Our Take on Minnesota Bars

When Erin and Molly requested we make a Minnesota bar recipe, I have to admit I had no idea what that meant. The only Minnesota bars that I knew about are those I frequented in college – but that’s a whole other story. So after a little research we discovered that in addition to the Minnesota hotdish, Minnesota bars are the second most popular potluck dish in the state. The dessert bars are any kind of dessert that fits into a large baking dish, is easily made and requires little to no cookie dough. For example Rice Krispie treats, lemon bars and peanut butter bars are all considered Minnesota bars – brownies however are not (although I don’t really understand why).

What I really wanted to make tonight was another batch of these lemon bars, posted over at Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide. These things are unbelievably good, but I know if we made another batch I would eat the entire pan. Seriously. So tonight we went for something a little less dangerous. Can you guess what dessert bar we made? (And it’s not Rice Krispie treats.)

Scotcharoos. My mom used to make these quite a bit when I was a kid. I know Mr. N has had them before, but not in a long time and Miss A has never had the pleasure. The recipe is very easy (thus making it a good choice for an MN bar). We started by combining one cup of peanut butter, one cup of sugar and one cup of light corn syrup into a large sauce pan and mixing it over medium-low heat.

After the peanut butter was good and melted, we removed the pan from the heat and added six cups of Rice Krispies cereal to the  mixture.

After stirring it all together we scooped it into a greased 9″x13″ baking pan and pressed it down gently toward all the edges.

Lastly in another sauce pan we melted a 1/2 cup of milk chocolate chips and a 1/2 cup of butterscotch chocolate chips. (If you want to cover the whole pan in the frosting use 1 cup of each chip.) After stirring the chips together until smooth and creamy we spread it over half of the pan of scotcharoos.

As a kid I was allergic to milk and chocolate, so my mom always left some plain for me. And that’s still just the way I like them. Dad, Mr. N and I all enjoyed our Minnesota bars tonight. Crunchy, chewy and peanut butter chocolate-y goodness.

As for Miss A, she will be sampling her’s tomorrow after a good night’s sleep.

Print this recipe: Scotcharoos

17 thoughts on “Our Take on Minnesota Bars

  1. Kathryn says:

    I have been back to look at this recipe five times since I first saw it. We don’t have ANY ingredients in the house, but I keep craving them!! Maybe if I keep coming back to stare at your pictures I can hold off until my next trip to the grocery store. 😀

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  2. Caroline says:

    I absolutely love scotcharoos! They remind me of my childhood, as my mom always used to make them. I’m thinking I’ll have to whip up a batch very soon. 🙂

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    • ChefMom says:

      It’s funny how smells and tastes can bring back memories. These scotcharoos certainly bring back my childhood as well. Thanks for visiting the site and have a great weekend!

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  3. Erin and Molly Reeder says:

    I can’t believe you did not hear the term “bars” while in MN! We love your recipe and have not made them in so long, so I think we have a project this weekend!

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    • ChefMom says:

      I know – I can’t believe it either. You’d think after 7 years in the state I would have heard the term. Scotcharoos are yummy. I didn’t realize how easy they were to make either. 😉

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  4. Charles says:

    Looks yummy. Can’t get corn syrup here – I guess (cane) sugar would have the same result would it, or does it have different properties to the syrup?

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  5. Lisa {smart food and fit} says:

    Omg, I made something similar awhile back but never got a chance to post it. Anything with peanut butter and chocolate and i’m so there! I want some now!!!! Oh, darn but I can’t, I’m doing this stupid strict diet with my friend to get lean for summer, so no sweets for awhile 😦

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