Thursday, June 16, 2016

Haystacks & Distressing Days

When I was a little girl, and when I was good (which, let's face it, was pretty darned often, I was a gem of a child), my mother used to make haystacks for me. I loved the chocolate and the crunch, and particularly loved that there was no baking and I could help out. The waiting for them to harden was often more than I could bear, but it was well worth it for the end result. I was thinking about these the other day when I was making another family favorite, Oriental Beef Casserole, lamenting the fact that I'd purchased a gigantic bag of chow mein noodles in order to take advantage of a sale.

So, in my continuing celebration of National Candy Month, today I made haystacks. I remember them being very sweet in my youth, largely, I think because of the overwhelming sweetness of the butterscotch chips. So I decided to make mine with semisweet chocolate chips alone, and add some brickle bits to get added crunch, and a bit of a toffee taste, without being cloying. Can you say winner? These are great. Now I'm thinking I may just need another bag of these noodles.

This is a great candy to make with the kids during the summer. Keep them in the fridge for a cool and crunchy snack.

There are variations to suit all tastes, so consider replacing the toffee bits with cocoa nibs, crumbled Clean Snax, mini chocolate chips, crushed espresso beans, or a special addition of your own.


1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chow mein noodles
1/2 cup salted peanuts
2 tablespoons brickle bits

In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate and butterscotch chips, at 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until smooth. Stir in chow mein noodles, peanuts, and brickle bits until well coated.

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto a waxed paper or Silpat-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until set. Yield: 8 clusters. Feel free to double, triple, quadruple…you get the picture.

I am taking a bit of a blog break. Thanks to the many of you who have written me notes and messages asking if I am all right.  Yesterday, Mr. O-P entered Hospice Care. It was a tough day. He has been ill for nearly three years now, and it has been a difficult road for us both. I need to take a bit of a break in order to get sleep. This week I have only had a combined 6 hours and am literally stumbling from exhaustion. I have also managed to lose 14 pounds in the past two weeks, so obviously I am not cooking or eating my good food.

As things settle, I will return. This blog and the entire blogging community have been great solace to me, and I find such peace and comfort in taking part.

Love to all and keep us in your thoughts and prayers.


bj said...

So sorry to hear of your sweetheart's health must be so draining to care for someone sick for so long. Yes, you NEED a blogging break to catch up on sleep...and
We used to make Haystacks, too and they are delicious...will try your recipe next time.
Prayers for you and your hubby

The JR said...

They look good. Are you going to post the recipe for your Oriental Beef casserole?

that one sounds good.

It's scorching hot here in MS. Have a happy weekend.


judee said...

Your candy looks delicious and I love that it doesn't need baking. This would be a nice project to make when the grandkids visit this weekend. Great idea!

bensonb said...

So sorry to hear about your dear husband. You all are in my prayers.

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

So very sorry :(. Take all the time you need.

xxz said...

I love haystacks Pattie and haven't had them in forever-thanks for bringing back this old favorite! Sending well wishes to your household-

Debbie - Mountain Mama said...

Sending hugs and prayers your way - xo

Janet Rudolph said...

Sending love and hugs. So sorry... Thanks for posting the haystacks..a small diversion at this heavy time.

Sharon S said...

I am so sorry to hear about Mr. Olla-Podrida. You both are in my thoughts and prayers. It is so very important to take good care of yourself - we will all be here when you get back to blogging. Miss you so much.

Miz Helen said...

My dear Patti,
I have had you and your Mr. OP in my prayers and am so sad to hear that you have come to this place in his journey.At Full Plate Thursday we will continue to pray for you and lift you both up.
God Be With You!
Miz Helen

Unknown said...

Love your haystacks! Wishing you rest and recooperation in these difficult times.