This recipe is a family classic. Or rather, it’s my dad’s classic. He dumbed these cookies ‘Haystacks’ because the coconut and large flake oats make each cookie look like a little pile of hay. To be honest, I’m not sure if he came up with that or if I owe the original recipe’s creator for the name. Either way, I will always see these as my dad’s cookies and no one else’s.  For some reason these cookies remind me of Christmas even though this was a standard year round recipe except for those few days in July and August where it was so hot you would swear your face was melting off your body. It’s also one of the easiest recipes I know. All you do is heat some ingredients, dump in the rest, mix, and allow to cool. In fact, there are may pluses to these cookies. 1) They are no-bake which means no heating up your tiny kitchen to unbearable temperatures 2) they are really cheap to make which make these cookies ideal to make for a crowd 3) you don’t have to wait for one batch to finish cookies to throw in another, they all ‘cook’ at the same time 4) these cookies only occupy your counter leaving your oven free for dinner or whatever else you have in mind 5) they are really easy to make vegan by using soy milk AND 6) they are damn yummy! What bliss! Because of reasons 1 to 5 these are the cookies that I desperately whip up when I hear people are coming over in half an hour or less. Due to reason 6, I plan on making these one of my classics. I hope you enjoy!

Makes ~ 28 haystacks

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 7 tbsp coca powder
  • 3 cups large flake oats
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. In a large pot measure out the vegetable shortening, sugar, and milk. Set aside.
  2. In a large measuring cup or mixing bowl, mix the large flake oats, salt, coca, and coconut.
  3. Put the pot over medium heat. Stirring constantly and scraping the sugar off the bottom of the pot, bring the milk to a low boil. You should turn off the heat once bubbles start forming around the edge of the pot. If you boil it too long, the cookies will be dry so err on the side of under-boiled for the first few tries.
  4. Once the bubbles start to form, remove the pot from heat and stir in the vanilla.
  5. Next, add the oats mixture and stir stir stir until all the oats are evenly coated.
  6. Quickly grab some parchment paper and pull out 2 cookie sheet sized pieces and place on a flat surface such as your counter or dining room table.
  7. Using a teaspoon, spoon out the chocolatly oaty goodness onto the parchment paper one heaping teaspoon at a time. You should get about 28 cookies.
  8. Let cool. It’s hard to wait, but these cookies really do need to cool. The oats gets slightly cooked by the hot milk mixture and the cookies will be best if you let that happen. Also, the chocolate lumps are mighty hard to pick up before they have solidified.
  9. EAT and enjoy :)

Those of you who (like me) went ahead and made these in the heat of summer will find that the cookies don’t 100% set and will remain slightly soft leaving lots of little crumbs behind in the cookie jar, plastic bag, or container you’re keeping the haystacks in. DON’T THROW THESE BITS OUT!!! Instead, mix them into or sprinkle them on top of my banana ice cream or really any other ice cream for that matter. It makes for a great topping.

On a side note, I apologize for the late post. I do try to post every Thursday and Sunday but life has gotten in the way with convocation and family events for the past few weeks. Things have slowed down a bit now (which is pretty nice) and things should go back to normal. Thanks for your patience!

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