These Chocolate Coconut Macaroons are made with just a few simple ingredients, and are a family favorite recipe! Also known as Haystack Cookies, this no bake recipe is filled with hearty oats and chewy coconut flakes.
This recipe has been kitchen-tested dozens of times, and results in the best macaroons ever!
Growing up, there was rarely a tasty treat that was as popular as the humble Chocolate Macaroon. Made by boiling sugar and butter, then stirring in oats and coconut, this no-bake cookie was a mainstay of 1990s culture.
While chocolate coconut macaroons are most popular in Canada, they are also very common in much of the United States, and are more commonly known there as "Haystack cookies."
These no bake cookies without peanut butter are incredibly simple to make and have a fudgy, yet hearty texture. Best of all? They store very well at room temperature, and can even be frozen so you can save some for later.
Why You'll Love This Recipe:
- These classic coconut macaroons are SO easy to make - no oven time needed!
- An easy cookie that is always a hit!
- They are the perfect treat for lunch boxes, bake sales, potlucks, or any time you want to satisfy your sweet tooth.
- This easy coconut macaroon recipe uses simple ingredients and is naturally gluten free and egg free.
One of the best things about this chocolate coconut macaroons recipe is how simple the ingredients are. Chances are you'll have everything you need on hand - no trip to the grocery store needed!
- Oats: I've tested this recipe for chocolate macaroons with both old-fashioned rolled oats and quick oats, and the smaller quick oats work much better. The finished cookies hold together better, and the texture is better too.
- Coconut: I recommend using flaked coconut, but shredded coconut will work too. I use unsweetened coconut, but if you like your cookies super sweet stick with the sweetened version.
- Butter: You will need about ½ cup of butter or 1 stick.
- Cocoa powder: For chocolatey goodness. I've used many brands, and they all work very well. My favorite is Hershey's or Rodelle.
You'll also need:
- Vanilla extract
Check the recipe card for a full list of ingredients and the quantities needed.
- Heavy-bottomed saucepan: This prevents the butter, sugar, and milk mixture from scorching on the bottom. If your saucepan is thin try turning down the heat and stirring often, OR use a double boiler.
- Baking sheet: For dropping the cookies onto. I'm a big fan of the USA pan sheet pans.
- Cookie scoop: A medium-sized cookie scoop is perfect for making chocolate macaroons. If you don't have one, you can use a heaping tablespoon instead.
- Parchment paper: This helps minimize sticking and makes cleanup a total breeze! Highly recommend.
How to Make Haystack Cookies
Haystack cookies (also known as chocolate macaroons, no bake cookies, or coconut macaroons) are SO easy to make. In fact, you don't even need to turn on your oven!
After just 15 minutes of prep work your cookies are prepped, and take just an hour or so to set up. They are perfect for last-minute guests, potlucks, and bake sales.
Combining the Oats and Coconut
Step one: Add the oats, flaked coconut, and cocoa powder into a large bowl.
Step two: Whisk together until well combined. Set aside.
Step three: Add the sugar, butter, and milk to a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
Let the mixture boil for 2 minutes, then remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
Step four: Pour the hot sugar and butter into the oat and coconut mixture.
Scooping the Haystack Cookies
Step five: Stir everything together until all of the oats and coconut are completely coated and no dry parts remain.
Step six: Use a medium-sized cookie scoop (or heaping tablespoon) to drop portions on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Allow the haystack cookies to cool at room temperature for 1-2 hours, or until firm.
Storing and Freezing
Before storing your leftover chocolate coconut macaroons, be sure to allow them to cool to room temperature. Once they have cooled down, you can transfer them to an airtight container.
Haystack cookies store well at room temperature for up to 3 days, or they can be kept in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Transfer to freezer bags, remove excess air, and seal.
- Label and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Thaw for at least 20 minutes before serving.
- Use a scoop for consistency: Once I started using a cookie scoop to make all my cookies and no-bake treats, I really noticed a difference. It creates a consistent shape and size, ensuring you always get the perfect portions.
- Quality cookware makes a difference: I used to make this recipe all the time with cheap pots, and while most of the time it worked out just fine, I've scorched my fair share of batches. Recipes that involve boiling sugar can be pretty finicky, so I always like to use a heavy-bottomed saucepan just in case.
- Parchment paper for easy cleanup: I can't sing the praises of parchment paper enough! I used to avoid using this in order to save money, but now I could be the official spokesperson for parchment paper. It really saves a lot of time!
Oats: If you don't have quick oats on hand, you can use rolled oats. If you can, just break them up in a blender first for a few seconds so you get a similar consistency.
Dairy-free: Substitute the butter for your favorite dairy-free butter substitute, and the milk for your favorite plant-based milk (I recommend canned coconut milk).
Sweetener: You can reduce the sugar by as much as ½ cup without seeing a significant difference in texture. If you prefer, you can substitute the sugar for your favorite sweetener that measures 1:1 with sugar.
While chocolate macaroons are often confused with the French macaron, they are very different. Really, their only common factor is how similar their names are. Macarons (pronounced ma·kuh·ruhn) are delicate sandwich cookies that are made with finely ground almonds and egg whites, while macaroons (pronounced ma·kuh·roonz) are no-bake cookies that are made with coconut, and oftentimes oats.
There are two types of cookies that tend to come to mind when you hear the word "macaroon". Those would be a typical coconut macaroon and a chocolate macaroon.
Coconut macaroons are often made with egg whites, sweetened condensed milk, and shredded coconut. They are often dipped in melted dark chocolate. In contrast, chocolate macaroons also contain oats, and feature the addition of cocoa powder or melted chocolate. They rarely contain egg whites.
The two are very similar, even though their ingredients vary considerably. Coconut macaroons have a stronger coconut flavor, while chocolate macaroons taste more like chocolate oatmeal cookies.
Most haystack cookie recipes include just oats and coconut, with flour being a rare ingredient. They are most often gluten-free and can be a delicious choice for those who want to prepare a treat for their friends and family. It's essential to check the specific recipe used to ensure no gluten-containing ingredients were used, and for celiacs that the oats are certified gluten-free.
If you loved this recipe for Easy Macaroons, let me know by leaving a 5-star review in the recipe card, OR tag me on Instagram @maritimecountrykitchen!
Chocolate Coconut Macaroons (Haystack Cookies)
- 2 ½ cups quick oats
- 1 cup flaked coconut unsweetened
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Add the quick oats, shredded coconut, and cocoa powder to a large bowl and stir well to combine. Set aside.
- Add the sugar, butter, and milk to a large saucepan and set the heat to medium.
- Stir the sugar, butter, and milk together as it melts, and allow it to come to a boil.
- Let the mixture boil for exactly 2 minutes (little to no stirring needed), then remove it from the heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- Pour the butter and sugar mixture into the bowl of oats, coconut, and cocoa. Stir well to combine.
- Working quickly, use a heaping tablespoon or cookie scoop to drop portions of the fudgy oatmeal mixture on the prepared baking sheet.
- Allow them to cool completely before serving (approximately 1-2 hours at room temperature).