Butterscotch Haystacks are a super simple no-bake treat that is delicious any time of year! They take just 4 ingredients and a few minutes to throw together, and everyone loves them.
You can make butterscotch haystacks at Christmastime, these have made an appearance on my holiday cookie trays in years past, but they aren’t necessarily holiday-themed, so you can feel free to make them for football parties, potlucks, or any time when a sweet treat would be appreciated.
I am a huge fan of how simple these haystacks are to make. They are mixed up in under 10 minutes, and then the hardest part is just waiting for them to harden enough to eat!
I also really love the peanut butter in this recipe, it makes them creamy, and adds a salty aspect to the recipe. If you love peanut butter too you should check out my Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars or Easy Peanut Butter Granola.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- A No-Bake Haystack Cookies Recipe: Technically we should call this a candy recipe I think, but butterscotch haystacks feel more like a cookie to me. Whatever you want to call them, they are simple to make and require no baking.
- Buttery, Sweet Flavor: I love butterscotch for its sweet and buttery flavor. In this recipe, butterscotch is made extra delicious with nutty peanut butter and salty peanuts.
- A Classic Favorite: People have been making these chow mein noodle haystack cookies for who knows how long, but it seems that there is someone in every family who makes these for Christmas or another holiday each year. If there isn’t someone in your family yet, it should definitely be you.
Just 4 simple ingredients are needed to make this classic no-bake cookie treat.
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
- Butterscotch Chips. The same chips that you might toss into your oatmeal cookies melt down to create the delicious coating for these haystack cookies.
- Peanut Butter. Choose a smooth peanut butter here, we’re going to add peanuts separately.
- Chopped Peanuts. I like to leave the peanuts whole so that there are nice bites in each cookie with nuts. Use salted and roasted peanuts for the best flavor.
- Chow Mein Noodles. These can usually be found in the section of the grocery store where Asian foods are. They often come in a large paper canister or a bag. Chow mein noodles are a crunchy, fried, wheat-based noodle. LaChoy is the most common brand of these that I’ve seen, but there may be others.
How to Make Butterscotch Haystacks
You aren’t going to believe how simple this recipe for haystacks is!
- Get Set up: Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.
- Melt haystack coating: On top of a double boiler, melt the butterscotch chips with peanut butter. Remove from heat once chips are melted, and stir to mix until well blended.
- Stir: Gently stir in the salted peanuts and chow mein noodles until well combined and coated.
- Drop and Set: Drop rounded tablespoons of the mixture onto the lined baking pans. Allow the cookies to set at room temperature for 2-3 hours or overnight to firm up.
Want your haystacks to be ready sooner? Let them set in the fridge or freezer for 30 minutes to an hour.
Buy unflavored chow mein noodles. If you shop at an Asian market, and possibly at some supermarkets, you might find spicy or seasoned crunchy noodles. For this recipe, you want plain ones.
Don’t use crunchy peanut butter. In crunchy peanut butter, the nuts make it so there is less actual peanut butter, and we need the peanut butter to make the coating. Creamy peanut butter works best.
Not a butterscotch fan? It’s ok, this recipe works just as well with semisweet or white chocolate chips instead of the butterscotch ones!
Swap the nuts out. You can leave the peanuts out of this recipe if you prefer, or swap them out for cashews, almonds, or walnuts.
Decorate haystacks. Feel free to add a drizzle of white chocolate and/or some colored sprinkles to match your holiday or special occasion.
- Store your haystack cookies in an airtight container for up to three days. You can keep them at room temperature, but if it’s warm in your home you might want to refrigerate them.
- You can also freeze haystacks in a freezer bag for 1-2 months.
Butterscotch Haystack Variations
Because this recipe is loved far and wide, there are also a lot of variations that brilliant cooks have come up with. You can try some of these if you’d like to move away from the traditional haystack recipe.
- Instead of Chow Mein Noodles: Use shoestring potato chips, thin pretzel sticks, or crispy cereal. You can combine two of these things to make a whole new texture too.
- Try Adding: Dried fruit like raisins or cranberries, mini chocolate chips or M&Ms, miniature marshmallows, or anything else that sounds good to you!
- Instead of Butterscotch: Use semi-sweet, milk chocolate, or white chocolate chips.
More No-Bake Treats to Enjoy
- Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies are delicious and packed with oats to make them nice and chewy.
- For the holidays, try these three-ingredient Christmas Pretzel Hugs.
- Funfetti Cake Batter Dip is the perfect blend of easy appetizer and decadent, creamy dessert!
The small cans of LaChoy chow mein noodles are 5 ounces, and you should get just over 2 cups of chow mein noodles from one, which is perfect for this butterscotch haystacks recipe. I suggest picking up two cans because you might want to make this recipe more than once.
Using the microwave is a great option if you don’t have a double boiler. Place the butterscotch chips and peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir. Continue microwaving at 15-second intervals until smooth.
You can easily make a double batch of butterscotch haystacks by just doubling all of the ingredients. As written, you will get approximately 30 haystacks, so depending on your plans you may want to do more than that.
These cookies are totally safe stored at room temperature, and they are best eaten that way too, as they can be hard to bite into if they are cold. You can certainly store them in the fridge before you’re ready to serve them though, just let them come to room temperature for a half-hour or so before eating.
Have fun making this classic no-bake cookie, and be sure to pin the recipe for later.
- 1 cup butterscotch chips Note 1
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter Note 2
- ½ cup roasted salted peanuts Note 3
- 2 cups unflavored chow mein noodles Note 4
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- On top of a double boiler, melt the butterscotch chips with peanut butter. Remove from heat and mix together until well blended.
- Gently stir in the salted peanuts, and chow mein noodles until well combined.
- Drop rounded tablespoons of the mixture onto the baking sheets. Allow the cookies to set for 2-3 hours or overnight. If you want the cookies to set quickly, you can place them in the refrigerator.
- Not a butterscotch fan? It’s ok, this recipe works just as well with semisweet or white chocolate chips instead of the butterscotch ones!
- Don’t use crunchy peanut butter. In crunchy peanut butter, the nuts make it so there is less actual peanut butter, and we need the peanut butter to make the coating. Creamy peanut butter works best.
- Swap the nuts out. You can leave the peanuts out of this recipe if you prefer, or swap them out for cashews, almonds, or walnuts.
- Buy unflavored chow mein noodles. If you shop at an Asian market, and possibly at some supermarkets, you might find spicy or seasoned crunchy noodles. For this recipe, you want plain ones.
- Storing. Store your haystack cookies in an airtight container for up to three days. You can keep them at room temperature, but if it’s warm in your home you might want to refrigerate them. You can also freeze haystacks in a freezer bag for 1-2 months.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
© Little Sunny Kitchen