Nostalgia, now dairy-free!
When I was a kid it seemed like there were things we always had in the pantry. We always had chocolate chips. We didn’t make cookies often, but we always had chocolate chips. We also always had crispy chow mein noodles. I have absolutely no recollection of ever having Chinese food at home, but we always had chow mein noodles. We also always had a flashlight and D batteries in the pantry, but that wasn’t quite the same (flashlights take a notoriously long time to cook, and they just aren’t worth the trouble).
Every once in a while, these two simple ingredients (chocolate chips and chow mein noodles) would come together to form one of my favorite treats of all time: haystacks. The excitement my sister and I would feel anytime haystacks were mentioned was more or less unparalleled. However, it has been so long since I have had haystacks that I kind of forgot about them. Until yesterday.
Michelle bought a can of chow mein noodles to have with a sweet and sour chicken dish she was making. Reese can’t have it, so she got the noodles so he could at least have something. I grabbed a small handful and tossed them in my mouth. And the memories flooded back. Then it dawned on me – we have Enjoy Life chocolate chips. And now we have chow mein noodles. This is going to happen.
(Side note: Several years ago I learned that some people use the term “haystack” to refer to what is essentially a taco salad. These people are wrong. But the aid in understanding, I have taken to calling the following things Chocolate Haystacks. It’s just easier that way)
The kind my mom made when I was growing up were simply melted chocolate chips and chow mein noodles. Super simple. However, these are totally customizable. A lot of people put peanut butter in them. Some add peanuts. I’ve even had them with marshmallows mixed in (rocky road style). I supposed you could add dried fruit, too, but in my opinion, that’s a good way to ruin them. I decided to keep it pretty simple: Enjoy Life chocolate chips, chow mein noodles, and homemade sunbutter.
Start by melting the Enjoy Life chocolate chips (or other dairy-free, allergen-free chocolate chips) in the microwave. It will take about 90 seconds to 2 minutes, with pausing to stir every 20-30 seconds. Watch it closely and don’t let the chocolate burn – that is a special kind of nasty.
Now stir in the sunbutter. It doesn’t take much. I used about 2 tablespoons, but you can use however much sounds good to you. I wanted the chocolate to be the main player.
Then gently fold in the the chow mein noodles, making sure they are completely covered. If you want to add anything else (like marshmallows), now would be the time to do it. Then spoon the mixture into small stacks (hence the name haystacks) onto a tray or cookie sheet lined with waxed paper. Put that into the fridge to chill until set (shouldn’t take more than an hour).
Simple and wonderful! I can’t be bothered with the time consuming process of tempering chocolate, so these are pretty melty. If you want to temper the chocolate, go for it! Or if you have another idea of how to stabilize the chocolate, please share! I’d love to hear how this works out for you.
- 1 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
- 2 cups cripsy chow mein noodles (I used La Choy)
- 2-4 tbsp sunbutter (homemade or SunButter brand
- Melt chocolate chips in the microwave (about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes, stirring every 20-30 seconds until smooth).
- Stir in the sunbutter.
- Gently fold in chow mein noodles.
- Spoon small amounts onto a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper.
- Chill in the refrigerator until set.
I don’t know how long these will keep, because I have honestly never seen them last longer than a day. I made them this morning. They are already gone. (And I even let the kids have some!)
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to products I believe in.