No bake cookies are genius, and very much appreciated in the warmer months. Haystacks are one of the quintessential no-bake cookies in the cookie lexicon, and for very good reason – they are delicious, easy and they offer up such great crunch. You could try these with all chocolate or all butterscotch for another flavor twist, and you could also use crushed pretzels instead of the cocktail peanuts.
I’ll be loving these all summer long when I don’t want to turn on the oven to bake. Store these in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
See below for more quick, simple dessert recipes the kids will actually want to make.
- 1 cup butterscotch chips
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 (6-ounce) package chow mein noodles (3 ½ cups)
- 1 cup cocktail peanuts, unsalted or lightly salted, lightly crushed (see Note)
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Melt the butterscotch and chocolate chips in a double boiler (see Cooking Tip) or using the microwave, stopping the microwave and giving the chips a stir every 15 seconds until they are melted. Stir in the peanut butter until well combined.
- Combine the noodles and the cocktail peanuts in a large bowl. Pour the butterscotch-peanut butter mixture over and stir to combine.
- Drop the mixture by tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet. Allow to set (in warmer months this is best done in the fridge, though let them sit at room temperature for several minutes before serving).
To crush peanuts, place them in a sturdy zippertop bag, press the air out of it, seal it, and whack it with a rolling pin, or a mallet, or anything that is heavy and can stand to be thwacked against a bag of peanuts. Don’t crush them into a powder, you want some texture. You could also pulse them in a food processor, but the first way is more fun (and the kids will love it!).
Cooking Tip: If you don’t have a double boiler you can make one by nestling a metal or heatproof glass bowl over a pot with a bit of water in the bottom – bring the water to a boil, and stir the chips frequently until they melt.
Here are a few more quick, easy sweets the kids may even volunteer themselves to help make, and of course will gladly sample:
Chocolate Popcorn This recipe combines sweet and salty flavors together in one lightly chocolatey snack the kids will go nuts over. This chocolate popcorn makes a great after school snack, movie night treat or party favor.
Pretzel Kisses With melty chocolate and crisp pretzels, these pretzel kisses also have that lovely sweet meets salty thing going for them. Bonus: This is probably one of the simplest and quickest dessert recipes out there. Kids and adults will devour these, guaranteed.
Chex Puppy Chow If you've never made these before, you are in for a treat. While kids can make this recipe entirely by themselves, the last step, which involves throwing the whole shebang into a plastic bag and shaking it all around, is most appreciated by the kids. Don't be surprised if your whole family finds themselves addicted to these crunchy, sweet squares.
Fudgy One-Pot Brownies These brownies are so so chocolatey and chewy. Here are this fudgy brownie recipe's requirements: 15 minutes, and one pot.
Fruit Salad on a Stick Imagine your kids wanting fruit for dessert. It works! Just add a pointy stick. To make these extra special, bring out a pot of melty chocolate for drizzling, dipping and submerging.