No-bake haystack cookies are a tasty vintage no-bake cookie made with peanut butter, peanuts, butterscotch, and salty chow mein noodles! These retro cookies are beyond easy to make, and they have just the right amount of crunch!
These sweet and salty haystack cookies are delightfully crunchy and so easy to make!
Haystacks are considered both cookies and candy (depending on who you ask). This retro recipe uses salty chow mein noodles as its base and is coated in butterscotch and peanut butter!
They are often considered Christmas Cookies because they are very popular around that time of year. Due to their simplicity, they are also great for potlucks, parties, and gifting!
As if that weren't enough, they are also easy cleanup. There’s only one bowl to wash and once the cookies are set you just toss the parchment paper!
No wonder these no-bake cookies have been popular for so long!
❤️ Why You'll Love This Recipe!
They're Tasty! The genius flavor combination of butterscotch and peanut butter is so underrated!
They're Fuss-Free! These cookies are definitely beginner-friendly, anyone can make them!
Make Large Batches! It is so easy to double, even triple this recipe to feed a crowd!
This recipe only requires four simple ingredients! Pick up some parchment paper, if you don't have some at home already.
- 1 cup Butterscotch Chips – 6-ounces, or about ½ of one of the standard size bags on the baking aisle.
- ½ cup Creamy Peanut Butter – There are already peanuts in this recipe and creamy peanut butter creates a nice, smooth coating!
- ½ cup Roasted Peanuts – Make sure they are salted to achieve that great sweet/salty flavor.
- 2 cups Chow Mein Noodles – One 5-ounce canister. These can be found on the Asian food aisle, the most common brand is La Choy.
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for ingredients, amounts & instructions!*
Because these cookies have been around so long, they have been made a few different ways! If you feel like switching it up, try some of these suggestions:
Chocolate- Swap the butterscotch chips for semi-sweet chocolate chips!
White Chocolate Marshmallow- Follow the same recipe but swap the butterscotch chips for white chocolate chips and the peanut butter for mini marshmallows! Keep the peanuts, or don’t- it’s good either way!
Mint- If you like minty cookies, switch the butterscotch chips for mint chips!
Colors – Use colored baking chocolate to have your cookies match a theme!
Half & Half – Substitute only ½ of the butterscotch chips for chocolate chips to get a yummy chocolatey butterscotch flavor!
Cookies & Cream – In place of butterscotch chips, use twice the amount of white chocolate chips. Rather than peanut butter and peanuts, add crushed Oreos to the melted chocolate. Assemble as normal!
Coconut - Add shredded coconut to any flavor combination!
Sprinkles – No matter the flavor, top cookies with sprinkles or nonpareils before they set for a fun and festive addition!
Drizzle - Melt some chocolate to drizzle over top!
🔪 Step-by-Step Instructions
Follow these 4 easy steps and you will have cookies in no time. Don’t rush, though, it is important they fully set before serving.
- Melt. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the ½ cup butterscotch chips and ½ cup creamy peanut butter on high for one minute. Remove the bowl and stir. Then, continue to microwave in 30-second increments until smooth, stirring each time.
- Fold. Once melted, remove the bowl from the microwave and fold in ½ cup roasted peanuts and 2 cups chow mein noodles until fully coated. *Try not to break too many noodles as you fold them in.
- Portion. Drop by heaping tablespoons of the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (You may use your hands to form them into mounds if necessary.)
- Set. Finally, set your tray of haystacks aside to cool and set. *Setting can take up to 2-3 hours, you may place them in the fridge to speed things along.
You will want to make these at least a few hours in advance or the mounds will not hold their shape. Once they are set, pop them off the parchment paper and serve! Enjoy!
💭 Angela's Tips & Recipe Notes
- Melt the butterscotch and peanut butter slowly, it will burn if you overdo it.
- Spray your spoon with non-stick spray before dropping the haystack mixture to prevent it from sticking.
- If you don't want to get your hands messy, use two spoons to push the mixture into mounds.
- If you don't have parchment paper, you can also use wax paper or foil to set cookies.
- There is no right shape! You want a pile, more or less. The key is to make sure all the noodles are touching so they will stick together when they set.
Once set, you can keep these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 5-7 days. Longer than that, and the noodles become stale.
I do not recommend keeping these in the fridge, they become too firm.
I also do not recommend freezing no-bake haystack cookies, the chow mein noodles don't hold up well when frozen and thawed.
🍪 More Easy Cookies!
- 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies
- Oatmeal Raisinet Cookies
- Small Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies
- No Bake Butterscotch Cookies
- Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies
If you have a peanut allergy you can swap the peanut butter for another creamy nut butter and the peanuts for crushed walnuts, cashews, or almonds! There are also a few variations above that are nut-free!
I like to layer the 'stacks on a paper plate (if you can find one that matches the occasion, even better). Then, I put the plate on top of a sheet of colored cellophane. Pull the cellophane up and around the plate, and secure it with a twist-tie or bow!
No Bake Haystack Cookies
- 1 cup butterscotch chips (or 6-ounces)
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- ½ cup dry roasted peanuts (salted)
- 2 cups chow mein noodles (1 5-ounce canister)
- In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the butterscotch chips and peanut butter on high for 1 minute. Stir the mixture. Then, continue microwaving at 30-second increments, stirring each time, until it is smooth and creamy.1 cup butterscotch chips, ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- Remove the bowl from the microwave and fold the roasted peanuts and dry chow mein noodles into the mixture until well coated.½ cup dry roasted peanuts, 2 cups chow mein noodles
- Drop heaping tablespoon portions of the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (using your hands to form them into mounds if needed).
- Set the haystacks aside and allow them to cool and set. *Setting can take up to 2-3 hours, you may place them in the fridge to speed things along.
Equipment You May Need
- Melt the butterscotch and peanut butter slowly, it can burn if left unattended.
- Parchment paper, waxed paper, and aluminum foil all work for setting the cookies onto.
- You can spray your spoon with non-stick spray before dropping the haystack mixture to prevent it from sticking.
- If you don't want to get your hands messy, use two spoons to push them into mounds.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!
Great cookie and you have to double or triple the recipes because they are gone before you know.
Angela @ BakeItWithLove.com says
Yes, you definitely do! I always grab at least two canisters of the chow mein noodles when I'm making these. 🙂