My mother was a boho baking queen and every year made dozens and dozens of cookies of infinite variety to give away at Christmas. Her freezer was always full, and everyone she knew got a plate of goodies for the holidays. One of her most popular cookies was this simple, no-bake treat she called Chinese Noodle Cookies.
All three of her grandchildren loved these cookies so much they would count how many the others had already eaten and insist they had dibs on what was left in the fridge. It didn’t take Grammy long to see she needed to give each grandchild his or her own “bucket” of cookies, making sure she divided the Chinese Noodle Cookies equally.
Because, you know, they were going to count and compare. These cookies were THAT good.
My own daughter, Erin, loved my mom’s Chinese Noodle Cookies so much that she made a batch and took them to the hospice center where my mom spent her last days. There she shared them with family and friends who gathered round to say their good-byes.
I myself don’t bake much. Not because I don’t like to or can’t—I did, after all, learn from the best—but I don’t need the calories! Anyway, I usually make an exception at Christmas and stir together a batch of Chinese Noodle Cookies, making sure to send the bulk of them home with Erin because they are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too addictive. The recipe is so simple, which makes them a breeze to do even at the last minute, that I thought it only fair to share it with all of you.
Hope these little bites of heaven spawn some big memories in your clan, too.
Everything you need…
- 11-ounce package of butterscotch baking chips
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 4 cups miniature marshmallows (the tinted kind makes prettier cookies!)
- 2 cups Chinese chow mein noodles
- 1 ½ cups shredded coconut
- ½ cup chopped pecans (optional & not pictured)
As easy as dump & stir!
Melt the butterscotch chips in the microwave. The bag says 45 seconds on high, but that may vary according to your microwave. Mine took two blasts, but be cautious. The chips will still look formed though melted. Poke them with a spatula to see if they’re softened enough, then stir until smooth.
Transfer the melted chips to a large mixing bowl and stir in the peanut butter until combined.
Then simply dump in the rest of the ingredients…
…and stir until coated.
You should end up with something like this.
Here’s where it gets a little messy
I use a tablespoon and my (clean) fingers to form the cookies…
…which I then arrange on cooling racks covered with sheets of waxed paper.
The mixture will be somewhat soft and malleable. You may need to press each cookie together some with your fingers. (For me that’s not a problem because when I’m finished I lick my fingers!)
The waxed paper over the cooling racks makes for easy transfer to the refrigerator.
My fridge has a bottom freezer drawer, and I usually clear out the top tier of it ahead of time so I can set each rack in level. I put the first rackful in and blast it with a power freeze for 5 to 10 minutes while I’m making up my next rackful.
Seems like I always end up with a few that won’t fit on my two racks, so I put waxed paper over a dinner plate or platter to finish up. My mom didn’t have cooling racks OR a freezer drawer and used to use up all her plates firming these babies up!
You want them chilled just enough for the butterscotch to re-solidify and hold the cookie together before you transfer to sealed storage containers.
Place waxed paper between each layer, seal and refrigerate until ready to use. You can reuse the waxed paper the cookies set up on for this…
…then toss what’s left over. If you were careful, you won’t even need to wash those racks or platters! As you can see, I’m a sucker for an easy cleanup, proving there truly IS a thing or two mom could have learned from ME.
The recipe makes about 5 dozen cookies. Keep the cookies in sealed containers in the refrigerator (not the freezer) until ready to serve. They will soften up if they sit out too long.
But you won’t need to worry much about that
They will very quickly disappear!
One, you see, tastes like one more.
Here’s wishing you and yours a merry (and stress-free!) holiday season and an abundance of yummy memories!
If you want more…
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