Haystack Cookies are an easy treat to make during the holiday season. They are delicious no bake cookies that are made from a combination of melted chocolate, creamy butterscotch, salty peanuts, and crunchy chow mein noodles.
No Bake Haystack Cookies, also known as Christmas Chow Mein Noodle Cookies or Chocolate Butterscotch Haystacks, have been a tradition in our family for years and for very good reason. They top our must-bake list, along with Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies, Easy Fudge, and Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies.
Haystack Cookies are an easy recipe that we make every year at Christmas time, though they are so delicious - they can be made any time of year. They are sweet and salty cookies, so if you like that combination, you’ll love these!
My husband gave these the nickname “Reindeer Poop” when he first had them, and the name stuck. So, in our house, the lovely name for this delicious cookie is… Reindeer Poop. So feel free to call this sweet treat whatever name you want!
What are Haystack Cookies Made of?
People who grew up with haystack cookies in their families will argue about what they feel is the real haystack cookie. The base of these cookies is simple ingredients: chow mein noodles, melted chocolate, creamy peanut butter or melted butterscotch, and then a mix-in, like peanuts, marshmallows, candy, or pretzels.
These cookies are sometimes called chow mein cookies, chocolate chow mein cookies, or chocolate butterscotch chow mein cookies.
- Milk Chocolate Chips - You can also use semi-sweet chocolate chips if that is all that you have, but I think the milk chocolate chips have a better flavor.
- Butterscotch Chips
- Chow Mein Noodles
- Salted Peanuts - I love the addition of salty peanuts to haystack cookies, as they add such a great texture and crunch!
This recipe only needs four ingredients and does not take that long to make. Which, in my opinion, is great, especially at this busy time of the year. And combining chocolate and butterscotch together is delicious!
Crushing Peanuts for No-Bake Haystack Cookies
Crushed peanuts are optional in your haystack candy - you can keep them whole or break them into pieces. If you decide to break them into pieces, make sure to keep them in large pieces, as you want to keep some texture.
You can break them up by chopping them in a food processor or by putting them in a plastic bag and whacking them with a rolling pin.
How to Make Haystack Cookies
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper, foil, or wax paper.
- Melt the chocolate and butterscotch chips in a medium-sized bowl using a double boiler on the stove over low heat (make sure to use a heatproof glass bowl) or in the microwave at 15 second intervals. Stir often until the chocolate chips are completely melted. It will be smooth when ready.
- Once the chips are melted and smooth, fold in the chow mein noodles and peanuts. Stir until the noodles and nuts are completely covered in the melted chocolate mixture.
- Scoop up about a tablespoon (you can use a cookie scoop to make it easier) and drop the cookies onto the prepared baking sheet into little haystacks.
- Chill until set, for at least 20 minutes.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
Haystack Cookie Flavor Variations
- Chocolate Chips - You can use any flavor of chocolate chips that you would like, but we like milk chocolate chips. Other delicious options would be semi-sweet chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, or dark chocolate chips. You can also mix in pieces of a chopped chocolate bar or even use peanut butter chips in place of butterscotch chips.
- Nuts - We use salted peanuts in our family's haystack recipe, but you can add cashews, chopped walnuts, honey-roasted peanuts, cocktail peanuts, or chopped pecans to the cookies. The nuts add more crunch and add a lot more flavor to these cookies.
- Marshmallows - Stir in some mini marshmallows. (This reminds me of that Fanny May S'mores Mix from Costco! Yum!)
- Pretzels - Pretzels are a great way to add some more salty crunch to these cookies. Pretzel sticks broken into small pieces will mimic the size of chow mein noodles and will fit perfectly in the chocolate haystacks.
- Sprinkles - Make these cookies festive for the holiday season by using holiday sprinkles. Festive sprinkles always make things more fun!
How to Store Chow Mein Noodle Cookies
Haystack cookies can be stored at room temperature, either covered on a plate or in an airtight container. If your house is really warm, you can store them in the refrigerator.
Looking for More Christmas Treat Recipes?
We love making Christmas desserts, and some of our favorites are:
- Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies (or Peanut Butter Blossoms)
- Christmas Rice Krispie Treats
- Elf Donuts
- Christmas Fudge Wreath
- Christmas Meringue Cookies
- M&M Cookie Bars
Did you make this recipe? If so, please leave a comment and rating below. I love hearing from you.
Christmas Chow Mein Noodle Cookies
- 1 package milk chocolate chips
- 1 package butterscotch chips
- 12 ounce package chow mein noodles
- 1 cup salted peanuts
- Cover baking sheet with parchment paper, foil or wax paper.
- Melt the chocolate and butterscotch chips in a medium sized pot with low heat on the stovetop or in the microwave. Stir often.1 package milk chocolate chips, 1 package butterscotch chips
- Once the chips are melted and smooth, fold in the chow mein noodles and peanuts. Stir until completely covered.12 ounce package chow mein noodles, 1 cup salted peanuts
- Scoop up about a tablespoon and drop onto covered baking sheet.
- Chill until set, about 20 minutes.
- Store covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator.