Truth be told, I’ve never really been one to love celebrating my birthday. For some reason I feel oddly uncomfortable with birthday attention but when that attention involves cake, ice cream or something sweet, I can absolutely get on board. So that’s what we’re doing today!
If you stopped by the blog today looking for a healthy recipe, kindly shield your eyes from the delicious horror you will find below. When it comes to celebrating birthdays around here, I’m not looking to “healthify” a recipe and choose to embrace birthday indulgence with open arms!
This recipe is definitely worthy of a celebration, whether it be a birthday, a fun cookout with friends or a holiday gathering. The beauty of these butterscotch birthday bars is that you can omit the sprinkles entirely to make them look extra sad or liven up the bars with multi-colored sprinkles for a birthday or specific colored sprinkles for certain holidays (red, white and blue for Memorial Day or the Fourth of July, green and white for St. Patrick’s Day, etc.).
The inspiration for these Birthday Butterscotch Bars came from our recent trip to the Outer Banks. My mom’s cousin Jennie (Google tells me this means Jennie is my first cousin once removed but that’s way too complicated) brought Special K Bars to the beach and holy cow they were so fantastic. I am pretty sure I am responsible for the consumption of about 85 percent of the bars she made (I sincerely wish that was an exaggeration) and immediately requested the recipe.
As it turns out, Special K Bars are kind of a thing on the internet (a simple Pinterest search yields tons of recipes) but my favorite part of the bars was the rich butterscotch flavor I tasted in every bite. I ended up revamping Jennie’s recipe a bit to further highlight butterscotch flavor and made quite a few swaps that proved incredibly delicious.
These Birthday Butterscotch Bars are sweet and crunchy with a creamy butterscotch topping that melts in your mouth.
The best part (other than the actual taste of the bars) is that they are SO easy to make! There is no baking these babies and the bars are the perfect treat to prepare ahead of time to bring along for a birthday party, family reunion or backyard summertime barbecue.
Birthday Butterscotch Bars
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup corn syrup
- 1 cup creamy almond butter or peanut butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 6 cups Rice Chex cereal
- 1/4 cup sprinkles + additional sprinkles for topping
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 1 cup butterscotch chips
- Combine sugar and corn syrup in a large pot and heat to a boil. Quickly remove from heat and stir in almond butter or peanut butter until melted. Add vanilla and stir again.
- Stir in Rice Chex and continue to stir until cereal is coated. Stir in sprinkles. Spread into a 9×13 pan sprayed with cooking spray.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine white chocolate chips and butterscotch chips and microwave for approximately 90 seconds, pausing every 30 seconds to stir until chips are melted. Spread on top of bars and top with additional sprinkles.
- Refrigerate bars until topping hardens and cool completely.
- Slice and enjoy!
You can use peanut butter or almond butter (or a combination of the two) in this recipe. I recommend using the natural version of either (with no sugar added) for a greater depth of flavor and a nuttier taste.
Though I photographed these bars in large squares, I enjoy them most sliced into small, almost bite-size pieces (similar to how you might slice fudge). The bars are quite sweet and the melt-in-your-mouth butterscotch topping is pretty rich, so serving the bars in smaller squares (even if you end up eating a million like I always do) seems to go over well when serving them to a large group.