How to Make Haystacks

Three Methods:= Making Basic HaystacksMaking Cereal HaystacksMaking Rolled Oats and Coconut Haystacks

Haystacks are tasty cookies that are especially popular during the fall and winter. They are quick and easy to make, and require no baking. They are typically made using chow mein noodles, but can also be made using pretzel sticks. If you don't like either of those, you can also try using other ingredients, such as rolled oats and cereal.



Ingredients

Traditional Haystacks[1]

  • 4 cups (700 grams) chocolate or butterscotch chips
  • 2 cups (150 grams) chow mein noodles or pretzel sticks
  • 1 cup (125 grams) toasted nuts, chopped

Makes 48 cookies

Cereal Haystacks[2]

  • 1 cup (225 grams) white sugar
  • 1 cup (300 grams) white corn syrup
  • 1 cup (250 grams) creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) vanilla extract
  • 5 cups (500 grams) cornflakes cereal

Makes 24 cookies

Rolled Oats and Coconut Haystacks[3]

  • 2 cups (450 grams) white sugar
  • ½ cup (120 milliliters) milk
  • ½ cup (115 grams) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup (50 grams) cocoa powder
  • 1 dash salt
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 milliliters) vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (300 grams) rolled oats
  • 1 cup (75 grams) flaked sweetened coconut

Makes 24 cookies

Method 1
= Making Basic Haystacks

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    Cover two large baking sheets with parchment paper or wax paper, and set them aside. If you'd like to make bird nests instead, lightly grease the wells of a large muffin or cupcake tin instead.
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    Add the chocolate chips or butterscotch chips into a small saucepan. For traditional haystacks, use the butterscotch chips.[4] If you don't like butterscotch, use chocolate chips instead. You can use milk, dark, or semi-sweet chocolate chips.
    • For extra flavor, try 1½ cups (265 grams) of chocolate/butterscotch chips and 1½ cups (265 grams) peanut butter chips instead.[5]
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    Melt the chips over medium heat, stirring often with a spatula. This will help the chips melt more evenly. It will also keep them from scorching.
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    Remove the saucepan from heat, and set it down onto a heat-safe surface. You will finish making the haystacks in the saucepan. Plan to work quickly however, as the butterscotch/chocolate chips will set quickly.
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    Add the chow mein noodles and the nuts to the saucepan. If you can't find any chow mein noodles, or don't like them, you can use pretzel sticks instead. Don't use the regular loop-shaped pretzels. If the pretzel sticks are too long, you can break them in half before adding them to the saucepan.
    • Do not use cooked chow mein noodles. The noodles must be dry or uncooked.
    • You can use any type of nut you like, but almonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, or walnuts are the most popular. # Stir everything together gently until the noodles are evenly coated. Use a spatula and a rolling motion to stir. This way, you'll be bringing everything from the bottom of the saucepan to the top. Try hard not to crush the chow mein or pretzels, or your mixture will be too crumbly.
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    Use a spoon to scoop the mixture onto the baking sheets. You will need about 2 teaspoons of mixture per haystack. If you are making bird nests, fill the cupcake wells with the mixture, and make a small dent in the middle of each one using your thumb or the base of a wooden spoon.[6]
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    Put the trays into the fridge for 1 to 2 hours so that the haystacks can cool and harden. If you are in a hurry, put them into a freezer for about10 minutes.[7]
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    Transfer the haystacks to a serving plate. If you are making bird nests, pop them out of the muffin tins, and place three candy eggs or jelly beans in the middle of each dent.[8]
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    Serve the haystacks, and store any leftovers in an airtight container.

Method 2
Making Cereal Haystacks

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    Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. You will be placing the finished haystacks onto this.
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    Melt the sugar and corn syrup in a large saucepan over low to medium heat. Place a large saucepan on the stove, and add in the sugar and corn syrup. Turn the heat to low/medium and wait for the sugar to dissolve. Stir the mixture often with a spatula so that it does not burn or scorch.
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    Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla extract. Keep stirring until everything is smooth and melted together. Don't worry, the mixture will harden again once it cools.
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    Take the saucepan off the stove, and set it down onto a heat-resistant surface. You will finish making your haystacks here.
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    Stir in the cornflakes cereal. Try to use a rolling motion, so that you are always bringing the mixture from the bottom of the pot to the top. Be sure to stir gently, so that the cereal does not break.
    • Try to use a cereal without any added "frost" or sugar glaze.
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    Scoop the mixture out onto the baking sheets using a spoon. Don't worry about making the cookies neat; haystacks don't look very neat either. You can make the cookies as big or as small as you'd like. This recipe is enough to make about 24 cookies.
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    Put the tray into the fridge so that the haystacks can cool and harden. This will take about 1 to 2 hours.[9] If you are in a hurry, then place them into the freezer for about 10 minutes.
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    Transfer the haystacks to a plate to serve them, and store any leftovers in an airtight container.

Method 3
Making Rolled Oats and Coconut Haystacks

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    Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. You will be putting the haystacks onto this.
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    Add the sugar, milk, butter, cocoa powder, and salt into a medium saucepan. Cut the butter into smaller cubes. This will help it melt faster in later steps.
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    Bring the ingredients to a boil over medium to high heat. Be sure to stir often, so that the mixture does not burn or scorch.
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    Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes.[10] This will help the flavors to blend together better. Remember to the mixture often so that it does not burn or scorch.
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    Remove the saucepan from heat, then add in the vanilla extract, rolled oats, and coconut flakes. If you'd like your haystacks to be less sweet, use unsweetened coconut flakes.
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    Stir the ingredients together with a spatula until everything is evenly mixed together and smooth. Use a rolling motion as you stir. This will bring everything from the bottom of the pot to the top.
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    Scoop the mixture onto the baking sheets. You will need about 1 tablespoon for each haystack.
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    Put the tray into the fridge so that the haystacks can cool and harden. This will take 1 to 2 hours. If you are in a hurry, you can place the baking sheets into a freezer for 10 minutes.
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    Put the haystacks on a plate and serve them. Store any leftovers in an airtight container.

Tips

  • Use colored bakers chocolate instead. Add some candy eyes and make monsters instead.

Things You'll Need

  • Baking sheets
  • Parchment paper or wax paper
  • Large saucepan
  • Spatula
  • Spoon

Article Info

Categories: Halloween Food & Treats