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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Mike's Treats

I made these treats often during the years that my kids were teenagers. They were a hit at fundraisers and requested often for other occasions. In addition to its long-standing place in our nuclear family cooking history, the recipe has an even older connection to the Peterson side of the family.

I grew up in the most kid-friendly spot in United States. My dad and mom were one of the many American couples who married in the decade after WWII. When my dad got a job teaching at Carbon College in Price, Utah, they bought a little concrete block house in a neighborhood of affordable homes populated by other couples just like them. The baby boom was in full swing and our small street was home to about 45 children so my brothers and I always had friends to play with. Mothers stayed at home and watched out for all the kids on the street, not just their own, so to us it seemed we played outside without supervision. Our street was the last street in a small town offering open space for exploration.

My brother Joe's best friend was Michael Bryson, who sadly died of Hodgkin's disease before he turned 20. Years later, Mike's sister lived nearby another of my brothers, John, and his wife, Linda. She shared a recipe for one of Mike's favorites with my sister-in-law who shared it with me. Like his family, we refer to this confection as Mike's Treats.


Mike's Treats

Source: Linda Peterson
Serves: it depends on how big you cut them

1/2 c sugar
1/2 c light corn syrup
3/4 c creamy peanut butter
4 c crisp rice cereal
1 c bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
1 c butterscotch chips

In a roomy saucepan, heat the sugar and corn syrup and bring to a simmer, cooking just until the sugar dissolves (if you let it boil too long the cereal layer will be too hard).

Remove from the heat, add peanut butter and mix well. Add 4 c cereal and stir well. Press into a buttered 9X13 pan. Set aside. Over a very low heat, or in the microwave, melt together butterscotch chips and 1 c chocolate chips. Be careful that no water gets into this mixture or it will seize (no fun). Spread the melted chips over the cereal layer and allow to cool before cutting with a sharp knife.

Notes about chips:

Most of the time this recipe has been in my possession, I've made it with semisweet chocolate chips, but recently I've found I prefer using bittersweet chips. Mixing semisweet chips with butterscotch results in a milk-chocolate topping which is too sweet and lacking in chocolate flavor. Betsy has also found that Guittard Butterscotch Chips are the best to use if you can find them.


  1. These are my new favorite potluck dessert, for two reasons: they taste like candy, and they only take about 15 minutes to prepare. Of course you do have to wait an hour or two for the chocolate to cool before cutting, but hands-on time is minimal!