Caramel Cashew Haystacks combine sweet white chocolate and caramel pieces with crunchy chow mein noodles and salted cashews in a salty sweet treat that’s sure to be a holiday favorite!
When it comes to chocolate, there seem to be two very distinct camps: the milk chocolate lovers and the white chocolate lovers. And the two groups are definitely NOT equal in numbers.
For whatever reason, white chocolate always seems to get a bad rap. But in my opinion… it’s the BEST! Not only because I love the flavor of it, but because it pairs beautifully with anything salty. And it also makes the prettiest little treats for any special occasion.
These Caramel Cashew Haystacks are a twist on the more traditional haystack recipe made with butterscotch chips. And if you ask me, they’re even better. Because you can’t go wrong with caramel cashew – it’s the ultimate salty/sweet combo! Perfect for holiday gifting and the sweetest little addition to any holiday tray!
Ingredients in these Haystacks
Chow mein noodles – Chow mein noodles form the perfect base for these treats because they’re super crunchy and mild in flavor, taking on whatever other flavors you add to them. You can find chow mein noodles near the Asian foods at your local grocery store.
Salted cashews – Salted cashews are a delicious salty addition to the chow mein noodles, and the perfect balance to the sweetness of the white chocolate. I used cashew pieces, which work well in this recipe and are less expensive than whole cashews.
White chocolate candy coating – White chocolate candy coating (also known by the brand name Candiquik) is completely meltable and the ONLY kind of white chocolate I use for dipping and coating. Many grocery stores now sell it under their own label, and it can be found in the baking aisle along with the chocolate chips. One thing to note is that it can’t handle any type of liquid, including water, extracts, or even food coloring, so use caution!
Caramel bits – Caramel Bits are sold by Kraft as an alternative to wrapped caramels that are perfect for baking. They can be found in the baking aisle at your local grocery store.
Sea salt – A small pinch of sea salt adds just a touch more saltiness to these treats. Feel free to omit if you’d like to reduce the salt.
How to make Caramel Cashew Haystacks
Chop and melt the chocolate – Coarsely chop the white chocolate candy coating. Place in a large microwave-safe mixing bowl and melt in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until completely melted. You can also melt it in a large saucepan over LOW HEAT, stirring constantly. *As I mentioned above, be sure not to add any liquid to the white chocolate before, during, or after melting. This includes using a slightly wet bowl or spoon, as the white chocolate will seize up and become unusable.
Combine the ingredients in a large mixing bowl – To the same bowl, add the chow mein noodles, cashews, and caramel pieces. Mix well.
Drop by the spoonful – Drop by spoonfuls onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with wax paper and sprinkle with a small pinch of sea salt.
Decorate as desired –Decorate with sprinkles or chopped cashews as desired.
- Substitute milk chocolate for the white chocolate
- Substitute wrapped caramels (unwrapped and chopped) for the caramel bits
- Substitute salted peanuts for the cashews
- Adjust the ingredient amounts according to your tastes
- Use unsalted nuts for less of a salty/sweet combo
- Top with crushed cashews
More recipes using white chocolate
Looking for more delicious treats to add to your holiday tray? These are some of our favorites
- White Chocolate Oreo Pretzels
- White Chocolate Gingerbread Bark
- White Chocolate Cranberry Bark
- White Chocolate Dipped Snickerdoodles
- White Chocolate Ting-a-Lings
- White Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
- Almond Bark
- Snickerdoodle Fudge
- 2 1/2 cups chow mein noodles
- 1 1/4 cups salted cashews
- 16 ounces white chocolate candy coating
- 3/4 cup caramel bits
- Coarsely chop the white chocolate candy coating. Place in a large microwave-safe mixing bowl and melt in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until completely melted.
- Add the chow mein noodles, cashews, and caramel pieces and mix well.
- Drop by spoonfuls onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with wax paper.
- Decorate with sprinkles as desired.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 36 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 128Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 111mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 0gSugar: 12gProtein: 2g