Thursday, December 1, 2011

Day One: Butterscotch Haystacks

I'm starting you out with cookies that couldn't be easier.

Butterscotch Haystacks.

Four ingredients is all you need to create something wonderful. The butterscotch and peanut butter mixture is smooth and creamy, a perfect contrast to the crunchy noodles and peanuts underneath.

If you can find the Chinese noodles, that is. Sometimes called Chow Mein Noodles, they resemble noodles only in shape, not in taste or texture. In Michigan, they were always simple to find, and we'd pick them up at our local grocery store.

Not in Brooklyn. Last year I went in eight different shops searching for the noodles and considered ordering them from until I finally found a grocery store that stocked them. I think the hunting was worth it. These haystacks come together in a matter of minutes and are pretty addictive.

Butterscotch Haystacks

Yield: About 24 haystacks

This is not, I repeat NOT, the time to use natural peanut butter, no matter how much better you believe it is for you. The times I've tried natural peanut butter, the haystacks never quite set up right. Get the creamy Jiffy or Skippy peanut butter for the best results.

The recipe calls for 1/3 of a can of Chinese noodles, which is a good place to start. I almost always find I need more, and I often use closer to half a can of noodles.

1 heaping tablespoon peanut butter
1 6-ounce package of butterscotch chips
A handful of roasted, salted and chopped peanuts
1/3 can of Chinese Noodles

Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper. Set aside.

Prepare a double boiler, and bring the water to a simmer. In the top of the double boiler, combine the peanut butter and butterscotch chips. Stir until the ingredients are melted and smooth.

Remove the pan from the heat. Add peanuts and Chinese Noodles.

Drop the mixture by spoonful onto the prepared baking tray. Leave a little room in between each haystack as they have a tendency to spread a bit.

When the cookies are hardened, carefully lift them off the baking tray. Putting the tray in the refrigerator speeds this process. The cookies will keep for several days at room temperature or for weeks in the freezer! We always make these cookies in advance and de-thaw them as needed.

Note: This recipe doubles easily.


  1. Clem! You might find them in a very different packaging at an Asian market in Brooklyn. They would be a more bulk package like a bag near other noodle type things (different types of rice noodles) or near the bulk packages of fortune cookies. By Asian I mean like a smelly Chinese store :) I can say that because I'm Chinese people the Chinese groceries smell funny.

  2. Oh my, I haven't thought of these cookies in years! My mom made them all the time. They just may make a return this Christmas for a little retro feel!

  3. Kate--The Asian market is a great idea! I will definitely check that out the next time I make these cookies.

    Linda--They are a little retro, and that's one of the things I love about them. So simple and so addictive.

  4. Okay, it's something for chocolate involved! I love butterscotch, will give these a try this year, am certain they will be a hit. Thanks.