Stores are playing Christmas music, Starbucks has released it’s red cup and my inbox is filled with shopping deals which can only mean one thing, the holidays are here! To get you in the mood, I’m sharing a fun way to celebrate the season with your friends and family; host a Scotcheroo Decorating Party! It’s a new twist on the usual cookie swap and a great excuse for a girl’s night!
Wait, what’s a Scotcheroo? A Scotcheroo is a yummy chocolatey butterscotch bar made with rice cereal, Karo® corn syrup and sugar. If you aren’t familiar with a Scotcheroo, you need to try them, ASAP. They’re not only delicious but also incredibly simple to make, no oven needed! Recipe and step by step guide below.
To host your own Scotcheroo Decorating Party you’ll want to invite your girlfriends over with plenty of notice. The holidays are among us, and calendars are filling up quickly. Find a night, mark your calendar and send friends an invitation. No need for paper invites, shoot them a digital invitation from Minted. They’re darling, simple to personalize and best of all, free! Find them HERE.
Keep your group somewhat small to allow ample space for each guest to gather in your kitchen or at the table. I had a group of 6, which was great for my kitchen size and table space.
You can do one of two things to prep for your party. One, pre-make a few batches of Scotcheroos and display them on your table for guests to decorate. Or two, have guests bring their own Scotcheroos pre-made and decorate them as a group!
For my party, I opted to pre-make all the Scotcheroos for the guests. It only took about 15 minutes of prep time, which is a huge benefit when hosting a group of people. The Scotcheroos made a beautiful centerpiece down my dining table on red, mint green and white cake plates. I mixed in some bottle brush Christmas trees and pine cones. Instead of a typical place setting of plates and napkins, I used practical items like cookie sheets and kitchen towels to allow guests a place to wipe messy hands and a place to decorate their Scotcheroos.
Inexpensive cookie cutters make cute place card holders. Add the guests name on a tag and attach in twine! Guests can take them home after the party.
The more preparation you do before the party, the better. Offer guests a simple drink as they arrive. The more you have done ahead of time, the more you can relax and enjoy your party!
Sparking prosecco with pomegranate is a simple and festive drink to serve. Decorate a bar cart or small table near your front door to display drinks.
Do you need to feed your guests a full meal? I say no. Instead of a formal meal, plan a charcuterie bar with fruit, nuts, meats and a variety of cheeses and crackers. I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t enjoy a great charcuterie.
Layer trays, pedestals and cheese boards with a mixture of cheeses, meats, nuts and spreads.
For a cheery “backdrop” to your food table, add a few greenery garlands. Cut greenery from your own backyard and simply attach with a clothespin. It’s inexpensive, simple and adds a bit of life to your display!
After your guests have had a bite to eat, you can begin decorating, or give them a quick baking lesson in Scotcheroo making. I had chosen to pre-make the Scotcheroo bars for my guests, so I had everyone grab a plate of snacks and head to my kitchen for a short demo.
Adding the Scotcheroo recipe to a chalkboard is an easy way to decorate for your baking party and gives everyone a great visual to follow along.
Chocolate Scotcheroo Bars
1 cup Karo® Light Corn Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter*
6 cups crispy rice cereal
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
*Almond butter may be substituted for the peanut butter.
Step 1. Cook Karo® corn syrup and sugar together in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring mixture to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter; mix well. Add cereal; stir until evenly coated. Pour into greased 13 x 9-inch pan and pat into place.
Step 2 can be done one of two ways:
Option 1. Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips together in saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Spread over cereal. Cool at least 45 minutes, or until firm. Cut into bars.
Option 2. Let rice cereal mixture set for about 15 minutes. Using a cookie cutter, cut out a variety of shapes. Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips together in saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly (or use your favorite colored candy melts). Dip shaped Scotcheroo bars into melted chocolate mixture. Place on wax paper to dry.
After you’ve made your Scotcheroo bars you can keep them as is, or add additional decoration using icing and sprinkles.
Keep decorating simple! I cut my treats out using generic circle, square, star and triangle cookie cutters.
After the short baking lesson, guests headed to the table to put their decorating skills to use.
It’s a lot of fun to see how each guest uses the same ingredients and decor but every Scotcheroo turns out differently. The icing was a great “glue” to add sprinkles or other decorations.
Even the gals who didn’t consider themselves creative came up with the cutest Scotcheroos!
You can either provide take home boxes or ask guests to bring their own to package their treats. I had a variety of sizes and patterns for guests to pack their Scotcheroos in.
To save you a little work, download our FREE Scotcheroo recipe card and gift tags for your own Scotcheroo Decorating Party. If you opt to make them for holiday gifts instead, the recipe cards are great to tuck into the package or a tag tied onto the box. (Download links at the bottom of the post).
After we finished decorating and packaging our treats, we moved the party outside to enjoy a little hot apple cider around the fire.
Hot Apple Cider
2 quarts apple cider
2/3 cup Karo® Light Corn Syrup
3 Cinnamon Sticks
1/2 teaspoon Whole Cloves
1 lemon sliced
Chopped apples and cinnamon sticks for garnish
1. Stir apple cider, corn syrup, cinnamon sticks, cloves and lemon slices in a 3-quart saucepan.
2. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Remove spices.
3. Garnish each serving with a cinnamon stick and half a lemon slice.
It was a delicious way to end a fun evening with friends!
Have you ever hosted a holiday baking party? Leave your best tips and tricks in the comments below!
Get your free Scotcheroo recipe cards and tags by clicking below: