Food

Easy, No-bake Haystacks Are the Ultimate Holiday Crowd-Pleaser

TIMEDecember 17, 2021

Want a crowd-pleasing cookie that has just five ingredients and doesn’t even require turning on the oven? Say hello to the haystack cookie! Grab the kiddos and let’s get cooking: You’ll have a big batch of haystacks in under an hour.

What Are Haystacks Made of?

Haystacks are no-bake cookies that consist of fried chow mein noodles and peanuts coated in a mixture of melted peanut butter and butterscotch chips. The chow mein noodles give the cookie Pocky stick vibes, while the peanuts give body to the overall flavor and add textural contrast. The result is a crunchy, salty-sweet cookie that will be snatched up faster than you can say “haystacks.”

Not a fan of butterscotch? You can substitute any type of chocolate chip—milk, dark, or white. Also, if you can’t find roasted and salted peanuts, feel free to swap in cocktail peanuts or Spanish peanuts, or use unsalted and add more salt to the cookies to taste.

What’s the Best Peanut Butter for Haystacks?

This recipe will only work with store-bought creamy peanut butter such as Jif or Skippy, which contain emulsifiers that help the peanut butter melt into the right consistency. Natural peanut butters, like Smuckers Natural or anything freshly ground, will seize and harden.

How Long Do Haystacks Last?

Haystacks can be refrigerated for up to one week, or frozen for up to six months. But trust me: They will not last this long. I once shared some at a party and they were the first thing to go.

Haystacks

Makes 36 haystacks

  • 3/4 cup dry-roasted, salted peanuts
  • 1 (11-ounce) bag butterscotch chips (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup Skippy or Jif creamy peanut butter (do not use natural)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 (12-ounce) bag fried chow mein noodles, such as La Choy

Line two rimmed baking sheets with wax or parchment paper. Coarsely chop the peanuts.

Place the butterscotch chips, peanut butter and kosher salt in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes, stirring vigorously with a rubber spatula halfway through. If not completely melted, microwave in 20-second intervals, vigorously mixing between each, until the mixture is mostly melted with some lumps, 1 to 2 minutes more. (Alternatively, melt the ingredients together in a double boiler over low heat, then transfer to a large bowl.)

Add the peanuts and fried chow mein noodles. Stir until the mixture is well-combined.

Scoop two heaping tablespoon portions of the haystack mixture onto the baking sheets, about 20 per sheet. Let sit until the haystacks harden and set, 40 minutes at room temperature or 20 minutes in the refrigerator.

Amelia Rampe is studio food editor for TheKitchn.com, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to editorial@thekitchn.com. Copyright 2021 Apartment Therapy. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.