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This Haystacks recipe are an easy no-bake treat you can make year round. Made with just a few ingredients this treat ready can be ready in no time.

Pin Haystacks to make later.

Haystack candies on a holiday platter.

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Overhead photo of Haystacks on a holiday plate.

Haystacks are so named because they look like a raggedy pile of hay once they have set. They are made with just a few ingredients and are super easy.

Usually, haystacks are made with butterscotch chips, and they are perfectly fine to use. We don’t love butterscotch (though I do have a cat named Butterscotch), so I chose to use peanut butter chips.

Haystack on a baking sheet.

While you could use chocolate chips but by using butterscotch or peanut butter the custers look more like a haystack.

Some call these haystack cookies but I think of them more like a candy. While there are hundreds of no-bake cookies this just doesn’t fit the bill for me. Tell me your thoughts in the comments, I’d love to hear what you think.

Overhead photo of ingredients needed for Haystacks.


I often make holiday haystacks year round just swapping out the red and green M&Ms for the multi-colored. The mini version works better as the regular size M&Ms seem to overpower the candy. 

  • Chow Mein Noodles
  • Shortening
  • Peanut Butter Chips
  • Mini M&Ms
  • Sprinkles  – I used non-pariels

During the holidays these peanut butter haystacks are part of my edible gifts. I’ll add them to cookie trays that include some favorite cookies and candies such as my cherry pecan thumbprint cookies, Christmas sprinkle cookies, coffee almond fudge, and Christmas chocolate chip cookies.

Haystacks image for Twitter

Tips for Making Haystacks

  • When melting the peanut butter chips melt them slowly and stir between times if melting in the microwave. Start with 15 second intervals. This is not a process to be rushed.
  • Don’t worry about breaking some of the chow mein noodles when combining the peanut butter chips with them and the candies.
  • When you drop the chow mein noodles, use a tablespoon and spatula to move it on the pan. This keeps your fingers from getting messy.
  • To speed the setting time of the candy, you can pop the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 5 minutes. Once set you can store or wrap for gift giving.
  • Store these haystack cookies, in a covered container, for up to 4 days. You can keep them in the refrigerator but it’s not necessary.
  • Use the multi-colored mini M&Ms at other times of the year. Like the photo below.

Haystack candy with multi-colored M&Ms being held.

More Recipes that Use Peanut Butter

If you live with a group of peanut butter lovers like I do, you can never have enough recipes that use it. Here are some of my family’s favorites.

Haystacks Pinterest ImageWelcome to #CandyFudgeFavorites Day hosted by Jennifer from Take Two Tapas! It’s the holidays and we are celebrating the holiday tradition of making candy and fudge!

Join me and my fellow bloggers as we share our favorite holiday candy and fudge recipes today. I know you will see some old favorites and I hope you find some new ones!

Haystack candies on a holiday platter.

Recipe - Haystacks

Yield: 15
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Setting Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 7 minutes

Haystacks are a fun treat to make any time of year.


  • 5 ounces Thin Chow Mein Noodles, 1 can
  • ½ cup mini red and green M&Ms
  • 1 bag (10 ounces) peanut butter chips
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening, such as Crisco
  • Christmas Non-Pariels


  1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper or a silicone baking sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the chow mein noodles and M&Ms. Reserve some M&Ms to put on top of haystacks.
  3. In a microwave safe bowl combine the peanut butter chips with the shortening. MIcrowave according to package directions. About 1-2 minutes on high stirring until smooth.
  4. Pour peanut butter chip mixture over chow mein noodle mixture and stir until everything is coated.
  5. Working quickly, drop by tablespoonful onto prepared baking sheet, a few at a time. Top with a couple of M&Ms and sprinkle with some non-pariels to make them festive.
  6. Allow to set for at least an hour before storing.

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Did you make this recipe?

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Thursday 6th of January 2022

Sounds amazing to me! We are peanut lovers and this is an amazing one for us.


Sunday 2nd of January 2022

Haystacks are a favorite in our house, love all of your tips!!

Kathleen Pope

Friday 3rd of December 2021

These are a favorite of my boys and I haven't made them in years!!! Need to change that!

Sheila Thigpen

Thursday 2nd of December 2021

What a fun and festive holiday candy to make! Sweet and crunchy is the best in my book!

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