8 April 2008

Like a Needle in a Haystack

Haystacks
If you're browsing your readers and looking for dinner ideas or something that will rock your foodie world move on quickly. I say quickly...!!!! This is not the post for you. What is for you, or perhaps for me, is a jaunt down memory lane through my childhood. The ever industrious Ben of What's Cooking -US has a monthly event Food for Plastic. I can only imagine what wonderful foods conger up memories from his childhood growing up with a family who owned a Mexican restaurant. Ben also sells Tupperware and this month Tupperware will be donating some of the profits from its sales to the Boys and Girls Clubs.


As soon as I read this months challenge was Food for Kids I immediately thought of Haystacks. It is not a prizewinning recipe or even anything with a culinary challenge, but, it is what immediately comes to mind when I think of my childhood. I remember my moms flaky cherry pie crusts, my dads homemade bread slathered in peanut butter, potato fritters, Yorkshire Pudding and dipping in the pool after eating mountains of corn on the cob. But even after all that Haystacks still came back as the one food I associate with my childhood.

In our pantry there was always cocoa, oats and coconut, so, if ever we were craving something sweet , with very little preparation and (what mom loved the most) very little mess, this was always what we crowded around the stove to prepare. Usually my sister and I would take turns melting the butter and cocoa in a big pot. My brothers were outside torturing the neighbourhood cats or cruising the streets in their go carts. When we were very little stirring in the oats and coconut was a job for mom. There would always be 2 spoons so each of us would be able to have a lick as well. Perhaps a part of the joy was taking turns around the stove and accomplishing something together. Oh happy days!!!!!!

The tradition was passed along to my own daughter whose little face I remember covered in chocolate. My daughter is not a huge fan of sweets, so, we didn't make it as often as we did when I was a kid. We were more likely to make fruit Popsicles.

So if your looking for something for a snack that is as uncomplicated as life should be or even something to make with the kids... then move on over to the haystack!!

**Haystacks**

1- 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups rolled, quick cooking oats
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup nuts, chopped

In medium saucepan combine sugar, butter, milk and cocoa.Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to full boil; remove from heat.Stir in remaining ingredients.Immediately drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto wax paper.Cool completely.Store in cool, dry place.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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31 comments:

  1. Mmmmm...Love Haystacks. My grandmother used to make them. No one in my family likes coconut beside me and my hips and thighs would not appreciate me making them. Maybe I could sub the coconut for a chopped nut or something?

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  2. I love these! They look so simple to throw together! I will have to try making them here sometime soon.

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  3. Simple or not, they do look great and I'm sure I'd enjoy them even though I'm grown up.

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  4. oh, THIS brought back memories!
    My boys would eat a couple then launch the others at each other's heads. Great to eat and great tactical weapons!

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  5. Simple enough...I could use a new snack around the house.

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  6. These remind me of my childhood! Such a simple, yet delicious cookie!

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  7. Good entry idea! We always called these coconut birds. I associate them with Christmas time. But, chocolate and coconut really should part of a year-round repetoire.

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  8. Oh those haystacks may sound simple to make Val but oh my they look lip smacking good!!

    Rosie x

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  9. Finally a recipe and a name for these cookies! My mom never made them and I used to love to go to potlucks and cub scout banquets (for my brothers) at school because someone always brought these. I love them! Thank you!

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  10. They look great and really easy to make. I love coconut and chocolate and I am sure my kids will love them.

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  11. I have all the ingredients for these in my pantry. Next time I have that "need a treat" craving, I am going to try these. They look so simple!!!

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  12. I remember haystacks! My mom used to make them for us. I'll have to try these again at some point, as it has been years since I've eaten one.

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  13. we seem to be on the same wavelength! These are great and of course I love the oats in this. And the coconut. And the chocolate! Delicious Val.

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  14. LOL, I read haystacks and to me it meant fritos, chili, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, onions, salsa, sour cream....stacked one on top of another....then I get to your recipe and its a sweet treat! BUT it still sounds yummy just the same! Believe it of not, I have never had these before!

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  15. Oh gawd!!! These were always the first thing out for Christmas baking - except we called them Coconut Birds. I even had to make them for a diabetic which is a huge challenge since the sugar binds the whole thing together

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  16. I love those. They are so good.

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  17. That's a tasty combo of flavours. They are super easy to make as well.

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  18. Ooh, I haven't had those since I was a little girl! Awww...

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  19. This is a blast from the past! I love these! Chocolate and coconut together is a beautiful thing. :)

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  20. Yum I LOVE these. My grandma would make them and roll them in coconut. She called them snowballs. I just compared your recipe to hers and it's almost identical except she uses 1 cup sugar and 3 cup oats. Now I want to go make some...

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  21. ooh, never had this, you won my heart over with the coconut.

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  22. Aawwwhhh those old days! I also had a happy childhood Val! But never shared the kitchen with my mom!!! And my daughter doesn't really feel like cooking or playing in the kitchen... well, maybe when she gets older!

    Never heard of Haystacks but the ingredients sound great and easy! Love the teddy bear in the back♥♥♥

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  23. Sounds like some fond memories and a great thing to put together in a pinch! I'd never heard of haystacks, but it certainly sounds good to me.

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  24. never had haystacks before but they do sound delicious!

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  25. too funny~ I grew up with haystacks too but my mom used chow mein noodles instead of coconut. Hmm, now I'm wondering it this could explain the huge therapy bills. I've been food abused.

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  26. I have had these cookies before! They are so yummy, and no baking needed!

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  27. I need to make these with my
    Grandaughter, and create memories as sweet as yours! :)

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  28. Hey, I never had haystacks when i was a kid! Looks like I'll just have to be a kid all over again and make some haystacks this weekend. :)

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  29. Val, I've never had haystacks, but they look so delicious and easy to make that I will definitely try them. Good luck!

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  30. Ahhh! You know I know about these... great photo; I thought they were the most unphotogenic little objects but yours is terrific and that bear is very cute.

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  31. I haven't heard of these before; they look terribly cute. The recipe is essentially the same as for an Aussie "chocolate crackle" but we use rice bubbles where you use oats, and put ours in paper patty pans.

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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