If you love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate, this recipe for Special K Bars is for you!
My family has been making Special K Bars (also known as scotcheroos) each Christmas since I was young. The recipe came from a woman at our church, who brought them to a church potluck. As a young baker, I tried one and convinced my mom to ask her for the recipe. Special K Bars have been on the Christmas cookie menu ever since.
The base layer is sugar, corn syrup, peanut butter, and Special K cereal. A winner already. The peanut butter layer then gets frosted with a mixture of semisweet chocolate chips and butterscotch chips. They are a dream for chocolate and peanut butter fanatics, like me.
And they are no-bake! Special K Bars take all of 15 minutes to make, though they do require cooling in order to be cut into squares. They can cool on the counter or even in the refrigerator if you’re in a hurry.
I’ve seen similar recipes floating around the internet with different variations. Most notably, I’ve seen potato chips in the peanut butter layer instead of Special K cereal. I’ve tried those, but they’re overly salty and frankly they have a weird texture. Special K all the way!
Do you have any traditional cookies that your family makes each year? Here’s a list of the other cookies that my family makes. It’s not Christmas if one of these is missing from the list!
Special K Bars
This easy no-bake bar is for all of the chocolate + peanut butter fans!
- Prep Time: 15
- Total Time: 15
- Yield: 24 bars 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: No Bake
- Cuisine: American
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1½ cups crunchy peanut butter (not natural peanut butter)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 cups Special K cereal
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup butterscotch chips
- Line a 13×9 inch baking dish with parchment paper.
- Place the corn syrup and granulated sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, whisking occasionally, until the mixture just reaches a boil. Remove from the heat. Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla.
- Measure the Special K cereal into a large bowl. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the top and stir gently to combine, working quickly.
- Transfer the mixture to the baking dish lined with parchment paper. Spread the mixture evenly in the pan (be careful—it’ll be hot). I use my hand inside a sandwich sized zip-top bag to spread the mixture into an even layer.
- Place the chocolate chips and butterscotch chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, just until melted. Pour the chocolate mixture over the top of the bars. Use a spatula or offset spatula to spread the chocolate evenly.
- Let cool for at least 1 hour, or until the chocolate has hardened, before cutting. Alternatively, place the bars in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to cool.
- To cut into bars, lift the parchment paper out of the pan like a sling. Place on a large cutting board and cut into 24 bars with a sharp knife.
Keywords: Christmas cookies