Haystacks are the quintessential no-bake cookie — ready in a jiffy and easy enough that your kids can help make them. Melt any combination of chocolate, butterscotch and peanut butter chips with a tablespoon of shortening in a double boiler or the microwave and stir in enough crispy chow-mein noodles to create a stiff batter. Place tablespoon-sized dollops on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or into small baking cups. Once they firm up, either at room temperature or in the refrigerator, the coated noodles resemble stacks of hay, giving them their name.

Ingredient Variations

Substitute cereal, such as corn flakes or puffed rice, for the chow mein noodles. You’ll end up with a flatter, less spiky haystack, but the cookie tastes just as good. Add marshmallows, nuts or coconut to the chocolate mixture to add other flavor and textural dimensions. You could also substitute peanut butter or coconut oil for the vegetable shortening. Don’t use butter or margarine, though, as these ingredients won’t firm up adequately to keep your finished cookies together.