Made with just four ingredients and ready in 10 minutes (plus cooling time), these salty-sweet haystack cookies, filled with white chocolate, salted dry roasted peanuts, and dried cranberries, are sure to be a holiday (and every day) hit!
This recipe was created in partnership with The Peanut Institute. Thanks for supporting me and the brands I love!
White Chocolate Haystack Cookies
YOU GUYS! Last night I did something that I never do: I hid one of the last of these haystack cookies from my kids…
You’re probably thinking, “why is that such a big deal?” Well, it’s because I’m literally yelling at said kids about doing the same on a daily basis. And yet, I did it anyhow.
Spoiler: I don’t even feel guilty about it! It’s not like they didn’t get their fair share. They came home from school, and it was GAME ON — a whole tray demolished (and then some) in under 20 minutes. Granted there are five of them, but sheesh… I mean, I like cookies, too. You know?
Good thing this haystack cookies recipe is *really* ridiculously easy to make. We’re talking just FOUR ingredients and 10 minutes — no baking required!
Haystack Cookie Recipe Inspiration
If you think back to the haystack cookies of your childhood, you’re probably remembering them as being made with milk chocolate or butterscotch. And you’re right — my version is definitely a departure from the norm, but they’re oh, SO good!
You know I love a good salty-sweet combination, and I’ve been enjoying the same flavors I used in these cookies as an afternoon snack near daily recently. There’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with crisp celery smeared with creamy peanut butter then topped with tangy dried cranberries and white chocolate chips. We’ll just call it a small upgrade to the traditional “ants on a log” snack that I loved growing up — but maybe a little classier.
Honestly, this celery peanut butter treat can go beyond just snacking to appetizer status for the holiday season. I wouldn’t be mad if I saw these lined up on the buffet… Seriously, adults & kids both will LOVE them! And can’t we all use a little superfood infusion before we chow down on a big holiday dinner?
In case you haven’t heard, peanuts and peanut butter pack a powerful punch of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, AND can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases. You only need a very small serving to enjoy these benefits, so it’s actually kind of like giving your guests a healthy little gift!
No Bake Haystack Cookies With Peanuts
Anyhow, this yummy afternoon snack is what I drew on when creating these no bake haystack cookies. My haystack cookies recipe calls for white chocolate chips + Chinese chow mein noodles + dried cranberries + salted dry roasted peanuts. I won’t go so far as to call these cookies “healthy”, but just know that there ARE some real health benefits thanks to the peanuts — not to mention a giant boost of FLAVOR!
At the very least, they’re a holiday cookie that you can feel pretty good about enjoying in moderation, especially since each cookie only contains about 137 calories. You know, just in case you were wondering about the calories in haystack cookies, LOL. My mindset is if I want a cookie, I’m gonna eat it, but I guess it’s nice to know how much damage one is going to do…
How To Make Haystack Cookies
Let’s be real — the only thing you truly need to know for this recipe is how to melt the white chocolate chips. There are two methods that will both achieve the desired results:
1| Stovetop — heat the white chocolate chips in a double boiler (try this double boiler diy) over gently simmering water, stirring until smooth.
2| Microwave — heat white chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl at medium power (50%) for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Stir until bowl no longer feels warm. Continue heating at 15-30 second intervals, stirring until smooth.
We haven’t owned a working microwave in years (shocking, huh?!), so I always use option #1. Option #2 is probably easier and only uses one bowl, but you also have to be careful not to scorch the chocolate. Basically, just use whichever method you prefer.
Tip For Prettier Haystack Cookies
Once the white chocolate is melted, you’ll want to work quickly to mix it with the other ingredients. Have your baking sheets prepped with parchment paper, so you can immediately portion out the mix by rounded spoonfuls. After the white chocolate cools completely, they’re ready to eat!
With a cookie as good as these haystack cookies taste, you don’t really need to do anything else to them. But if you want extra style points, take a minute to tuck a few extra peanuts and cranberries into each cookie after portioning them out. As long as the white chocolate hasn’t set up, they’ll stick and look extra pretty!
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- Melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave or in a double boiler on the stovetop until smooth.*
- Add the chow mein noodles, peanuts, and dried cranberries. Stir to mix well.
- Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Cool for at least one hour before removing the haystack cookies from the parchment paper.
*How To Melt White Chocolate
1. Stovetop -- heat the white chocolate chips in a double boiler (try this double boiler diy) over gently simmering water, stirring until smooth.
2. Microwave -- heat white chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl at medium power (50%) for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Stir until bowl no longer feels warm. Continue heating at 15-30 second intervals, stirring until smooth.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 haystack cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 137Total Fat: 7.7gSaturated Fat: 3.4gCholesterol: 0.0mgSodium: 76.7mgCarbohydrates: 16.2gFiber: 1.0gSugar: 12.4gProtein: 2.5g
More Healthy Peanut Butter snack Ideas:
These peanutty haystack cookies aren’t the only way to incorporate more peanuts into your diet. Here are a few more snacking ideas that incorporate this amazing superfood!
- Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins — healthy (but delish) peanut butter banana muffins are soon to be on repeat in your home… With minimal prep, the simple ingredients go from your blender, to a muffin tin, into your oven, and to your mouth in just about 30 minutes!
- Peanut Butter Protein Balls — made with just 5 ingredients, these quick & easy no bake protein balls are packed with protein and healthy fats. A perfect healthy snack idea that adults and kids alike will LOVE!
- No Bake Peanut Butter Bars — these peanut butter oatmeal bars are an oldie but goodie. Just 3 simple ingredients, plus choose your favorite mix-ins to make them your own!
- DIY Uncrustables — with an inexpensive uncrustable maker, you can make your own uncrustable-style frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunches or snacks!
- Peanut Butter Sauce + Veggies — this flavorful and EASY peanut sauce recipe uses just 5 ingredients and can be whipped up in under 2 minutes! It’s a fabulous dip for veggies: carrots, peppers, and snap peas are some of my faves.