This recipe comes from my grandmother. It was not a Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday without her haystacks! I remember how much fun it was to help make the haystacks each year.
• 1 small can cocktail peanuts
• 1 small can chow mein noodles
• 1 large pkg. butterscotch morsels
1. Melt butterscotch morsels over medium low heat, stirring often.
2. Once melted, pour in a large bowl.
3. Mix noodles and peanuts with butterscotch—this is a perfect step for your child to help with (especially since we transferred the butterscotch out of the hot bowl).
4. Drop teaspoon sizes of the mixture onto wax paper and let cool. This is the best size of haystacks to use if you are taking them to a party or making them for friends.
5. However, if your child is making the haystacks, let the creativity begin! Start by spreading wax paper over a cookie sheet. Hand over your measuring spoons over and let them create all different sizes of haystacks.
6. Let cool, and store in an airtight container.
It’s ok if the haystacks end up in one big lump! You can even challenge your kids to see how many haystack towers they can build, or perhaps they can make a big “haystack face” on the wax paper with eyes, nose, mouth, etc.
If you would like to incorporate (or sneak) some basic lessons from school in this recipe, here are some ideas:
Measurements: How many tablespoons of butterscotch morsels should we add to the pot?
Time: How many minutes does it take two cups of morsels to melt?
Manners: No, you can’t steal your sister’s haystacks…And no, you can’t make a haystack on your brother’s head! (Taken from my friend’s haystack experience with her kids a few years ago)
Ideas and tips for this recipe:
• Are you going to a cookie exchange party this year? This is a great recipe that can be done a few days in advance. Keep chilled in the fridge, and take out about thirty minutes before the party.
• This recipe is a perfect one to put in festive gift bags and pass out to the neighbors or your child’s teacher.
• Experiment with different flavors. For example, you could try chocolate morsels, milk chocolate, white chocolate, etc.
• Don’t use caramel! I tried melting some candy caramels in a pot for this recipe, and it was a disaster! The caramel became too hard to fast, and it made it impossible to form the haystacks.
• As I was testing out this recipe, I did not have any cocktail peanuts. I made it without any, and it turned out just fine.
• If your child will be making large haystacks, stock up on the three ingredients so you won’t have to run to the store at the last minute. Speaking of last minute, this is an easy holiday treat for unexpected holiday visitors!
• Be SURE to use was paper, or spray cooking spray on your surface before placing haystacks down.