The land of the Midwest can be a strange sight for food. With traditional fare such as lutefisk (cod soaked in lye), rommegrot (sour cream porridge), lefse (think potato tortillas), and snickers salad (yes, a salad with candy bars – and it’s amazing), we’ve truly got it all. One of my favorite treats from Up North are these bars called scotcharoos – a delicious take on Rice Krispie treats with the addition of butterscotch, peanut butter, and a thick layer of chocolate to top it all off. SWOON, right?Heartbeet Kitchen, I wanted to give this decadent treat a healthier makeover while still keeping it approachable and ridiculously easy. And friends, we’ve succeeded. All you need are 6 (S-I-X) ingredients and bibbidi-bobbidi-boo, you’ve transported yourself into a sweet, gooey wonderland you can feel better about. Now that’s what I call winning.
I’ve been having fun lately trying different swaps for refined cane sugar – things like pure maple syrup, raw honey, coconut sugar, and for this recipe –> brown rice syrup. Though unrefined sugar swaps are still definitely considered sugars and should be consumed in moderation, it’s fun to experiment with more wholesome alternatives to the white sugar we all know and love.I think that brown rice syrup makes for a lovely swap for traditional corn syrup in this recipe. Creamy, unsalted cashew butter takes the place of peanut butter (nothing wrong with peanuts – I just wanted to give cashews some lovin’, too), and the best, darkest chocolate you can find is melted and then spread on top with a sprinkle of sea salt.
I hope you guys give this recipe a try and love it as much as I do!
- 1 c creamy, unsalted cashew butter
- 1 c brown rice syrup
- 1/2 t vanilla extract
- pinch sea salt
- 4 c puffed rice cereal
- 1 c good-quality, dark chocolate chips
- Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper, then lightly grease with nonstick spray.
- In a saucepan on low heat, combine cashew butter and brown rice syrup. Whisk until combined, and then heat just until hot. Take off the heat.
- Whisk in vanilla and salt.
- With a wooden spoon or strong spatula, add in the puffed rice cereal and stir until combined.
- Press the mixture into prepared pan. Set aside.
- Place the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 45 second increments, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Spread on top of the scotcharoos and sprinkle with extra salt.
- Let set in the fridge for 1-2 hours, then cut and serve. Enjoy!