Wonton Chocolate Haystacks with Smokehouse Almonds
Wonton Chocolate Holiday Haystacks with Smokehouse Almonds
Hubby loves the classic holiday treat, Chocolate Haystacks! You Too? The popular chocolate covered chow mien noodle or oat or pretzel haystacks have been around since the 1960’s. I ate the no-bake chocolate oat version in the school cafeteria as a child! No matter what version of Holiday Haystack you make, the scrumptious morsel is a cooks’ best friend! The no-bake cookie only take 15 minutes to prepare, easy to tweak in flavors, stores well, and only has about 5 ingredients. BUT WAIT, there is a tweak in my Holiday Haystacks! I have changed up the classic and oh my gosh, my version is crispier, lighter, and I will never never go back to chow mien noodles. The secret tweak: Twin Dragon Asian Won Ton Wrappers boost Holiday Haystacks to a new level!
In the classic Holiday Haystack recipe, butterscotch chips and chocolate chips are melted and poured over chow main noodles or oats. I am not a fan of butterscotch! I tried to like Chocolate Haystacks so I could be on the same page as Hubby but couldn’t get over my dislike for butterscotch! The chow main noodles didn’t call my name either. But then….ENTER the TWIN DRAGON…. fresh and crispy light wontons strips replaced chow mien noodles! The wonton crispy strips are light and airy and ohhh so good. And now I can Wonton Chocolate Holiday Haystacks with Hubby .......a little too much, cuz they are addicting!
I MUST SAY ~ I really don't know if I should call it wonton or Won Ton! On the package of the Twin Dragon Asian wrappers it says Won Tons! In most internet searches it states wonton...so please forgive me ...and please educate me if you know because I most certainly have gone in circles and changed my recipe title and blog posts a few too many times! Whew ~ my confession is over! Let's get on with frying this crispy delights!
I was invited to be part of TWIN DRAGON ASIAN WRAPPER RECIPE CONTEST. There are two categories, holiday and game day. I was sent packages of Twin Dragon wonton and egg roll wrappers to compete in the challenge. You know me, I depleted my supplies of wrappers because I love to play in the kitchen. I headed to the store to buy more Twin Dragon egg roll and wonton wrappers; very easy to find in the Asian refrigerated section! My local Walmart and Von’s stock Twin Dragon Asian Wrappers Southern California). In other parts of the country look for Twin Dragon Asian Wrappers at Shaw’s, Stater Bros., Fred Meyer, QFC, Safeway, Giant Stores, Shop N Shop, Winco, Albertsons, and Price Chopper.
This is my entry in the Holiday appetizer category, and Hubby couldn’t be happier!
TWIN DRAGON WONTON WRAPPERS
The wonton wrappers are vegan, non-gmo, and have no. preservatives. They need to be refrigerated, but can also be frozen and thawed in the refrigerator. I found the wrappers easy to use and they did not stick together. In the past, with different wonton and egg roll brands I have been frustrated when trying to separate the sheets. Twin Dragon wrappers easy separate before cooking and when frying ! YaY!
HOLIDAY HAYSTACKS ARE PERFECT FOR ANY CELEBRATION
Chinese New Years February 12, 2021
I added smokehouse almonds to my recipe for a layer of flavor. I wasn’t sure if the salty-smoky flavor would work but it sure did. I am so happy I tried smoked almonds and will continue to include them in my future Holiday Haystacks. The almonds in this recipe could be exchanged for toasted pecans, glazed pecans, cashews, peanuts or pistachios. Pick your favorite toasted nut! I enjoyed using chunky peanut butter so the Haystacks had extra nuttiness!
Chocolate Haystacks have so many variations. The common addition are butterscotch chips. I do not care for butterscotch so that is a no-go for me! If they are your fave, go ahead and exchange 1-2 cups of chocolate chips for butterscotch or peanut butter chips.
I love love love crystalized ginger but my hubby does not. What to do? Before stirring the chocolate and the wonton strips together, divide into 2 piles. Add your favorite “addition” to one pile and add any different flavor booster to the other pile for peeps! Quite honestly, the smoked almonds are plenty but some people like to play in the kitchen with tweaks thus I provided you some flavor booster ideas!
Raisins or dried cranberries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (add as soon as the chocolate as melted)
FRIED WONTON STRIPS
If you don’t have a candy or frying thermometer, simply test for oil heat by dropping one strip into the hot oil. If it starts to bubble right away, the oil is plenty hot. If you find the strips are browning too fast or starting to burn, turn the heat down. The heat knob setting on my range is a smidgen over medium heat.
After you remove the first batch of crispy wonton strips wait about 20 seconds for the oil to come back up to 360°F before proceeding.
I highly suggest using a spider strainer, more so than a slotted spoon. A spider strainer has a wide area to scoop up large amounts of crisps. Spider strainers are definitely worth the investment.
Transfer the crispy wontons to a wire rack that is placed on top of paper towels or half sheet. If you do transfer crisps to paper towels first make sure not to let them sit there for more than a 10 seconds or so.
I found that Twin Dragon Asian Wonton strips easily separate in the hot oil. I was so thankful for this!
Remove the strips before they actually look toasty brown because fried wonton strips will continue to cook and darken.
Fried wonton strips should stay crispy in an airtight container for at least several days. The wonton strips stay crispy in the Holiday Haystacks! #OhYum!
Use an (1/2-cup) ice cream scoop with hand press release to shape the Haystacks into perfect round mounds! If you do not have a ice cream scoop then use a 1/2 cup rounded measuring cup or a large spoon.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
Head on over to JSL Foods social media to be inspired and to find more recipes! Website: JSL Foods http://www.jslfoods.com/
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LET”S JUMP INTO THE HAYSTACK and get cooking
Wonton Chocolate Holiday Haystacks with Smokehouse Almonds
Serves: 17 extra large treats. Cook & Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooling Time: 1 hour
1/2 package (26 wrappers) Twin Dragon Asian Wonton Wrappers
3 cups canola oil or your favorite frying oil
24 ounces chocolate chips, semi-sweet or milk chocolate
1/2 cup peanut butter, chunky or smooth
1 1/4 cups chopped smokehouse almonds, or nut of choice, divided
*1/2 cup finely minced ginger, optional
ARRANGE 17-18 cupcake liners on a rimmed half-sheet or baking pan; set aside.
CUT Twin Dragon Asian Wonton wrappers into strips, about 1/4-inch wide. Divide into 5 piles (batches).
HEAT about an inch of oil, in a high walled skillet or Dutch Oven, until it reaches 355°- 360°F. Place 1 pile of wonton strips into hot oil, and separate with a slotted spoon or spider strainer. As the wontons turn golden, flip and cook a few more seconds. Remove the wonton strips to a cooling rack when light golden as they will continue to darken as they cool. Continue to fry the remaining 4 piles of wonton strips in batches.
MIX the wonton strips, after they have cooled, with 1-cup almonds. Add any additional flavor boosters during this step (except extract).Set aside.
POUR an inch of water into a saucepan and place a glass bowl on top to make a double boiler (or use a double boiler). Turn the heat to medium-high to heat water thus heating the bowl. Add the chocolate chips to the bowl, and stir frequently. Once the chocolate chips have have melted, stir in the peanut butter. (If adding extract stir into melting chocolate and peanut butter.)
STIR crispy wontons and almonds together on a large sheet of wax paper (for easy clean up) or a rimmed half-sheet pan. Divide the wonton mixture into two mounds if you are adding a different flavor booster to only half a batch. I added minced crystalized ginger to half.
POUR melted chocolate and peanut butter over crispy wonton strips and almonds, and gently fold to coat wontons.
SCOOP 1/2 cup chocolate wonton and almond mixture into a cupcake liner. Sprinkle with remaining chopped almonds. Chill in refrigerator for one hour.
STORE the Holiday Haystacks in an airtight container. They can be refrigerated for several weeks.