Updated: May 5, 2021
Special K bars, also known as scotcharoos, are my absolute favorite dessert bar. Not only is it the perfect combo of peanut butter and chocolate, but they also have tasty butterscotch mixed in. They have the perfect chewy texture with the crunch of the Special K cereal. I wanted to find an alternative sweetener to use that didn't bother my gut, and that was not made of corn. I also wanted to decrease the fat content since these bad boys are calorie dense! This version of Special K bars are especially nutty and less sickly sweet.
These Special K bars are not "healthy" but, they are healthier because you will not be using butter, just a touch of coconut oil and runny peanut butter to get that smooth consistency. You will also not be using corn syrup, one of the most processed and GMO filled ingredients, but instead will use brown rice syrup. This syrup is the perfect replacement because it is the same super sticky consistency as corn syrup but is a better option because it is less processed, less sweet, and is low FODMAP for those with digestion issues.
Brown rice syrup is the key ingredient in this recipe, it is the same consistency as corn syrup to hold the bars together. It is less sickly sweet, not made of corn, and more easily digested by individuals with IBS and other digestion issues. I found mine at Fresh Thyme, you can also find it on Amazon.
All you need is two tablespoons of melted coconut oil for the peanut butter mixture. Melt in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Salt is optional to add, but I recommend it if your peanut butter is not salted.
Add your melted coconut oil in with your brown rice syrup, peanut butter, and salt. Mix.
Pour the peanut butter mixture over your cereal.
Fold in the peanut butter mixture until all of the cereal is coated. This step takes some patience, just keep mixing and folding. It is okay of the cereal gets a little crushed.
Press into your parchment paper lined 8x8 inch pan.
In a small bowl, add your chocolate and butterscotch chips, plus one tablespoon of coconut oil. Microwave for 30 second increments, stirring in between, until totally smooth.
Pour your chocolate over the top of your bars and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with flake salt if desired.
Set in the fridge or freezer. Then cut three by three or four by four bars.
Store on the counter for several days.
5 cups Special K cereal
1 cup runny peanut butter
2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
2/3 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 tsp salt (only if nut butter is unsalted)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch flavored chips (or use all chocolate)
1 Tbsp coconut oil (optional, just help the chocolate go on more smoothly)
Sprinkle top with flake salt
Start by cutting a sheet of parchment paper to fit an 8x8 inch pan.
Next measure out your coconut oil and melt it in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
In a 2 cup glass measuring cup, measure out your peanut butter and brown rice syrup. Then add your melted coconut oil and salt. Make sure to use runny peanut butter because this helps replace the need for butter to prevent the mixture from becoming too thick. Brown rice syrup is key for this recipe because it is the same super sticky consistency as corn syrup. Mix these ingredients until smooth, it will be thick.
Now add your cereal to a large bowl. Pour over your peanut butter mixture, then fold the cereal into the wet until all the cereal is well coated. This will take a little patience and lots of folding, just keep mixing.
Add your mixture to your lined 8x8 pan and press it in until you have a nice flat and even layer on top. Make sure the mixture fills the corners.
Now in a glass bowl, add your chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and coconut oil. Melt in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until totally smooth.
Pour the chocolate mixture on top of the bars and smooth into an even layer. Sprinkle the top with flake salt before it sets if your would like.
Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour or in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes to set up the chocolate.
Pull out your bars with your parchment paper and cut into 3x3 or 4x4 bars.
Store on the counter with a lid for several days.