Haystack Cookies

5 from 3 votes
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An imaginable combination of steam fried dried chow mein noodles, chocolate chips, peanuts and peanut butter, haystack cookies are actually an amazing, protein-rich treat. So long as you can get past the weird ingredients list, they are surprisingly delicious!

Looking for other peanut desserts that don’t require an oven, why not try making this Buckeye Recipe (Peanut Butter Balls)? Or these delicious Peanut Butter Marshmallow Squares / Confetti Bars!

haystack cookies in a festive cookie tin with christmas trees

Haystack Cookies

A good haystack cookie really only needs 4 key components: peanut butter, peanuts, chocolate chips of some type, and, astoundingly, steam fried dried chow mein noodles.

The idea of combining noodles into a cookie recipe probably seems insane to most home chefs, but they actually achieve much the same thing as adding ingredients like eggs or flour to a conventional cookie recipe.

The noodles give the whole thing structure, bite, and it also gives something for the peanut butter to cling to.

Even though it might seem strange, these uniquely constructed cookies are well worth a try.    

haystack cookies ingredients in white bowls

Can You Use Other Types Of Noodles?

This recipe calls for the use of steam fried dried chow mein noodles, which are probably one of the most well-known and easily available types of noodles anywhere in the Western world.

A big part of the reason for their inclusion is because everyone probably has a packet of steam fried dried chow mein noodles kicking around at the back of their cupboard.

However, another big reason to use steam fried dried chow mein noodles over other types is because of their structure.

Steam fried dried chow mein noodles are super crunchy, making them perfect to use in this cookie recipe; the strands work well to hold together with all of the peanut butter and chocolate chips, making for the perfect texture.

haystack cookies sliced in a white festive tin with christmas trees

Smooth Vs. Chunky Peanut Butter In Your Cookies

Whenever peanut butter is used in any kind of recipe, the immediate question of smooth versus chunky comes up.

Ever since peanut butter was first invented, this dichotomy has existed, and people can get surprisingly heated about it.

Smooth peanut butter is definitely better for spreading onto bread, whereas chunky peanut butter is best for eating on its own or if you just really like texture, but what’s best for these cookies?

Well, ultimately, it doesn’t matter!

Use whichever kind you want; if you use smooth, the texture will end up a lot more uniform, whereas chunky will have a ton of bonus texture that you might prefer, so it all depends on how you want your cookies to feel when you bite into them.

haystack cookies on a piece of parchment on a cooling rack

How To Melt Chocolate, Butterscotch, And Peanut Butter Without A Microwave

Melting together all of the chocolate and peanut butter can be a little tricky in the microwave, as you really want to avoid burning anything or separating any of the oils from the chocolate.

If you really don’t have a microwave to use, the best thing to do would be to use a double boiler.

Simply set a small pot with a thin layer of water on the burner and get it steaming, and then put a larger pot over the top.

This pot will gradually warm up thanks to the steam hitting it from underneath, so if you put all of your chocolate and peanut butter into it, the whole thing will melt together really slowly, especially if you frequently stir it using a silicone spatula.

You could also just melt it directly in a pot on a burner on low heat, but you will really run the risk of burning it, forcing you to have to start all over again, so it’s best to stick to either the microwave or the double boiler.

haystack cookies on a cooling rack

Could You Use Different Nuts And Nut Butters?

Peanut butter is the universally loved nut butter of choice for pretty much any application, but what if you just don’t like it? Why not try and use some other types of nut butters instead?

  • Almond Butter With Crushed Almonds

Almond butter is a great alternative to peanut butter, so long as you keep in mind the fact that almonds have a distinctly less nutty flavor than peanut butter.

If you get the kind with crushed almonds, though, it will feel exactly like biting into crunchy peanut butter.

  • Cashew Butter

Cashew butter might not have an incredibly savory flavor, but it has a really good nuttiness, as well as easily being the creamiest nut alternative that there is.

  • Hazelnut Butter

Hazelnut butter is probably the ultimate peanut butter replacement because it has so many of the same flavor notes as peanut butter.

Just keep in mind that hazelnut butter will definitely be a bit sweeter than peanut butter, so expect to need fewer sweet chocolate chips to keep it to the same sweetness.

Looking for more delicious peanut Cookie recipes? Try these out:

Crispy Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cup Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Banana Pudding Cookies

Happy Cooking



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An imaginable combination of steam fried dried chow mein noodles, chocolate chips, peanuts and peanut butter, haystack cookies are actually an amazing, protein-rich treat.
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Haystack Cookies

An imaginable combination of steam fried dried chow mein noodles, chocolate chips, peanuts and peanut butter, haystack cookies are actually an amazing, protein-rich treat.
5 from 3 votes
haystack cookies in a festive cookie tin with christmas trees
Prep Time
10 minutes
Karlynn Johnston


  • 1 cup butterscotch chips (300 grams)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
  • cups steam fried dried chow mein noodles
  • 1 cup cocktail peanuts (lightly crushed)


  • Line a large baking sheet with wax paper.
  • In a large microwave safe bowl, add the butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, and peanut butter. Microwave initially for 30 seconds. Stir. Continue microwaving in 20-second intervals, stirring between each, until mixture is smooth and fully combined, about 3 minutes total. Do not over heat.
  • Stir in the steam fried dried chow mein noodles and the crushed peanuts until well coated.
  • Using a large ice cream or cookie scoop, quickly scoop roughly a ¼ cup of the mixture onto the lined baking sheet.
  • Let cool until hardened, about 2 hours. Remove from the wax paper and store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 474kcal, Carbohydrates: 71g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 2mg, Sodium: 502mg, Potassium: 191mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 18g, Vitamin A: 22IU, Calcium: 24mg, Iron: 4mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Cassie P says

    I have searched but cannot find “steam fried chow mein noodles.” Do you mean stir fry dried chow mein noodles? Could you please post a link to the product that you use? Thanks!

  2. Jo-Ann T Ring says

    I know someone asked this but do you use the noodles directly from the pkg,,?

  3. Megan says

    I think I first found this recipe in one of my mom’s christmas cookie cookbooks – one of my faves! Excited to see it here! I find if you microwave the chocolate & butterscotch chips & peanut butter for 4 minutes @ 60% power, it melts really nice all in one go 🙂 Made these last night and excited to share them for Christmas!5 stars

  4. Louise says

    You can use pretzel sticks instead of fried noodles.

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