Cookie Time! Chocolate Chow Mein Clusters the First

How do you come up with the name for a cookie that you just completely made up? Well, sort of made up.

My mother used to make these delicious, little cookies with chow mein noodles in them. What else? Maybe butterscotch? Yes, yes, butterscotch. What else? I cannot remember.

Call the recipe-ist? Tempting.

However, this was an opening to get into the kitchen to just do. To just put a new twist on an old memory . . . and to give this creation, if it worked, an obnoxious name. Here’s the result:

Chocolate Chow Mein Clusters the First

Maybe now you can use them to act out a play where Clusters the First bears a myriad of sons and one day pisses off Clusters the Second. It’s your play, so you’ll have to think of the conflict, but the end should result in a chow mein catastrophe.

Once I made this recipe, I proceeded to do research because I knew my cookies wouldn’t be lucky enough to be the archetype. Sure enough, endless recipes abound for a recipe similar to mine — all called “____ Haystacks,” usually “Butterscotch Haystacks.” Plenty of people have also thrown chocolate in there, too.

I hereby declare that with this recipe, there are three key differences, however:

a) No need for a double boiler to melt your chocolate. This boiler might sound exciting to use, but I’m working on limited room in my kitchen, so I cannot spare another tool–unless it is a panini maker. Ina Garten said that she loves hers, so I now need one. You can use a microwave to melt chips, if need be, but something about that subtracts from the experience.

b) This recipe includes chocolate. The chocolate part isn’t original, but a chocolate addition to anything sure is delicious. I cannot believe I’m saying this, but to accommodate anti-chocolate lovers, sub in more butterscotch where the chocolate should be.

c) The haystacks stamp is nowhere to be found. Don’t you find the idea of eating a Cluster the First appeals more to your need for power than does eating a haystack? Haystacks are rough and functional; Clusters the First are for real men, women and children who have both a real lust for cookies and a need to snap a twig off of a tree if that twig gets up in their way.

Chocolate Chow Mein Clusters the First

Difficulty level:  Easy       

Total time:  10 minutes prep/2 hours in refrigerator     

Yields:   16 cookies


  • 2 cups La Choy (or similar) chow mein noodles
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or Nestle chocolate chunks)
  • 1 Tablespoon milk (optional, to add creaminess to melted chips)


  1. Pour two cups of chow mein noodles into a medium-sized bowl. You can chop the chow mein noodles with large, sturdy spoon, if desired. (The smaller you make the pieces, the more you can taste the chocolate. The larger, the more you can taste the noodles and butterscotch.)
  2. Add peanut butter and honey to chow mein noodles. Mix enough so that peanut butter, honey and chow mein noodles are rough mixture.
  3. In a small saucepan, over medium low heat, add butterscotch chips and 1/2 Tablespoon milk (milk optional). Stir for about two minutes, until the chips are melted together and are the consistency will be of fairly smooth peanut butter.
  4. Add melted butterscotch to the existing chow mein mixture and stir. This time, look for your mixture to mesh.
  5. In the same saucepan, over medium low heat, add chocolate chips/chunks and 1/2 Tablespoon milk (milk optional). Stir until the chips are melted and are the consistency will be of fairly smooth peanut butter.
  6. Add melted chocolate to the existing chow mein mixture and stir thoroughly.
  7. Drop by the spoonful onto wax paper. You should be able to make approximately 16 spoon-sized balls.
  8. Place in the refrigerator for at least two hours, to firm.

Eat! Happy cooking! Happy eating!