Minnesota - Bars / Scotcheroos

When I started researching the sweet I would feature for Minnesota, I kept coming across threads on food blogs where Minnesotans kept mentioning "Bars" and I wasn't quite sure what they were talking about.  This blurb from Wikipedia sums it up best:

"Guidelines for bars and bars in Minnesota"
"Though similar to cookies, bars are not considered cookies and require no dough measuring.  Rice Krispie treats are considered bars in Minnesota, but a brownie is not a bar.  Bars are considered one of two essentials for potlucks in Minnesota, the other being hotdish.  According to You Know You're in Minnesota When...: 101 Quintessential Places, People, Events, Customs, Lingo, and Eats of the North Star State by Berit Thorkelson, the bar is a Minnesota staple and a "typical Minnesota dessert".  Thorkelson notes that bars are not included in Webster's Dictionary, and the word pronunciation of the "ar" is with "a pirate-like arrr" followed by a soft clipped s.

Because of the frequent Minnesota practice of bringing "a pan of bars" to potlucks and other social occasions, the ingredient combinations and variety of bars is mind-boggling."

Isn't that fun!  I love it - exactly what Sweet State of Mine is all about! So, now that I understood what the heck Bars referred to, I had to find a specific Bar recipe to make and I really wanted it to have Midwestern roots, don't ya know.  

Then I remembered eating this thing called a Scotcheroo while in Wisconsin for work a few years ago.  One of my coworkers at the time walked around the office offering treats, I took one - had a bite and commented how good it was, and then asked "What is it?"  Shocked she said "you've never had a Scotcheroo????!!!!!"

Apparently, Scotcheroos are a very common and popular variety of Bars in Wisconsin and Minnesota and since it was new to this southern gal, I decided it would be the perfect recipe to use! Thanks for sharing your recipe with me Jenna! 

1 cup light Karo Corn Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
6 cups Rice Krispies
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips


  • cook corn syrup and sugar together in a large pan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar
  • bring mixture to a boil
  • remove from heat and stir in peanut butter.  mix well
  • add Rice Krispies and stir to coat
  • pour into greased 9 x 13 and pat into place
  • melt chocolate and butterscotch chips together in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly
  • spread over cereal
  • cool at least 45 minutes or until firm 
  • cut into baaaars  ; )

Potluck Perfection!  



  1. I'm from MN and you have everything down to a T, except there is no reason to grease the pan because the peanut butter has enough oil in it to keep the bars from sticking. I now live in CA and my coworkers never heard of these either, but they sure do love them!

    1. Yay! So glad to hear that my recipe gets a MN seal of approval! Thanks so much for the tip about not greasing the pan - I will remember that next time I make a batch. If you have any other MN treats, I would love to hear about them!