Buddy The Elf Cookies (Haystacks)

Georgann Dolfay

Over the top Buddy the Elf Cookies take your classic Haystacks recipe and add all the toppings you would expect from Buddy! Better than your average North Pole treat, these easy no bake Elf Cookies are a total showstopper and perfect for movie night, Christmas cookie trays and holiday parties!

Looking for more quick and easy Christmas treats? Try this Christmas Bark, Christmas Crack and Snow Day Snack Mix!

haystacks topped with candy and marshmallows sitting in a red and green Christmas box.

Haystacks Recipe

If you’re a fan of Buddy the Elf, then this easy Haystacks cookie recipe is a must make this holiday season! I’ve taken classic Haystacks and turned them into Elf Cookies by topping them with marshmallows, chocolate syrup, sprinkles and M&Ms!

These butterscotch haystacks are incredibly easy to make, as in less than 15 minutes, and are unbelievably cute! Truly the perfect tasty addition to your dessert table, cookie trays and holiday parties!

The perfect Christmas movie night would include watching the hilarious Elf movie and enjoying these tasty Buddy the Elf Cookies. Good thing they are super easy to make!

Remember in the Elf movie, when Buddy is eating spaghetti? He covers his spaghetti in chocolate syrup, marshmallows, sprinkles, and all sorts of sugary deliciousness, and everyone looks at him like he just came from the North Pole? Well… this is the cookie or candy version. Your chow mein noodles, covered in butterscotch and white chocolate, represents the spaghetti, and then all the rest is recreated with the other toppings.

haystack candy stacked on top of each in a christmas box. the haystacks are topped with chocolate, marshmallows and m and m candies.

What Are Haystacks?

Haystacks are a no bake candy (or cookie depending on who you’re talking to) that are made with chow mein noodles, butterscotch and white chocolate chips. The process is simple, melt the chips together and mix together with the chow mein noodles. Scoop out the mixture into mounds and let set up.

There are as many variations to this recipe as there are names and many include mix-ins such as nuts and candy.

This classic haystacks recipe goes by many names, many of them regional, and I’m sure many of you could add even a few more to the list:

  • Bird’s Nest Cookies
  • Chow Mein Noodle Haystacks
  • Haystacks Candy
  • Chow Mein Noodle Cookies
  • Butterscotch Haystacks

More No Bake Christmas Candy Recipes

  1. Christmas Crack
  2. Toffee 
  3. M&Ms Marshmallow Dream Bars
  4. Divinity
  5. Christmas Peppermint Patties
three haystacks candy sitting on white surface in front of a red and white striped christmas box. haystacks are covered with marshmallows and chocolate syrup.

What You’ll Need

This easy butterscotch haystacks recipe is a must make for Christmas! With just three main ingredients and then lots of toppings and mix-ins, this easy Christmas cookie is as quick to make as it is delicious! As always, you can find the full printable recipe with complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need:

For the haystacks:

  • chow mein noodles – you can find these in the international aisle in your grocery store or online. These noodles are the main ingredient in haystacks and are what gives these elf cookies the look of spaghetti.
  • marshmallow bits – Marshmallow bits can be difficult to find, so you can do what I occasionally do and just rip or cut some mini marshmallows in half. 
  • white chocolate chips – the chocolate chips get melted together and coat the noodles. When the chocolate sets up, the haystacks are formed.
  • butterscotch chips – If you don’t have butterscotch chips, you can use peanut butter chips. Those will still get the chow mein noodles to be the right color. 

For the toppings:

  • sprinkles – To make this more festive, use red and green colored sprinkles. 
  • chocolate syrup – Another option is to melt chocolate chips or chocolate melting wafers and drizzle on top. This is a great option because they set up hard and will make these elf cookies stackable.
  • M&Ms – optional garnish
elf cookies ingredients measured out into small bowls. top down view.

How To Make Buddy The Elf Haystacks

  1. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
  2. Combine the chow mein noodles and ½ cup of divided marshmallow bits in a large bowl.
  3. Microwave the white chocolate chips and butterscotch chips in a separate medium sized microwave safe bowl. Heat in increments of 20 seconds, stirring in between intervals until completely melted. This usually takes about 2 minutes but you don’t want to overheat them so be sure to stop and stir every 20 seconds. 
  4. Pour the white chocolate chip mixture into the bowl with the chow mein noodles and marshmallow bits. Gently stir until everything is coated.
  5. Scoop out about a quarter cup of the mixture and form into mounds on the sheet pan.
  6. Top each mound with chocolate syrup, sprinkles, marshmallow bits and M&Ms.
  7. Allow haystacks to set up completely, about 1 hour at room temperature, before plating and serving.
six image collage showing how to make haystack candy and turn them into elf cookies with a bunch of toppings.

An alternative to the chocolate syrup is to melt chocolate chips or chocolate melting wafers and drizzle on top. This is a great option because they set up hard and will make these elf cookies super stackable.

Haystacks Storage Information

These haystacks keep really well at room temperature. Keep them in an airtight container and they will last about a week. However, they are so delicious, I guarantee they won’t last that long. 

I don’t recommend freezing these elf cookies.

Haystacks Recipe FAQs

Why are these called “Buddy the Elf” cookies?

Remember in the movie, when Buddy is eating spaghetti? He covers his spaghetti in chocolate syrup, marshmallows, sprinkles, and all sorts of sugary deliciousness, and everyone looks at him like he just came from the north pole? Well… this is the cookie version. Your chow mein noodles, covered in white chocolate and butterscotch, is your spaghetti, and then all the rest is recreated with the other toppings.

Can I add anything more to these cookies?

Uh… these are Buddy the Elf cookies! You can literally add anything with sugar and it will be something Buddy would eat! I recommend toffee bits, powdered sugar, pop tarts, caramel syrup, strawberry syrup, the optional M&Ms or mini M&Ms, or mini chocolate chips.

butterscotch haystacks all decorated for christmas sitting on and in front of a red and white striped christmas box. small bowl of red and green m and m candy siting next to the haystacks.

More Christmas Treats

  1. Martha Washington Candies
  2. Peppermint Fudge
  3. Buttermilk Pecan Pralines
  4. Divinity Candy
  5. Homemade Gumdrops
  6. M&Ms Marshmallow Dream Bars

How To Make Buddy The Elf Cookies

Buddy the Elf Cookies (Haystacks Recipe)

Over the top Buddy the Elf Cookies take your classic Haystacks recipe and add all the toppings you would expect from Buddy! Better than your average North Pole treat, these easy no bake Elf Cookies are a total showstopper and perfect for movie night, Christmas cookie trays and holiday parties!

Course Candy, Cookies, Dessert
Keyword buddy the elf cookies, butterscotch haystacks, elf cookies, haystacks, haystacks recipe
Author Trish – Mom On Timeout

Ingredients

  • 2 ¾ cups chow mein noodles
  • ¾ cup marshmallow bits divided
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 2-3 tablespoons sprinkles red white and green
  • 2-3 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • ½ cup M&Ms red and green, I used the mini red and green M&Ms you can usually find in the baking aisle

Instructions

  • Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.

  • Combine the chow mein noodles and ½ cup of the marshmallow bits in a large bowl.

  • Place the white chocolate chips and butterscotch chips into a separate medium sized microwave safe bowl. Microwave in increments of 20 seconds, stirring in between intervals until completely melted. This usually takes about 2 minutes but you don’t want to overheat them so be sure to stop and stir every 20 seconds.

  • Pour the white chocolate chip mixture into the bowl with the chow mein noodles and marshmallow bits. Gently stir until everything is coated.

  • Use a spoon or large cookie scoop to drop a small handful of the mixture into mounds on a sheet pan to set.

  • Drizzle each mound with about 1 teaspoon of chocolate syrup, 1 teaspoon of rainbow sprinkles, remaining marshmallow bits, and festive M&Ms (optional).

  • Let the mounds set completely, about 1 hour at room temperature, before plating and serving.

Notes

Storage Information These haystacks keep really well at room temperature. Keep them in an airtight container and they will last about a week. However, they are so delicious, I guarantee they won’t last that long.  I don’t recommend freezing these elf cookies.

Nutrition

Calories: 356kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 413mg | Potassium: 51mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 19IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 2mg

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