Butterscotch haystack nests are a sweet no-bake Easter candy. Crunchy chow mein noodles are coated in butterscotch and peanut butter and topped with robin's egg candies.
These adorable butterscotch haystacks are the perfect treat to make this spring. Make them for Easter or a baby shower with color coordinated robin's eggs.
Crunchy chow mein noodles and shredded coconut are covered in a sweet butterscotch-peanut butter coating. Topped with robin's egg candies, these sweet treats are sure to please that sweet tooth!
Plus, these candy haystacks are no-bake and come together in about 20 minutes. They're quick, easy to make, and all you need are a handful of ingredients!
Ingredients and substitutions
Chow mein noodles can be found in the international section of your local grocery store. They are hard, crunchy, salty sticks that are often used like a crouton on salads. For this recipe, you'll need one 5-ounce can. If you can't find chow mein noodles locally, you can always buy them on Amazon: La Choy CHOW MEIN NOODLES Asian Cuisine 5oz (2 pack)
Chow mein noodles can be substituted with crushed pretzel pieces, potato sticks, corn flakes, chex cereal, or rice krispies cereal. Keep in mind that some of these alternatives may be harder to form into nests. You'll need about 3 ½ cups of your chow mein noodle substitute.
Unsweetened coconut flakes can be omitted if desired, or substituted with chopped peanuts.
Robin's egg candies can often be found seasonally around Easter. Any small egg-shaped candies will work, like jelly beans or peanut m&m's.
Peanut butter can be substituted with your favorite nut or seed butter, like almond butter or sun butter.
Working quickly - tips and tricks
Once your candy mixture has been made, you'll have a limited amount of time to form your nests before it begins to harden. After that, the mixture will become firm and difficult to manipulate. Here are a few tips to work quickly:
- Gather all of your ingredients before beginning.
- Prepare two half baking sheets with parchment paper before beginning. Using a baking sheet makes for easy transferring to the refrigerator.
- If you'd prefer to leave your candies on the counter to dry, prepare a large sheet of parchment paper before beginning.
- Get the help of a second person - while you are forming the nests, have a second person add the eggs to your nests before the butterscotch hardens.
- Don't worry about perfection - these are birds nests after all. They're each going to look unique and a little messy, and that's okay. Take about 10 seconds to form each mound into a round nest, then move on.
- Try using two spoons to form your nests, or a spoon and a gloved hand.
Make-ahead and storage
Your butterscotch haystacks will keep for about 2 weeks, so they can easily be made a few days ahead of an event or holiday.
I recommend storing your birds nest in the refrigerator if your home will be unusually warm - these candies will melt at hotter temperatures.
Whether at room temperature or in the refrigerator, store your haystack nests in a tightly sealed container. They will keep for up to two weeks this way.
Butterscotch Haystack Nests
- 12 ounces butterscotch chips
- ⅔ cup creamy peanut butter
- 5 ounces chow mein noodles
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 5 ounces mini robin's egg candies about 72 eggs
- Prepare two sheet pans with parchment paper (to transfer easily to the refrigerator later), or place a sheet parchment paper on your counter top before beginning.
- In a microwave safe bowl, add butterscotch chips and peanut butter. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring until melted and smooth. Alternatively, melt over a double boiler on the stove top.
- In a separate bowl, combine chow mein noodles and coconut flakes. Add butterscotch mixture and stir until evenly coated.
- Working quickly (your mixture will solidify within about 10 minutes), spoon mixture in heaping mounds on your prepared parchment paper (about 2-3 tablespoons per mound). Form into a round shape and hollow out the center to make space for your eggs. Top each mound with 2 to 3 eggs while butterscotch is still wet.
- Allow to dry for 1 hour at room temperature, or transfer to the refrigerator for 15 minutes to allow candies to set.
- Once prepared, your candy mixture will harden quickly - it is important to have your working surface prepared before beginning.
- If possible, acquire a second person to add your robin's eggs while you continue to form the nests.
- Candies will keep for up to two weeks in a sealed container at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
- If your home temperature is very warm, you may prefer to store these candies in the refrigerator to prevent melting.