or scroll for handy tips and a little nostalgia.
These easy two-ingredient chocolate spiders – known by some as “Haystacks” – are something I remember from childhood parties.
I thought they were pretty great back then, and they’re still absolutely awesome today.
In fact, I think they’re even better now because not only do they taste a treat but now I know how absolutely simple they are to put together.
Two ingredients to make them and two words to describe the method. Easy. Peasy.
(*Note that some people insist on a third ingredient so I’ve added that as an optional ingredient below and in the recipe card at the end of the post)
Ingredients for Chocolate Spiders
First, you’ll need chocolate. One hundred and eighty grams of it.
These yummy little treats are best made with good quality milk chocolate. I used a family block of Cadbury chocolate here.
And it’s not just for the taste that I recommend good quality chocolate. It’s also to get that lovely glossy finish that makes these spiders so delicious looking.
I found this Chocolate Spiders Recipe from 1939 in Sydney’s The Sun newspaper. You’ll see it contains a third ingredient: paraffin wax.
Yes, adding edible paraffin wax to chocolate gives it a gloss and helps it retain shape once set.
However, I don’t have edible paraffin wax in my pantry and I just don’t fancy using it in cooking.
Thankfully, when you use good quality chocolate you can get the gloss by “tempering” the chocolate instead of adding wax.
Now this might sound a little fancy and complicated, but it’s not. And the easiest way to temper chocolate is in the microwave.
You simply need to make sure the chocolate is broken into pieces and then melt it using 20 second bursts in the microwave and stirring between each burst.
When most – but not all – of the chocolate pieces have melted, you then allow the remaining pieces to melt by continuing to stir and allowing the heat of the melted chocolate to melt these remaining pieces.
You can find out more about tempering chocolate here.
The other thing you might notice about the old-fashioned recipe above is that the second ingredient is a little different. The 1939 recipe calls for crushed cornflakes rather than fried noodles.
Chang’s Fried Noodles have been around a long time, since 1968, but clearly were still a long way off back in 1939.
The crunch factor and taste of the fried noodles make the spiders special, in my book at least, but cornflakes were used back then and would still be a good substitute today.
Chocolate Spiders: peanut butter, variations and special occasions
So apart from the cornflake/noodle substitution idea I mentioned above, some people also like to add a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter to the melted chocolate.
I like Chocolate Spiders both ways, so have added it as an optional ingredient (though many people insist it is essential!)
Note that If you’re adding peanut butter, add it to the chocolate before melting and melt the chocolate and peanut butter together.
I love to get a little creative when making chocolate spiders. So for special occasions you might like to have some fun decorating your spiders.
Think sprinkles, sparkles and – for halloween – edible scary eyes.
One person on my Facebook page suggested adding a raspberry lolly and eyes to create redback spiders – I love this idea!
Halloween Chocolate Spiders
Chocolate Spiders for Christmas
Storing your chocolate spiders
Store your Chocolate Spiders in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
You could also freeze these and they should last a few months. Thaw before enjoying.
- 100 grams Fried Noodles (1 packet Chang's Fried Noodles)
- 180 grams milk chocolate (1 Cadbury's family block)
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter (optional)
- Line two baking trays with baking paper.
- Break chocolate into pieces and place in a pyrex or other microwaveable bowl.
- If opting to add the peanut butter, add the peanut butter to the bowl also.
- Melt chocolate (and peanut butter) using 20 second bursts in the microwave and stirring between each burst. When most but not all of the chocolate pieces have melted, allow the remaining pieces to melt by continuing to stir and allowing the heat of the melted chocolate to melt these remaining pieces.
- Add noodles and melted chocolate to a mixing bowl and stir to combine.
- Using a dessertspoon, spoon mixture onto the trays in clusters. Add sprinkles, candy eyes or other decorations if desired.
- Place into fridge to set for at least 30 minutes.
Sunday 24th of July 2022
Thanks for sharing the recipe! As I can't buy those particular noodles where I live, how many cups of cornflakes would you think that I would need instead please? Thank you!
Monday 25th of July 2022
Hi Virginia. I'd try 3 cups and then add some more cornflakes if it seems too chocolate-y. Have fun! Libby