How To Make Haystacks With Chow Mein Noodles

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These chow mein noodle haystacks, made without baking, are so popular that my friends and I, who are also grandmothers, can still remember our grandmothers making them! That in and of itself should prove how delicious they are, and they’ll always look great on a holiday cookie tray!

This time, however, I believe they are made perfect with a pinch of flaky sea salt! Anything that has been around for more than 50 years has definitely stood the test of time!

Crunchy chow mein noodles have been a part of American cuisine since the 1940s! Interestingly, the first canned Chinese food was brought to America by an Italian American shortly after World War 2. Over the years, the products have improved greatly and are still popular today!

Wheat-based chow mein noodles, crisp and crunchy, are now a common garnish for salads, stir-fries, casseroles, and no-bake cookies. Chow mein noodle haystacks are incredibly addictive because of their intriguing umami flavor and subtle hint of saltiness.

We were taught for years that there are four basic taste groups: bitter, salty, sour, and sweet. But what about umami? Umami, or the “fifth taste,” is a relatively recent discovery. Umami, which was recognized as a distinct taste in the 1980s, is authentic savoriness. Because of their unique flavor, chow mein noodles pair incredibly well with sweet foods.

Around Christmastime last year, consumers scrambled to grab the highly sought-after noodles before their supply ran out. A poor crop year appears to have caused shortages of wheat, which may have contributed to the unexpected barren shelves that persisted into spring. Everyone loves using them in no-bake cookies!.

What are Haystack Cookies?

Chow mein noodles and melted chocolate and butterscotch chips are combined to make this recipe for Haystack Cookies. I’m not sure where they came from, but I think the idea as a whole is pretty brilliant.

They resemble tiny haystacks, and they should be considered more of a candy than a cookie.

How To Make Haystack Cookies

Just three ingredients are needed to make this recipe, which couldn’t be easier to prepare. (Four if you use sprinkles!).

  • In a large bowl, microwave the chocolate and butterscotch chips for 30 second intervals until smooth.
  • After adding the chocolate to the chow mein noodles, stir everything together.
  • Spoon generous amounts of the candy-coated noodles onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
  • Decorate with sprinkles, if using, and allow to set.

I like to use this baking mat and these baking sheets to make my cookies.

These no-bake Haystack Cookies are incredibly easy to whip up when unexpected guests pop by or you need a last-minute hostess gift for the holidays.

How To Make Haystacks With Chow Mein Noodles

How To Make Haystacks With Chow Mein Noodles

How To Make Haystacks With Chow Mein Noodles

Here are a few of my favorite variations of the Haystack Cookie recipe, but there are many more to choose from:

  • Swap out your chocolate and butterscotch for white chocolate chips.
  • Stir in a handful of nuts.
  • Fold in shredded coconut.
  • Instead of butterscotch, use twice as much chocolate and a dash of cayenne.
  • Add a tablespoon of peanut butter to the mix.
  • Blend in a few scoops of toffee chips.

They can make this delicious and kid-friendly recipe on their own. Simply melt the chocolate and they can do the rest. They adore using colorful sprinkles and chopped nuts to adorn their Haystack Cookies.

How To Make Haystacks With Chow Mein Noodles

Since we usually devour these fairly quickly, you can safely keep them in an airtight container at room temperature. I advise keeping them in an airtight container in the refrigerator if you plan to keep them for longer than a week.

As an alternative, you can store your haystack cookies in the freezer for up to two months in an airtight container.

How To Make Haystacks With Chow Mein Noodles

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