Deliciously crispy low carb peanut butter bars with a rich chocolate topping. These healthy keto scotcheroos are a fun and tasty snack.
Hard to believe you can make keto version of scotcheroos. But it is true, indeed and each of these deliciously crunchy peanut butter caramel bars has only 3g net carbs per serving. If you love bar cookies like I love bar cookies, be sure to also check out my Keto Magic Cookie Bars and the awesomely delicious Keto Tagalong Bars.
Forgive me, people. I am really not normally one for cutesie names for recipes; typically, I stick with descriptive titles that tell you exactly what you’re getting.
But sometimes the choice is not mine. Sometimes, I am creating a low carb dessert that is modelled after a recipe that already exists, and I have to just go with it. I have to give a nod to the aforementioned cutely named classic, so that people know I’ve created a healthy keto version.
Really, if I was to go with my gut here, these would be called something like Low Carb Peanut Butter Caramel Crunch Bars. Or maybe Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Crunch Bars, although that’s a bit wordy for me. But it certainly is descriptive. If I could find a way to work in pork rinds without making it sound like a tongue twister, I’d do that too.
Pork Rinds in a Keto Dessert?
Because yep, this deliciously crunchy treat is made with crushed pork rinds. Does that wig you out? Some of you diehard low carbers won’t be in the least put off by that, but some newer folks might be a bit freaked out.
I admit that there was a time when the idea of pork rinds in my dessert would have given me the heebie jeebies. Because I used to associate pork rind consumption with all sorts of unhealthy dietary practices.
And let’s face it, some pork rinds are pretty darn junky, fried in some unhealthy oils. But I’ve come to understand that REAL chicharrones should basically be cooked right in their own fat. They are making quite a comeback and I’ve had some glorious ones at restaurants. I’ve even made my own homemade pork rinds…delicious but a lot of work and your house smells like fried food for days afterward.
And now there are some really great, truly healthy pork rinds on the market. They are pricier but worth it, in my opinion. I’ve tried a couple of brands and I definitely have my favourites. Bacon’s Heir has some great flavours but for the life of me, I can’t figure out why they cook them in olive oil and not in the pork fat itself.
I like the salt and pepper pork rinds from Epic but they are salty enough to sort of cut up my mouth if I eat more than a small amount at a time. I love the Classic Chile Salt pork rinds from 4505 Meats best as they are lighter and fluffier, but I don’t like their BBQ or Jalapeño Cheddar flavours.
I also tried these Galactic Hog Skins because they were less expensive but I really did not like them much. Not light and crisp enough and the flavours all had an artificial taste to me.
How To Make Low Carb Scotcheroos
In our little low carb world, things like Scotcheroos are typically off limits because they are made with crispy rice. But I’d been eyeing them for sometime, wondering if there was a way. Because peanut butter, caramel and chocolate, with something crispy in it? Heck yeah!
Using crushed pork rinds: It can seem odd, a savory snack in a sweet recipe. But it really works! Pork rinds are really the only truly crunchy keto ingredient that can replace something like rice krispies. Get the most neutral flavor you can find. You can crush them in a bag with a rolling pin or chop them up in your food processor.
Line your pan with parchment: This is a no-bake recipe that uses plenty of butter and peanut butter. Lining the pan with parchment will ensure that you can easily lift the scotcheroos out once they set properly.
Use caramel or butterscotch flavoring: Scotcheroos are usually made with butterscotch chips, so using an extract like caramel or butterscotch can help you get the classic scotcheroo flavor.
Melt the chocolate with a little coconut oil: This helps it melt more smoothly and evenly, and also makes the chocolate topping softer when the bars are ready to be served.
Want them to be coconut-free? I get this question frequently since some people really detest coconut. You can replace the flaked coconut with sliced almonds, and the coconut oil with ghee or butter. The chocolate tends to melt more thickly when using a dairy-based fat, but it does work.
Chill them properly. This is by far the hardest part of making keto scotcheroos! Waiting for them to chill and firm up requires the patience of a saint. Because if you’re like me, chances are you tasted the mixture along the way and you nearly swooned from the crispy sweet deliciousness.
Want more delicious keto peanut butter recipes?
Chocolate Peanut Butter Lava Cakes
- ½ cup butter
- ¾ cup peanut butter
- ⅔ cup powdered Swerve Sweetener
- ½ teaspoon caramel extract or butterscotch extract
- 4 cups coarsely crushed pork rinds About 3 ounces - measure out AFTER crushing
- ¾ cup flaked coconut
- 6 ounces sugar-free dark chocolate chopped
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil
- Line an 8x8 inch baking pan with parchment paper or waxed paper, leaving an overhang for easy removal.
- In a large saucepan over medium low heat, combine the peanut butter, butter, and sweetener. Stir until melted and smooth, then stir in the caramel extract.
- Add the crushed pork rinds and flaked coconut and stir to coat well, then press this mixture firmly into the prepared baking pan. Chill until firm, about 1 hour.
- In a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate and coconut oil together. Spread over the chilled bars and let set in the fridge, about 20 minutes.
- Lift the bars out by the parchment paper edges and cut into squares with a large, sharp knife. These are rich so cut into 20 to 25 squares.
OMG!!! Scotcheroos were my go to treat before keto, these are amazing and taste just like the original. Thank you for this!
Anne M says
I bought the Porq brand crushed pork rinds that are panko like consistency. 4 cups of them weigh about 10 ounces, not the 3 ounces you call for in the recipe. Are they OK to use or crushed too fine. Not sure on the measurements.
Yes, I think that may be too finely crushed to work for this recipe. I can’t be sure, though… I would probably experiment with a half batch and see. It will be a tasty experiment regardless!
I used pre crushed as well. I just went by the weight and but the cup amount and they were perfect.
these are so yummy! they were quite crumbly; i wonder if i use not-so-fine pork rinds if that would help? I used pre-crushed PORQ rinds…or more butter? thanks for another great recipe!
That might be the problem. I crushed my pork rinds myself.
I’ve tried these again- this time I did crush myself and I went by weight vs cups. They’re so amazing! Next time I may just make little haystacks and dip the tops in chocolate ????
Thank you for yet another delicious recipe!
Glad it worked out!
As usual, a stellar recipe. Chocolate, peanut butter and crunch!!! Thank YOU! So easy, delicious and satisfying. 10/10 recommended.
These are a household fav!! BUT, I recently learned I’m very sensitive to all dairy. What suggestions do you have for me to sub the butter? I’m so sad about this ????
You have lots of choices. Coconut oil is fine but there is some butter flavoured coconut oil that might be good in these.
Is there a substitution for the coconut? I cannot stand coconut, but other than that, this recipe sounds awesome!!
Try using sliced almonds.
Amy Cronin says
I replace the coconut with chopped peanuts. We love this recipe!
I love this recipe! Have you thought about recreating with high key cereal and lily’s butterscotch chips? I want to try it but have no idea of measurements. Thank you for all the great recipes! Loved everyone I have tried!
Definitely on my mind!
I love your recipes, but when I enter them in Carb Manager the net carbs is always more than you note. Is there something that I am missing?
It’s because Carb Manager is not removing the erythritol. It’s pretty bad for an app that counts carbs not to note that.
I’m in the USA and would likely order from Amazon. Can anyone tell me what kind of pork rinds they used? I thought about getting the ones on Amazon that are already crushed for bread crumb replacement but thought those might be too fine and not crunchy. Looking for some neutral flavored ones. Thanks.
Thank you for this creative and delicious recipe. These are fabulous!!! The pork rinds do not taste like pork, and are very reminiscent of rice krispies. I’ve made them twice and each time they turned out delicious. I like to cut them and them freeze them. I probably cut mine into 12-16 pieces (instead of 25) so I just need to factor that in for the macros.
Hello Carolyn! I LOVE your recipe but I have not made it for sometime because I can not find butterscotch extract from my sources. I do not shop Amazon. Anyway, I have an idea, what do you think about making your caramel sauce and adding to the peanut mixture? If you think this would work, how much caramel sauce would you add? And, would you still add the butter to the peanut butter? Thank you for your thoughts. Sending hugs.
I found the measurement vs weight for the pork rinds to be off. I had to use about double the weight to get the cups. They’re in the fridge now so I’m hoping they turned out alright!
I made this recipe last night. I probably ground the pork rinds too fine, but it didn’t matter. The bars were still crunchy and delicious. I didn’t pay attention to how many ounces of pork rinds I used. I just measured when I was finished grinding them up. Since Lily’s dark chocolate bar is 4 oz, that’s how much I used. Thanks for all the great recipes!
So glad it worked out!
To r i says
Best chocolate peanut butter recipe and it’s so easy. And I don’t like pork rinds but they’re perfect and delicious. My husband was so impressed. Brought tears to my eyes. I love Scotcheroos. Now I’ve got them back! You nailed it Carolyn.
So delighted that it made you so happy!
These taste amazing! I’m wondering where you find your pork rinds? It took me 7 ounces to get 4 cups of crushed rinds, and some of my local THM friends report the same. That seems like a big discrepancy so we’re wondering if we’re missing something 🙂 Love this recipe, so delicious.
I think you must be crushing them too much. You want them not to be finely crushed but to have bigger bits.. kind of like Rice Crispies, since that’s what they are replacing. I just buy the bag from 4505 Meats, at Whole Foods.
What flavor of the 4505s if I may ask. Thanks.
My daughter is so grateful — a version of this was her favorite Christmas cookie, and we have been unable to replicate it. Until now!! (Our version simply puts the chocolate between two layers of peanut butter & pork rinds, made by dividing the bottom layer in half.) Today we tried subbing half of the powdered Swerve with 1/3 c swerve brown sugar (we don’t have butterscotch flavoring and it’s not the kind of thing I’d ever think to look for, since this is the only use I’d have for it). SOOOOO good! The only problem was that it seemed to make the pb layers a little too crumbly. Any suggestions? We’ve thought of maybe xanthan gum or collagen powder, or maybe changing the brown/white proportions a little. (I suppose it’s also possible we over-ground the pork rinds and used too much. If that’s the case, all we’d need to do is either grind/measure more carefully, or maybe up the pb layer ingredients.) We will DEFINITELY be making this again!! so if we figure anything out, we’ll let you know!
PS–you are definitely our “Christmas Cookie Headquarters.” Thank you so much for all your talent and hard work, so no one in our family need feel deprived over the holidays. Every recipe a winner. I remain your biggest fan!!
Vicki L. says
Best low carb recipe I’ve tried yet. Wonderful, thank you for sharing it.
These are the best keto peanut butter/chocolate treat EVER! Wow!! Thank you!! I didn’t have caramel extract so I subbed maple extract and it worked great! I gave some to my hubby and he would not have guessed it was keto! Thank you again!
So glad to hear it!
Hi Carolyn- love these and make them pretty often. My question is do you cut them when they are cold or at room temperature? I try to cut them after cooling and they break apart and I am left with just a lot of crumbs ( which are great in a bowl with the whipped cream by the way)– just wondering what I might be doing wrong that they tend to crumble when I cut them.
Room temp cutting is probably best. That chocolate topping can get kind of hard and yes, it can make them shatter.