Two very, very important things happened to me in high school. In no particular order:
- I fell in love with Chris. I mean, kind of. You know. Like high school love. & then we broke up. Then we got back together. & then we broke up. & then we got back together… & now we’re married. Idk, it’s complicated.
- I fell in love with scotcheroos.
Uh huh. The two great loves of my life: my husband & a no-bake dessert.
I mean. I think that just about sums it up.
So…what’s a Scotcheroo, anyway?
Scotcheroos are a midwestern specialty. A Minnesota delight. The kind of staple no-bake dessert that undoubtedly makes an appearance at any social gathering. You’ll never go to a potluck or church supper without seeing a pan full of scotcheroos.
A scotcheroo (pronounced with your best Minnesota accent, of course – “scaaahhhhtchhhhheerooooooo”) is essentially a peanut butter rice krispie bar topped with a thick layer of butterscotch-laced chocolate.
& They. Are. Perfection.
We’re talking…the kind of sweet, crunchy, ooey-gooey, chewy, “oops-I-ate-the-whole-pan-guess-we-need-another-batch” levels of perfection that are literally unparalleled by any other no-bake treat.
I first fell in love with scotcheroos in high school. The home ec classes would put on a “school bakery” every now & then. As a pretty straightforward & inexpensive recipe to make, scotcheroos would always be on the menu. We’d beg Ms. P, our calculus teacher, to let us go to the bakery so we could get a couple of scotcheroos. They were only $0.25 a piece, & if you were lucky, you could get your hands on a scotcheroo with chocolate that was still melty & gooey.
I’ve had a love affair with these no-bake treats ever since then. They’re literally so perfect & so easy. & They are especially, especially fantastic during the summer. At the cabin. 12 at a time. Know what i mean?
For the last couple of summers, I’ve been obsessed with the idea of seeing if I could update scotcheroos with my own little twist: tahini.
Yes, yes, yes!!!
Tahini is a paste (similar to nut butter!) that’s made entirely from sesame seeds. I like to think of it as peanut butter’s cooler older sister – it’s got a similar consistency & nutty flavor, but it’s definitely its own thing. & You can usually swap out peanut butter with tahini with great results.
& I’m happy to report it’s the case for scotcheroos, too! Tahini scotcheroos are freakin’ fab, & they’re totally allergy-friendly since they are made without peanut butter. Win-win!
How to Make Tahini Scotcheroos:
Making tahini scotcheroos is totally, totally easy:
- Make the tahini syrup: because the thought of using tons of corn syrup, as one does when making traditional scotcheroos, kind of weirds me out (i’m such a millennial, I can’t help it!), I use pure maple syrup in place of a lot of the corn syrup in this tahini scotcheroo recipe. Since maple has a much more liquidy consistency than corn syrup, you need to heat it up to a simmer & let it reduce down slightly before mixing it in with tahini. When it comes to tahini, I don’t think you can beat the organic tahini trader joe’s sells. It’s affordable & tastes totally delish.
- Make the rice krispie layer: pour the tahini syrup over a bunch of rice cereal. I use brown rice krispies (see above – I really can’t help how millennial I am!), but use whatever you like best! You’ll pat out the krispies in an even layer in a baking dish. I like to pat them pretty firmly, which helps create an amazing chewy texture & also helps the chocolate form in a thick & even layer over top. Another little trick? Sprinkling a little salt over top the rice krispies. Salty sweet perfection!
- Make the chocolate layer! because the combination of butterscotch chips & chocolate chips in traditional scotcheroos is a little sweet for my tastes these days, I went with something much simpler: a thick layer of dark chocolate. whenever I melt dark chocolate for a coating like this, I always throw in a little bit of coconut oil to help the chocolate set up in a way that gives it a really nice snap when you bite into it. Addictive!
- Ready, set, go! let the bars set up in the fridge or freezer, just until the chocolate has hardened. I actually like tahini scotcheroos best straight out of the freezer. The texture is just insanely crunchy & satisfying!
The hardest part about making these Tahini Scotcheroos? Trying not to eat the whole pan at once.
If you like this Tahini Scotcheroos recipe, then you’ll also love:
- no bake chocolate chip tahini bars from my dear friend allie
- three-ingredient superfood dark chocolate bark with toasted quinoa & cashews
- omg bars (s’mores bars with homemade vanilla bean marshmallow)
- all plays well with butter desserts
tahini scotcheroos are an update on the classic no-bake summertime dessert we all know & love! these tahini scotcheroos are an allergy-friendly (gluten free, nut free), easy to make treat & they’re perfect for feeding a crowd!
- Prep: Spray a 9×12 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Add the brown rice crisps cereal to a large mixing bowl and set aside. Add the tahini to a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
- Make the rice krispie layer: Add the maple syrup and corn syrup to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, then allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes to reduce slightly. Keep a careful eye over the mixture as it boils, as it can boil over! Once reduced, carefully pour the syrup mixture in the medium mixing bowl with the tahini. Stir until combined. Pour the tahini syrup over the rice crisps cereal, stirring to coat the cereal evenly and entirely in the tahini syrup. Transfer the coated cereal to the 9×12 baking dish, using a spatula to press the cereal in a single, uniform layer. Sprinkle the surface of the cereal with the Kosher salt and set aside.
- Melt the chocolate: Add the chocolate and coconut oil to a microwave-safe bowl. Melt the chocolate in 30-second intervals in the microwave, stirring after each interval. Pour the melted chocolate over the surface of the cereal, using a spatula to spread it out in a smooth layer.
- Chill the tahini scotcheroos in the refrigerator or freezer until the chocolate sets completely, about 1 hour.
- To serve, cut the tahini scotcheroos into individual bars and top with flaky sea salt as desired. Enjoy!
- Tahini: As a star ingredient of these tahini scotcheroos, you’ll want to find the best tahini you can. I love the organic tahini from Trader Joe’s – it is very well priced, & the quality is great.
- Dark chocolate vs milk chocolate + butterscotch: Controversial, I know. I was definitely inspired by these beauties to try these tahini scotcheroos with dark chocolate, & I think it’s definitely the right route to go. The maple is pretty sweet as it is & dark chocolate provides the relief you need from its sweetness!
- Storage: While they’re perfectly fine at room temperature, I find that, especially in humid weather, these tahini scotcheroos hold up better in the fridge. Store tahini scotcheroos covered in the refrigerator or freezer for up to 5 days. I guarantee they won’t last that long!
- To make a half batch: Halve the listed ingredients & use an 8×8 baking dish.