Growing up, one of my favorite treats at Christmastime was Chinese Noodle Candy.
My mom would make the crunchy, chocolatey treats each year. When she wasn't looking, we'd sneak into the kitchen to steal a couple from the fridge. Yum!
All this time, I've been thinking that Chinese Noodle Candy was some secret family recipe, passed down from my late grandmother. I mean, people would specifically request that I bring them to our office holiday parties at the previous company I worked for. I really thought the Chinese Noodle Candies were something special and unique.
And then a couple of weeks ago, while working on a story about the "A Library of Recipes" cookbook put together by the Cook Memorial Public Library District, I learned that (GASP!) other people have not only heard of these yummy confections but that they also MAKE them! I was crushed!
There are variations on the recipe. Some people add in peanut butter. There are even variations on the name. I call them Chinese Noodle Candies because that's what grandma called them, and that's what mom calls them. The "Chinese Noodle" part refers to the crunchy chow mein noodles in the recipe, therefore some people call it "Chow Mein Noodle Candy." I will just keep with my family tradition.
So, OK, they're not unique. But to me, since my late Grandma Coleman passed down the recipe, they're still special. And I'm sharing the recipe you.
Here's what you'll need:
- 1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 bag of butterscotch chips
- 1 small container of salted peanuts
- 1 bag or can of chow mein noodles
Here's how I make them. I don't complicate matters with a double boiler, which probably doesn't make me the best person to tell you how to melt chocolate. But I simply pour the bags of butterscotch and chocolate chips into a saucepan ON LOW HEAT and slowly melt them. It's really important to keep stirring the chips so they don't stick to the pan (and I always use a nonstick pan).
When the chocolate and butterscotch chips are fully melted, immediately remove the pan from the heat. Then pour in some chow mein noodles and salted peanuts. Stir well. There's no rule here on how much of each to use. Just use enough so that the mixture is chunky yet it's all covered with chocolate.
Now here comes the fun part. Put some aluminum foil on a couple of cookie sheets (the aluminum foil makes it easy to remove the Chinese Noodle Candies from the pan). Then, use a small spoon to scoop up some of the mixture, and place dollops of the mixture on the cookie sheets. Space them about a half-inch apart. When you're done, place the cookie sheets in the fridge so the chocolate can harden.
I prefer to store these in the fridge, too, because I think the Chinese Noodle Candies taste best when they're cold.
So there you have it. My "secret" family recipe. If you have any questions, let me know. Otherwise, enjoy!