Peanut butter pretzel bars are a salty & sweet twist on the classic no-bake scotcheroos recipe. It will be the first to go on the dessert table at your next party or potluck!
Scotcheroos are a no-bake Rice Krispies dessert made with peanut butter, chocolate, and butterscotch. I've added crushed pretzels to this classic bar recipe for a salty & sweet twist!
Rice Krispies cereal, crushed pretzels, and peanut butter make up the crunchy, chewy base. It's topped with a thin coating of chocolate and butterscotch that's irresistibly rich and sweet.
This recipe makes 24 bars - perfect for your next family party, holiday treat tray, or neighborhood barbecue. Add them to your holiday cookie tray for Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Easter. They're great any time of year!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Rice Krispies cereal - Necessary for the base of the recipe. Rice Krispies could be substituted with Special K cereal or corn flakes for a slightly different flavor and texture.
- Pretzels - Use any small, salted pretzels, like twists, sticks, or snaps. It's a great way to use up the bottom of a bag of pretzels since we're crushing them into small pieces.
- Corn syrup - Adds sweetness and holds the bars together. I've seen other recipes substitute corn syrup with golden syrup or honey, but I haven't tested this myself. If you give this a try, let us know how it turns out in the comments below.
- Granulated sugar - Adds sweetness and holds the bars together. Could be substituted with brown sugar for a caramelized flavor.
- Peanut butter - Adds that classic peanut butter flavor to the base. Could be substituted with other nut and seed butters like almond butter or sunflower seed butter for a different flavor.
- Baking chips - I use a combination of butterscotch chips and semi-sweet chocolate chips for the topping. Feel free to use your favorite baking chips, like peanut butter chips, white chocolate chips, or milk chocolate chips.
Tips and tricks
- Use parchment paper - Line your 9x13 pan with parchment paper for easy removal and slicing.
- Watch the corn syrup mixture closely - Don't allow the corn syrup mixture to boil too long - this causes the bars to turn out very hard once cooled. Immediately upon boiling, remove it from the heat and continue with the recipe as written.
- Work quickly - Once the sugar mixture comes off the heat, add your peanut butter and stir to incorporate. Then, immediately add the Rice Krispies and pretzels, stirring to coat. Press into the prepared pan while still warm. If allowed to sit for too long, the mixture will get hard and difficult to manipulate.
- Don't cut cold bars - Allow your cooled bars to sit at room temperature before slicing. Very cold bars are much more difficult to slice.
Frequently asked questions
Peanut butter pretzel bars will stay fresh for about 3 to 4 days in a tightly sealed container at room temperature and dry out over time.
Yes, peanut butter pretzel bars can be frozen for 2 to 3 months, tightly wrapped and stored in a freezer safe container. To thaw, place on the counter top for 1 to 2 hours.
These bars are best served within about a day of preparing. The cereal base dries out fairly quickly, just like a Rice Krispies treat. If you're planning on serving them at a party or event, wait to slice them until before serving to help keep them moist and chewy.
Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars
- 1 cup (312 g) light corn syrup
- 1 cup (198 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (270 g) peanut butter
- 3 cups (82 g) Rice Krispies cereal
- 3 cups (170 g) crushed salted pretzels
- 5 ounces (142 g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 5 ounces (142 g) butterscotch chips
- Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper, or grease bottom and sides, and set aside.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add corn syrup and granulated sugar. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Once mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat immediately and stir in peanut butter. Then add Rice Krispies cereal and pretzels and stir until evenly coated.
- Press mixture into prepared 9x13 pan.
- In a microwave safe dish, warm chocolate chips and butterscotch chips in 30 second increments, stirring until melted.
- Pour chocolate mixture over bars and spread with a knife to the edges. Refrigerate bars for 15 minutes, or until chocolate coating has solidified.
- Remove from refrigerator, slice into bars, and serve.
- Bars will keep for 3 to 4 days stored in a sealed container at room temperature.
- Optionally, melt chips in a double boiler over low heat on the stove top instead of the microwave.