Every Autumn, I have an undeniable craving for the butterscotchy crunch of these haystacks. My grandma has been making these forever and I have been enjoying them as long as I can remember. She learned the recipe from my Great Grandmother and passed it down to me long before I knew the first thing about baking. I felt like I owned the kitchen as I melted butterscotch chips in the microwave and poured the molten hot liquid over the crispy chow mein noodles. Using just 5 ingredients, this recipe is ridiculously easy to make. Seriously, if I could make this back in my early high school days when my attention span was nearly nonexistent thanks to the my spirited obsession with boys and taming my 90s scrunch curl, anybody with half a brain can whip these out with their eyes closed. I am sure my Grandma was rolling her eyes as she explained how to melt butterscotch chips in the microwave for the 3rd time. Thankfully, she was patient and kind and took the time to show me a recipe on point with my baking skill level instead of one of her many other amazing but much more involved recipes.
I have been making these every Fall for at past 15+ years and they are always as addicting as I remember. I chatted with my Grandma this afternoon and we both laughed about the power these messy little stacks hold over us. She honestly eats like a bird, a bite of french bread here, a slurp of soup there, never a full meal. But for some reason she (and I, obviously) can’t help but eat these one after another after another. I think it has something to do with the simplicity of the recipe and diversity in the ingredients. The basically flavorless chow mein noodles serve as a delightful crunchy base for the timeless taste of butterscotch, creamy peanut butter, salty peanuts, and pillowy soft marshmallows. I thought it may just be the nostalgia these little stacks bring up for me but I realize there is something special hidden deep in the flavors and textures of these little stacks. The combo just works, like a sunny and crisp autumn day.
- chow mein noodles - 1 bag (12 oz)
- butterscotch chips - 1 bag (11 oz)
- smooth peanut butter - 1 cup
- salted peanuts - 1 cup
- mini marshmallows - 1/2 bag (5 oz)
- Begin by lining a baking sheet with 30 cupcakes liners.
- Bring about 1" of water to a boil in a double boiler, turn the heat down to a simmer and add the butterscotch chips. Occasionally stirring until the chips have fully melted. I am sure you could melt the chips in the microwave if you prefer.
- Add the peanut butter and mix with butterscotch chips until fully incorporated.
- Remove from heat and add the peanuts.
- Pour the mixture over the chow mein noodles in a large mixing bowl.
- Use a spatula or wooden spoon to gently toss the noodles in the butterscotch mixture until the noodles are evenly coated.
- Once the mixture and noodles have cooled slightly, add the mini marshmallows and gently blend and toss until evenly distributed.
- Use two tablespoons or your hands to form haystacks that fit comfortably in the cupcake liners. Allow the haystacks to sit out for a bit to set. That is it. Seriously.