These healthy scotcheroos have the delightful texture and flavors of the classic version, but with clean, gluten free ingredients! This easy, no-bake dessert is perfect for satisfying your sweet 'n salty tooth with only a handful of clean ingredients and NO corn syrup or refined sugars. Instead, you'll use date syrup to sweeten these soft and chewy-yet-crispy delights!
Get ready to sink your teeth into a salted, chocolatey, gluten free, no-bake dessert: healthy scotcheroos! But first, the question of the hour: thin or thick layer of chocolate for scotcheroos?? I am all about that THICK layer on top because I love how it contrasts with the chewy-crispy layer beneath. But, my boyfriend prefers a thin layer. There is a correct answer to this question... 😉
Anyway, this is my niece, nephew, and healthy-food-skeptic of a father approved scotcheroo recipe, made without corn syrup. All you need is a couple bowls, an 8x8-inch pan, a spatula, measuring cups and spoons, and some optional parchment paper.
For these healthy scotcheroos, we'll only need a handful of ingredients:
- Brown rice crisps - For those of you who have had scotcheroos, you know the base is typically made of Rice Krispies. To keep the nutrient density a little higher, I use brown rice crisps in this recipe, but either would work! Usually I'll buy the 365 brand of brown rice crisps at Whole Foods, but you can also find them at Woodman's or other local grocery stores.
- Peanut butter - A classic for scotcheroos, and a best friend to chocolate!
- Date Syrup - OMG you guys, I am SO excited about date syrup! This stuff is the perfect consistency for healthy scotcheroos and sweetens them *just* right. More on date syrup below 🙂 I used the Date Lady brand, which you can order on Amazon or find at Target.
- Dark Chocolate - Any real dark chocolate chips, bars, or chunks are perfect! I would say the darker the better, but you do you!
- Salt - Two kinds for this recipe: We'll put a little bit of fine salt in with the date syrup and peanut butter to make the flavor stand out, and then some flaky salt on top to balance the sweetness of the chocolate.
What is Date Syrup?
Date syrup is a liquid sweetener made from dates! There are various brands out there, and I am officially addicted to date syrup as an unrefined sweetener option for desserts or anything else. Compared to its counterparts (maple syrup and honey), it is higher in antioxidants, magnesium, and potassium, with the lowest glycemic index of the three. Of course maple syrup and honey still have a much needed place in my kitchen, but date syrup is a nice addition.
The brand I used and recommend for this recipe is called Date Lady, and I love it because I can find it at Target or order online, so it feels more accessible. I haven't tried other brands yet, so if you do, please let me know!
Why Date Syrup for Scotcheroos?
Honey and maple syrup will always have a place in my kitchen, especially since they have wonderful flavors and health benefits that are necessary for certain recipes. That said, I think date syrup earns it place in a healthy scotcheroo recipe for the following reasons:
- Thick and syrupy. Corn syrup is thick and binding, while other natural sweetener alternatives (maple syrup and agave) are a bit thin and won't hold the brown rice crisps together as well. Date syrup does a great job of getting the texture and binding abilities just right! I have also tried scotcheroos made with brown rice syrup, and they were delish! But, I found date syrup to be more accessible since you can buy it at Target instead of having to order it online.
- Not too sweet. Using only honey is WAY too sweet in this recipe, but date syrup has just the right level of sweetness.
- The right flavor. The awesome thing about date syrup is that it's pretty neutral in flavor (unlike, say, molasses or honey). In other words, when you take a bite, the flavor won't scream, "DATES!" Rather, it will scream, "SCOTCHEROO!"... without the artificially flavored butterscotch chips.
I know date syrup is going to be a staple now that I have a go-to healthy scotcheroos recipe in my back pocket... 🙂
How to Make Scotcheroos without Corn Syrup
First, you'll prepare an 8x8-inch baking dish with parchment paper, or you can grease it with a little cooking spray or butter. I like to use parchment paper because it's so easy to lift the dessert right out of the pan when ready!
Next, you'll make the scotcheroo base. You can start by measuring out the brown rice crisps in a bowl and setting that aside. In a separate small microwave-safe bowl, heat the date syrup, peanut butter, and fine salt for 30 seconds. Whisk that together until fully combined and smooth, then pour it over the brown rice crisps. Stir everything together until all the brown rice crisps are coated and you have one big sticky ball of brown rice crisp mixture.
Now you can press that brown rice crisp mixture evenly into your prepared 8x8-inch baking dish. I like to use a rubber spatula to press evenly in sections and really make it compact!
Time for the salted chocolate topping! All you need to do is melt your dark chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate bar) in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second increments. Between each, take the bowl out of the microwave and stir to see if the chocolate melts fully. Once there are no chunks left and you have a uniform, melted bowl of chocolate, you're ready to layer it up. Usually it takes me three 30-second rounds in the microwave to fully melt my chocolate, but it could be more or less depending on your microwave.
At last, you can pour that melted dark chocolate over the prepared scotcheroo base and spread it out into an even layer. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt, and pop those beauties in the fridge for an hour to set. After that, you can cut into squares (or let's be real here, rows), and DEVOUR!
I like to store them on my countertop in an airtight glass container except when it's super hot out! I don't have air conditioning, so hot days make it a little melty in my small condo. If you have a similar situation, the fridge is your best bet. Otherwise, the countertop works just fine.
You sure can! Freeze these scotcheroos in an airtight container for up to three months. When you're ready to eat, remove the container from the freezer and allow it to thaw on your countertop.
Yep! Feel free to substitute any other nut or seed butter in the same amount indicated in the recipe.
My last request? Actually comment below on whether you like a thin or thick layer of chocolate!Print
These healthy scotcheroos are so easy to whip up and are made with clean ingredients (without corn syrup!). We use date syrup as a healthy alternative that yields that perfect chewy texture and the right amount of sweetness... with more nutrients and no refined sugars. Bonus! These no-bake treats are a gluten free AND no-bake dessert, so consider your peanut butter & chocolate cravings satisfied... without an oven 🙂
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 2
- Total Time: 7 minutes
- Yield: 16 bars 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: No-bake
- Cuisine: American
- 4 ½ cups brown rice crisps cereal
- ½ cup natural peanut butter
- ½ cup date syrup
- ¼ tsp fine salt
- 12 oz. dark chocolate (chips or bars work!)
- flaky sea salt, for finishing
- Baking pan: Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, or grease with cooking spray or butter.
- Make scotcheroo base: Measure brown rice crisps into a medium bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine peanut butter, date syrup, and fine salt. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds and whisk together until smooth. Pour the date and peanut butter mixture into the brown rice crisps and mix until all brown rice crisps are thoroughly coated. Transfer the mixture to the prepared 8x8-inch baking dish, and press firmly into the pan.
- Salted chocolate topping: Place dark chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until completely melted. Pour over the scotcheroo base in the baking dish and use a spatula to spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
- Set in fridge: Place the scotcheroos in the fridge for at least 1 hour to set.
- Serve: Cut into squares (or let's be real, rows) and serve!
1. Cook time: Cook time includes time heating up certain ingredients in the microwave while assembling these bars. There is some hands-off time waiting for these bars to chill and set in the fridge.
Keywords: healthy scotcheroos, scotcheroos without corn syrup