American Classics: Scotcheroos
Editor's Note: You may know Alexandra Penfold as Brownie from the popular blog Blondie and Brownie. She'll be stopping by weekly, digging up long-lost classic desserts and regional favorites.
Just before I started kindergarten, I accompanied my dad to a new student reception in the cafeteria of what would soon be my elementary school. The school had been picked as a Life Magazine "school of the future" in the 1940s and little about the construction or decor had changed by the '80s. The drab cafeteria had a flag, a couple portraits of dead presidents and embarrassingly short tables for the little kids. But what I remember most vividly about this introduction to primary education was the giant platter of Rice Krispies Treats. It wasn't until years later that I discovered that in addition to those gloriously buttery and marshmallowy bars, Kelloggs had gifted the world with another bar-like treat: the Scotcheroo.
I feel a certain kinship with the corporate home economists/mad scientist geniuses who came up with Scotcheroos—I'm certain that they would agree that most things in life would be improved by the addition of peanut butter. However, in my book the mere addition of peanut butter should not lead to the subtraction of marshmallow. What can I say, I'm a New Englander and we're hopelessly devoted to our Fluffernutters.
The original back-of-the-box Scotcheroo recipe calls for one cup of sugar and one cup of corn syrup. I've made it the traditional way before to rave results from friends, but for my taste the corn syrup, sugar, and cereal mixture slathered with chocolate and butterscotch chips is a good bit too sweet, and the recommended six cups of Krispies lends to a dry bar that lacks the sticky-gooey-crispiness that I so love about homemade Rice Krispies Treats.
Debbie from Colorado commented on the Kellogg's recipe site saying: "My recipe for Scotcheroos is from a very old magazine clipping, and it calls for one 10-ounce bag of regular or mini marshmallows instead of the corn syrup and sugar. The 6 cups of Rice Krispies is replaced with 5 cups of cereal, and 1 cup of peanuts." Since I prefer my sugar and corn syrup in marshmallow form, I decided to give Debbie's version a shot, scaling down the peanuts a bit and using chunky peanut butter. Pairing the butterscotch chips with an intense dark chocolate mellowed their sweetness, making for a dessert that will appeal to wide-eyed kindergarteners and grown ups alike.
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