As a wee lass, one of the first recipes I mastered was a straight-up chewy cereal bar. AKA: Rice Krispie Treats.

They were so simple and delicious, that I started busting out all sorts of flavor combinations, and eventually put the old standard out to pasture. Friends and family were amazed by my young culinary prowess when served up a plate of peanut butter and Fruit Loop bars…  Moved beyond words after the first bite of Cocoa Puffs mixed with dried strawberries and marshmallows.

Don’t even get me started on the endless possibilities with the limited edition gem, “Oops, All Berries” by my good friend, Cap’n Crunch.

Eventually I graduated to the highly acclaimed School of ‘Scotcharoo’, and I never looked back. Okay, ‘never’ is a slight exaggeration… I may have snuck back a few times to satisfy a krispie treat craving. Don’t tell Scotchy though. He’s the jealous type.

This combination of Chocolate Cheerios with peanut butter and dark chocolate, is one of my family’s favorites.

And by ‘family’, I mean ‘Jonny’. The dude would eat the whole pan in one sitting if I don’t break them down and freeze part of them as soon as the chocolate sets. Precisely the reason I only have one ‘usable’ image of the finished product.

When I brought up this point to him, his response was, ‘Well, you could always make another batch of them. We’ve got a giant brick of chocolate in the baking drawer.’ Oh, the nerve.

Chocolate Cheerio Scotcharoos
(makes one 9 x 13″ pan, or 24 bars)
6 cups chocolate cheerios
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup butterscotch chips
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
12 oz good quality dark chocolate

Butter the bottom of a 9 x 13″ pan, then line it with parchment paper, leaving extra on the sides to help lift the bars out after they’ve set.

Pour the Cheerios into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together the brown sugar and corn syrup. Bring this mixture to a boil for one full minute. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the peanut butter, butterscotch chips, vanilla and salt. Stir until the mixture is combined and the peanut butter and butterscotch chips are fully melted and smooth.

Pour the mixture over the Cheerios and use a wooden spoon (or well greased hands) to toss until the cereal is completely coated with the sugar mixture.

Turn the mixture out into the parchment lined pan. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the pan. Let the bars cool to room temperature.

Melt the dark chocolate in the microwave until completely smooth, then pour the chocolate over the top of the bars and spread to an even layer with an offset spatula. Allow the chocolate to set.

Lift the bars out of the pan using the parchment paper overhang, cut them into evenly sized rectangles.

These can be stored at room temperature, in an air-tight container, for up to 3 days. They also freeze amazingly well.

Which is what I usually have to do to get one for myself.