half of the cereal mixture to the prepared pan; use a rubber spatula or greased hands to pat the mixture into an even layer, pressing lightly to compact. Spread the chocolate mixture evenly over the cereal in the pan. Top with the remaining cereal mixture. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.

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Normally I wouldn’t waste your time describing such a mistake, but this recipe was on my list of 2012 goals for February.


  1. I would have been tempted to do the same thing as you did, B. Ah well, lesson learned. Use less cereal next time :-p

  2. Love this- love the nice stacked bar and the texture going on here! Delish

  3. If nothing else, these sound and look like a totally delicious crumbly mess.

  4. Grr, it’s all my fault! I can’t remember if I discussed this in my post but I upsized the recipe to fit a 9×13″ pan. The original, which did not require 2 bags of chips, fit in some very odd sized pan which of course I can’t remember and only my grandmother owned. By the way, how addicting are those crumbs?

  5. bridget says:

    Cara – Totally not your fault that I refuse to follow directions! And the crumbles – ridiculous, right? I ended up getting more compliments on these than I have on anything I’ve brought to work in a while!

  6. These look great, your crazy for not liking butterscotch.

  7. That blog post title contains all my favorite foods. Well, almost. Tortellini too, but that’d be just awk. Looks delish!

  8. Ah, I love these kinds of stories. I did a whole post on kitchen mishaps (http://foodnurd.com/2012/01/11/those-less-than-perfect-moments-in-the-kitchen/)!
    Having said that, I will most certainly be making these!!

  9. Oh…man. These look awesome! All of my favorite things in one! I wish I had a bakesale or something to make some for…I probably shouldn’t be left alone with a full pan of them 🙂

  10. Mine came out really crumbly when I made them too. But they are really tasty!

  11. These look delicious – I will definitely try them out with the peanut butter

  12. I am hoping these are just like the ones my Mom used to make at Christmas time.