Chocolate Haystacks

Friday, June 20, 2008

Tonight I was just checking my Google Reader feeds (I will post about those in the future) and came across this recipe. It reminded me that I still have a couple bags of coconut in the fridge to use up. Why I have 2 bags I couldn't tell you. Honestly. No clue. After doing a mental inventory of the ingredients in this recipe, I realized that I could make this right then and there. So rare are the times that I can cook mere seconds after finding recipes that I nearly leaped out of my chair with excitement. I hurriedly gathered ingredients and started stirring away. I of course love the process of cooking, but it is always so pleasant to get the end result. Unfortunately this recipe was a minor dud. The taste was good but the look was not.

Heed my word of warning: DO NOT BOIL FOR 5 MINUTES! I knew that it seemed like a rather long time so I cut it down to only 4 minutes. Still too long. Basically what happens is that the longer the boiling time, the harder the haystack is going to be. You really do have to boil for a few minutes or else you will end up with gooey puddles. It might be tasty, but a mud puddle is no haystack. On the other side of the spectrum, if you boil for too long you end up with crumbilies.

To illustrate the problem, I have included pictures. The first haystack at the top is the quintessential form and presentation. This is how all haystacks should look. I managed to get 3 of those out before the mixture hardened in mere seconds and turned into a dry mix that wouldn't allow me to do anything but smaller clumps (2nd picture). The oats then decided that they all wanted their space so essentially chocolate granola was born (3rd picture). What I am going to do with it has yet to be determined, but it is tasty.

Chocolate Haystacks

  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1½ cup oats
  • ½ cup coconut
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Melt the butter, and then add the sugar, cocoa and milk in a small pot.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-low to medium heat and boil for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the oats, coconut and vanilla to the mixture.
  4. Make sure to stir the concoction thoroughly.
  5. Drop spoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper, working extremely quickly. Leave to cool.
Another note of caution: Make sure you get all of the mixture out of your pot before it hardens or else it is like cement. I practically had to jackhammer it out of my pot.


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