No Bake Chocolate Haystack Cookies

"So good and easy to make! My siblings and I made huge batches of these cookies Sunday afternoons, and they were usually gone by Tuesday! The time for boiling the mixture is listed at 5 minutes, but if you cook it a little less, the cookies are chewier."
photo by susuchandler photo by susuchandler
photo by susuchandler
photo by lazyme photo by lazyme
photo by susuchandler photo by susuchandler
photo by Anonymous photo by Anonymous
photo by Anonymous photo by Anonymous
Ready In:




  • In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, milk, butter, cocoa (I tend to go a little heavy on the cocoa) and salt.
  • Heat to boiling, stirring frequently.
  • When it has reached a rolling boil, cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Remove pan from heat and mix in vanilla, oats and coconut.
  • Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper.
  • Work quickly!
  • Let cool.
  • Alternate/optional additions, add any one with coconut: 1/2-3/4 cup mini marshmallows or 1/2 cup walnuts.

Questions & Replies

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  1. bill.pearson
    What can I substitute for oats? Thank you.
  2. leroud14
    I used to make these years ago and they always turned out. I followed this recipe exactly and they did not turn out at all. Before I even had the oats completely stirred in they were hardening. They are dried up crumbly little things. Have no idea what went wrong. Any suggestions for what you do with a bowlful of crumbled haystacks!


  1. Lisanne73
    Excellent!!! I was looking for this recipe, but I kept finding recipes with peanut butter. I was so glad to finally find this one, which is the recipe that my mom used to make when we were kids. Very easy to make and no oven--which I needed since my oven is out of commission right now! I needed something to send to school with my son tomorrow for his birthday treat and he is going to LOVE these!! I doubled the recipe and used about 3/4 c Hershey's Dark Cocoa and 1/4 c regular cocoa. I didn't add the coconut, just upped the oats by the same amount. Thanks Shawnee for posting this recipe!
  2. Ldy_Adele
    this recipe has been a family thing for years. my mom baked it every christmas for the whole family now that she no longer lives close by i hope to be able to accomplish the same happiness from this recipe as she did. if you dont want to sit there waiting for the timer to go at 5 minutes my mom use to use a glass of cold water let a little drop into the glass if it forms a soft ball it is ready
  3. stanzacp
    We just love these! The only changes I make are to increase the vanilla to 1tsp, cook at a rolling boil for one full minute and add 1/2c crunchy peanut butter before adding oats. I find that my cookies are less likely to be dry and fall apart when they are cooked for a shorter time. Thanks ! :)
  4. godsangel_77
    I just made these this morning but mine taste scorched I stirred constantly through the whole cook time and I only boiled for 2 mins??? what did I do wrong? I have to throw them all out. Thank you.. my momma also made these often..
  5. Connie L.
    loved these cookies as a child. mom always made them with carnation evaporated milk though.


  1. susuchandler
    One of my favorite things growing up and I love them just as much now. I used my heavy saucier pan (more rounded for easier stirring) and a level medium cookie scoop (faster, easier with sticky textures and consistent size). I increased to 1 tsp of vanilla as most other recipes use. I didn't have any coconut, so I added 1 more cup of oats. I was concerned about them drying out, so after reaching a boil, I turned heat down and cooked at low boil for 3 minutes, which is not quite long enough to set correctly in this humidity. Next time: stick with extra vanilla, med boil for 4 minutes, take off burner and add 3 1/2 cup oats or recipe amounts if adding coconut. If not thick enough, I'll stir for a couple minutes to allow the oats to soak up extra liquid. Will still use cookie scoop: small for bite-size or medium for regular size.
    • Review photo by susuchandler
  2. Joan C.
    Reduced cooking time substantially to keep them moist.
  3. Chef Michael#1504866
    We don’t like coconut so switched out for more oats. Also got my sugar too hot thus becoming a little brittle. Still delicious though!!!
  4. marykmurphy
    I usually add about a 1/2 cup of brand buds for extra crunch and fiber:)
  5. earljo
    I replaced the butter with a 1/2 cup of peanut butter. It. Adds flavour and reduces the cholesterol. Turns out great!



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