hemp seed scotcharoo bars

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Happy official spring! Getting close to being able to eat garden-fresh food over here, very close. I guess my kale and a few herbs did go all winter, but I’m talking early spring peas, radishes, carrots, etc. For now, I wanted to share a dessert recipe that brings me way back; scotcheroo bars.

My family excelled in bars. They were up there with pies; there’d be at least a pan of bars at pretty much every family function. These scotcheroos were my favorite. I would always try and snatch one right after my mom made a batch, so it would be warm and gooey. By the time they cooled and got more solid, I’d already be craving another. And another. And another. Now I realize that it’s not so good when your blood sugar level surges and your brain gets hooked on sugar. I experimented with my mom’s recipe, and ended up cutting out 3/4 the amount of sugar, using agave nectar instead of corn syrup, and adding hemp seeds, because I love them. My scotcheroos aren’t perfect, but I don’t quite get the crazy sugar spike and addictive aftermath. They’re quick, no-bake, and great to bring to an event or potluck and share for a sweet post-meal treat.

Makes one 9 x 13 pan

Ingredients

  • 1 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter + 1 additional spoonful (for topping)
  • 6 cups puffed rice cereal (I used Rice Krispies)
  • 1/2 bag chocolate chips
  • 1/2 bag butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds
  • butter for greasing pan

Directions

  1. Pour cereal and 1/4 cup hemp seeds in a large bowl. Grease baking pan.
  2. Boil agave nectar and sugar together. Remove from heat with first bubbles. Add peanut butter and mix.
  3. Working quickly, pour nectar/sugar/peanut butter over cereal and mix it into the cereal. Spread gooey cereal into pan, mixing in any remaining dry cereal.
  4. In a separate pot, melt chocolate and butterscotch chips together over low heat, stirring often. Add the spoonful of peanut butter. Once melted, spread evenly on top of cereal, and sprinkle on the last 1/4 cup of hemp seeds.
  5. Let cool for a few hours before cutting. 20 minutes in the fridge helps speed up cooling.

Hooray for bars! Leave a comment if you have any favorite bars that remind you of your family. For me, these are it, and this is my spin on them!

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