by Lana Stuart on December 11, 2012 · 17 comments

Haystacks from @NevrEnoughThyme

‘Tis the season for holiday baking and candy making! And though I do enjoy a leisurely day in the kitchen making Christmas candies, I also appreciate recipes that can be whipped up in a quick few minutes. These Haystacks are one of those quick-few-minute recipes. For sure. I made this batch in less than 15 minutes from getting the ingredients out of the pantry to dropping them onto the paper to cool.

This is also another of those back-in-the-day recipes that I’ve had in my files forever. They’re a delightful combination of sweet, salty, and crunchy and make a lovely addition to your assortment of more traditional Christmas candies.

I remember making these with my friend Sandra back in high school. Yes indeed, this recipe has stood the test of time.

Making Haystacks candyStart by dropping some butterscotch chips and peanut butter into a large bowl and microwave those until the chips have melted. It only takes 3 or 4 minutes, but be sure to set the microwave to 50% power or you’ll wind up with butterscotch chips that have “seized.” Trust me on that. Stir the mixture every minute.

Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir in the peanuts and chow mein noodles. I like to use the red-skinned Spanish peanuts for this, but the dry roasted are fine, too. Stir until everything is coated very well.

Haystacks Candy

Then drop the mixture by teaspoonfuls onto waxed or parchment paper. Let it sit until completely cooled and firm. It may take several hours for the candy to become firm depending on the humidity that day.


Prep time
Cook time
Total time
An easy candy recipe from "back in the day." Perfect combination of sweet, salty, and crunchy!
Serves: About 2 dozen
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup salted peanuts
  • 2 cups chow mein noodles
  1. In a large bowl, microwave the butterscotch chips and peanut butter on 50% power for 3 to 5 minutes or until the chips have melted, stirring after each one minute increment. Remove from the microwave and stir in the peanuts and chow mein noodles.
  2. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed or parchment paper. Let sit until completely cooled and firm. It may take several hours for the candy to become firm.
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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Barbara | Creative Culinary December 11, 2012 at 4:25 pm

I make these too!! They disappear. I might be the culprit. :)


2 Lana December 11, 2012 at 8:54 pm

These disappeared, too. They went right out the door to work with Bill. Guess that means I’ll just have to make another batch. Oh, darn.


3 icakepops December 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm

What a happy little blast from the past! I had forgotten about these delights. They are so tasty!


4 Lana December 12, 2012 at 9:53 pm

They are really good and so quick to make. Perfect for this busy time of year!


5 Drick December 13, 2012 at 8:03 am

yes indeed, these are a classic… I have not made these in a few years, and I think the cookie tins have been a little sad. Time to bring them back.
Have a great weekend.


6 Lana December 13, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Your cookie tins – and their recipients – will surely thank you!


7 Stephanie December 15, 2012 at 11:04 am

Approximately how many pieces does the recipe make? Thanks.


8 Lana December 15, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Hi Stephanie – it makes about 24 pieces.


9 Barb February 24, 2013 at 2:34 pm

My family loves these..we prefer them with cashews. I buy the halves and pieces and give them a rough chop.


10 Lana February 24, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Cashews sound good too! I think you could use any nut you like for these.


11 Jeff Crane May 19, 2013 at 8:22 pm

We made this as kids and still do today but we never knew what they were called. We used a bag each of Chocolate chips and a Butterscotch chips and a bag or can of Chow Mein Noodles. We called them spider cookies.


12 Amanda August 23, 2013 at 12:11 am

We make them, too. But we use mini marshmallows in place of the peanuts. They’re always gone in a hurry :)


13 Lana Stuart August 23, 2013 at 8:23 am

That sounds good, Amanda. I’ll try some with marshmallows next time I make them.


14 Lynnae June 17, 2014 at 9:54 am

We make these at Easter; we press 2-3 tiny jelly beans into the center and call them “bird’s nests”.

At a bake sale last fall, someone made these haystacks with a candy-corn pumpkin pressed into the center of each. Versatile for any season or holiday!


15 Lana Stuart June 17, 2014 at 10:31 am

Great ideas for using Haystacks year-round! Thanks, Lynnae.


16 D. Dunn December 15, 2014 at 9:59 pm

I have been looking for this recipie for haystacks for some time. My neighbor made these a while ago I just loved them. Thank You! for the recipie!!


17 Lana Stuart December 15, 2014 at 10:18 pm

Glad I could help!


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