Tuesday, September 29, 2009



Did you grow up with haystacks? Most people my age seem to have enjoyed some version of this no-bake cookie in their childhood. This particular recipe came from my erstwhile roommate Shannon who, I think, got the recipe from her mother. Shannon used to make these for us quite often when we shared a three bedroom walk up in our last two years of school. When I decided to make them this weekend I sent her a quick message about it. She responded by saying that part of the Haystack Charm was that no two batches ever seemed to come out the same. Indeed. When I set out to make these this past weekend I was imagining something intensely sweet. After all, the only reason I chose to make them was that we had three young, chocolate-loving girls coming over for lunch. If that didn't call for something intensely sweet, I don't know what would.

Rather than being painfully sweet, my batch of haystacks were dense and chewy and very chocolately. The girls loved them (as did their dessert-loving parents!) The entire batch vanished before the afternoon was through, which was great because I certainly don't need the temptation of a bunch of leftover cookies hanging around my kitchen. Even ugly cookies like haystacks.

Oh yes, didn't I mention their ugliness? Well, allow me to do so now. These are pretty much the ugliest cookies you'll ever make. They will never make the cover of any Martha Stewart publication. They are small and scruffy. They remind me of our smallest dog. Who, comically, is actually named Oreo. Perhaps we should have called him Haystack.


Haystacks (recipe adapted from Shannon's)

3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup unrefined sugar
1/2 cup margarine
1/3 cup almond milk
2 cups quick cook oatmeal
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1 tsp cinnamon

Over medium low heat, warm cocoa, sugar, margarine, and almond milk until they begin to simmer.

Add remaining ingredients and stir until well combined. Remove from heat and let sit until cool enough to handle.

On a lightly greased cookie sheet, plop out tablespoons of cookie mixture.

Place in refrigerator for at least half an hour.

Makes approximately 20 cookies.

Some Notes:

-I would like to make it known that these cookies were only a small component of the lunch for seven people that I prepared on Saturday. Our biggest gathering yet here at the House of Science. I also made a delicious squash soup and some basil pesto with pasta. Our guests brought wine and salad. All in all, a great meal. And afterwards we went across the street to a record sale. What could beat that?

-Speaking of desserts... I made the pear and cranberry tart from Vegan With a Vengeance tonight and holy crap! Was it ever delicious. Highly recommended. Has anyone else made this?

-For you Ottawegians, Octopus Books is hosting an interesting event next month at the Main Farmers' Market. On October 17th Thomas Pawlick will be discussing his book The War in the Country, which is about the fight to save small farms and rural life in general. I like the idea of having events like that in the middle of the farmers' market. I'm pretty much for any event that combines books and food.



Heather Moore said...

Yup - had those in my childhood!

A said...

Am I strange?? I've never had those!! They look incredible though.... and SO EASY! That's always a plus for me! :D
Glad your company enjoyed them0 especially the 3 little chocolate lovers! The soup and pasta dishes sound wonderful too!! When are you having another party?? I'm so there! :D

HayMarket8 said...

I love Haystacks! Yum. Yours look great. I am going to make some but I might use oat milk....might be interesting.

Anonymous said...

I still think that Oreo should be in the movies!

The Voracious Vegan said...

I've never heard of these before but they look delicious! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

Jenn said...

These were a staple in our house growing up and the recipe has been passed down from at least my grandmother, one difference is that they are always called mushy cookies in our family. We have always been warned that humidity plays a huge role in how firm they become as they cool. So YUMMY!

Pearl said...

I only tried making haystacks once and maybe it was the humidity because they sure didn't look right.

cool event. thanks for mentioning.