A TikToker was left in shock after trying a recipe from the 1960s that involves mixing uncooked chow mein noodles with chocolate, butterscotch chips and salted peanuts to create a surprisingly delicious treat.
Content creator B. Dylan Hollis first uploaded his TikTok video about the recipe in August 2022. In the minute-long clip, which has gone viral with over 5.6 million views and 1.1 million likes, Hollis shares that he was in disbelief after encountering the “chow mein cookie” recipe.
“Now I’m down for chow mein noodles, and I’m down for cookies, but common sense says that they should not necessarily go together – or do they?” he says with a raised eyebrow.
Hollis then proceeds to pour six ounces of chocolate chips and six ounces of butterscotch chips into a bowl. He melts them together using the double boiler method, which involves placing a pot or bowl on top of another pot and using steam as a heat source to melt ingredients.
After Hollis takes out a canister of chow mein noodles, he pours 5 ounces of its contents into his bowl before mixing in half a cup of salted peanuts.
“You see, this is where you lose me,” Hollis jokingly says while looking at the can of dried noodles. “’Cause I think this is troubling, like clinically, or you were subject to a fall from a great height. Trying to say you are a little messed up Theresa from Memphis, Tennessee.”
Since he chose a no-bake recipe, Hollis places a few scoops of the mixture on a tray covered with wax paper. After letting the cookies cool off, he bites into one and shows surprise.
“This is just a good idea,” he admits at the end of his video. “The smooth chocolate and the butterscotch with the salty crunch of the noodles and the peanuts? It… yes.”
Inspired by the Corn Flake Macaroon, invented by Kellogg recipe developer Mary E. Barber in 1923, chow mein cookies purportedly did not become a popular Christmas treat until the 1960s.
Betty Crocker, a General Mills company, first published “Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book” in 1963, which contains a recipe for a tweaked Corn Flake Macaroon that does not have powdered sugar and egg whites and coconut to hold the treat together. Instead of using Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, the recipe incorporates chocolate and General Mills’ Wheaties and Cheerios cereals.
For more variety, the same cookbook features a recipe for “noodle clusters” that replaces the cereals with chow mein noodles.
The no-bake confection’s name eventually evolved throughout the years to other names such as P-nutty Butterscotch Crunchies, Butterscotch Crunchies, Chow Mein Chews and, more recently, Butterscotch haystacks.
Several TikTok users commented on Hollis’ post to share their own experiences with the sweet treat.
“These are a Christmas classic in my home,” one TikTok user commented. “An absolute staple for the holiday season.”
“In Australia we call them spiders and they are delicious, except we melt peanut butter in with the melted chocolate,” another user wrote.
Some users also shared the different ingredients they add to their cookies, with one writing, “My family puts little M&Ms on them and we make them at Halloween and called [sic] them Spider Cookies.”