Haystack Cookies are a magical combination of butterscotch, peanut butter, chocolate, M&Ms, and marshmallow bits. It doesn’t get much sweeter than this!! It all comes together with a secret ingredient that you likely wouldn’t expect: noodles! If you’re thinking that this recipe for haystack cookies sounds a lot like the spaghetti breakfast that Buddy the Elf makes… you would be right!!
The first time I saw the movie Elf, I couldn’t help but think back on the scene where Buddy the Elf makes himself a decadent breakfast made with spaghetti and a whole bunch of candy. Is it excessive?
Maybe. Does it look like a sweet tooth’s dream? Definitely!!
I decided to recreate Buddy’s breakfast in cookie form! I’ve always loved haystack cookies — chocolate, butterscotch, and peanut butter are melted over chow mein noodles, then set aside to harden.
Yep, they’re no bake!
I decided to add M&Ms, marshmallows, and extra drizzled chocolate to create this Buddy the Elf-style haystack cookies recipe!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Chow Mein Noodles – The base that holds these treats together!
The noodles themselves boast a sweet yet savory flavor to balance out the sweetness from the candy.
- Butterscotch Chips – A classic in any no bake haystack cookies recipe, so I had to include it in my version.
- Peanut Butter Chips – Is there anything better than PB and chocolate?! Not in my book!!
- White Chocolate Chips – Also a must! White chocolate complements the other ingredients perfectly.
- Shortening – Helps to melt the butterscotch, peanut butter, and white chocolate chips.
- Milk Chocolate Chips – For that extra chocolate drizzle I mentioned!
- M&Ms – Opt for mini M&Ms as full-size are a bit too large.
- Marshmallow Bits – The same goes for the marshmallows! I’m using mini marshmallow bits, and they work perfectly.
Tips when Making This Recipe for Haystack Cookies
- Prep your ingredients.
Before you start, make sure you have all your ingredients measured and ready to go.
This recipe for haystack cookies moves pretty quickly once the microwaving begins, so having everything within arm’s reach will make the process smoother!
- Microwave at half power.
When you melt the chips and shortening, use the microwave at 50% power to prevent burning.
The gentle heat means that the white chocolate, butterscotch, and peanut butter chip mixture becomes smooth without burning the chocolate!
- Work quickly.
Once you’ve mixed in the noodles, form the teaspoon-sized portions of your haystack cookies as quickly as you can!
The mixture can harden fast, so speed is key to getting those perfect haystack shapes.
Storing and Freezing No Bake Haystack Cookies
Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. But honestly… they probably won’t last that long!!
You could also make a double batch of this haystack cookies recipe to freeze for later. Let your treats harden completely before placing them in an airtight container.
I recommend adding parchment paper between each layer to help the cookies hold their shape.
Freeze for up to 2-3 months. When you’re ready to eat them, simply allow them to come to room temperature on the counter before digging in!
Kitchen Tools You Will Need
- Microwave-Safe Bowl – Not only does it make melting chocolate easier, but you can use it to quickly steam vegetables too!
- Parchment Paper – Prevents your haystack cookies from sticking and makes clean-up a breeze!
- Piping Bag
Haystack Cookies Recipe FAQ
Because they look like mini haystacks! Think about it: crunchy chow mein noodles covered in a mixture of melted chips that are shaped into small mounds. Do you see it yet?
Most no bake haystack cookies are made with chow mein noodles, but you can feel free to switch things up if you’d like!
Pretzels or Rice Krispies cereal could both work, just keep in mind that the flavor and texture will be different.
If you end up with dry results, there are a few reasons why.
Overheating the baking chip mixture is the most common culprit — it will be too thick to coat the noodles evenly, making the whole thing taste dry.
You also want to make sure to use exactly the amount of noodles listed on the recipe card. If you use too much in this recipe for haystack cookies, the treats will have a drier texture.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Easy No Bake Recipes
- 2 cups Chow Mein noodles
- 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
- 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
- 1/3 cup white chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons shortening
- 1/3 cup milk chocolate chips
- mini M&Ms
- mini marshmallows bits
- Place butterscotch chips, peanut butter chips, white chocolate chips, and shortening into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave chips at 50% power for 1 minute. Remove and stir. If needed, continue to microwave at 30 second intervals until completely smooth.
- Remove from the microwave and stir in noodles, until completely coated.
- Drop coated noodles (about a teaspoon in size) onto parchment paper, set aside to set.
- While coated noodles are hardening, microwave the milk chocolate at 50% power for 1 minute. Continue to heat at 30 second intervals until completely melted.
- Place melted chocolate into a piping bag and snip off the tip with scissors.
- Drizzle the melted chocolate onto the hardened haystacks in a random pattern.
- Top with mini marshmallows and mini M&Ms.
- Let chocolate on the haystacks harden and then serve.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published November 2023
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