Haystacks Candy

Haystacks candy with chow mein noodles
The Spruce
Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 8 mins
Servings: 12 servings

This easy, crunchy haystacks candy takes just minutes to make using chow mein noodles, peanuts, and butterscotch chips. The microwave oven makes them particularly fast and easy, so if you need a quick treat for a last-minute gathering or playdate with your kids, our haystacks are even easier than no-bake cookies!

The candy is easy enough for small children to help make with a little supervision, so making them is a good family activity for a cold or rainy day. Remember that crunchy canned chow mein noodles are made with wheat and eggs, so be mindful of the ingredients if there are food allergies present in your household.

See our tips and variations below for suggestions and recommendations.


  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (or chunky peanut butter)
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 2 cups chow mein noodles (crumbled slightly, if desired)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Lay a sheet of waxed paper or parchment paper on the countertop.

    Wax paper.
     The Spruce
  3. Put the butterscotch chips in a medium microwave-safe bowl or container. Microwave at 50% power for about 3 to 5 minutes, or just until the butterscotch chips are melted. 

    Melted butterscotch chips.
     The Spruce
  4. In a large bowl, mix the peanut butter, peanuts, melted butterscotch chips, and chow mein noodles, stirring gently to coat the noodles thoroughly.

    Haystack mixture.
     The Spruce
  5. Drop teaspoons of the mixture onto the parchment paper. Let them stand at room temperature until set. 

    Forming haystacks.
     The Spruce
  6. Transfer candies to a container, separated by sheets of waxed paper.

    Haystacks on wax paper.
     The Spruce
  7. Cover and store in the refrigerator.

    Microwaved Haystacks
     The Spruce
  8. Enjoy!

Melt Butterscotch Chips in a Double Boiler

If you'd rather use a double boiler to melt the butterscotch chips, keep kids away from the stove and have at hand silicone gloves:

  • Put the butterscotch chips in the top of a double boiler or stainless steel bowl over hot water (simmering, not boiling).
  • Cook until the butterscotch chips have melted, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from the heat and proceed with the recipe.

Other Ideas for Your Haystacks

Try these ideas:

  • Omit the peanuts and add 2 cups of miniature marshmallows along with the chow mein noodles.
  • Add about 1 cup of miniature marshmallows in addition to the peanuts.
  • Replace the butterscotch chips with peanut butter chips or semisweet chocolate chips.
  • Use half butterscotch and half peanut butter or chocolate chips.
  • Add 1/4 cup of raisins or dried cranberries to the mix.
  • Replace the peanuts with candy-coated chocolate pieces (M&Ms).
  • Use cashews, chopped pecans, hazelnuts, or walnuts in place of the peanuts.
  • For a peanut-free version, use sun butter and sunflower seeds instead of the peanut butter and peanuts. Use sweet chocolate chips for this variation.
  • Replace half of the chow mein noodles with Golden Grahams or a similar crunchy cereal.
  • Sprinkle any chocolate version of this recipe with sea salt or sesame seeds.
  • Use white chocolate chips instead of the butterscotch chips and add food coloring to make pink or green crunchy haystacks.