I love snow, but not really on March 12 anymore. March is when my itch to garden begins, after all.
Well anyway, I had planned to do groceries yesterday, but with the treacherous weather (i.e. snow blowing sideways), I decided to burrow inside for the day. Our food supply was low, especially in the snack department, and that just wouldn't do, especially because Dan had to work last night. The man needs snacks to get through a 12-hour night shift. And hey. I always need snacks.
Normally, I like to bake to supplement our snack supply, but with my grocery shopping plans spoiled yesterday, I didn't even have the basics for baking. No flour. No milk. Limited butter.
The short version recipe is at the end of this post, but I'll walk you through the super easy steps first. Measure out the first five ingredients - butter, cocoa, milk (or lush-like substitute), sugar and vanilla - and put them into a saucepan. Bring the mix up to a boil, stirring regularly. My old recipe says you should let the mixture boil for five minutes, but it depends on your stove I think. Really, you just need to make sure the sugar is well dissolved (I did three minutes).
Stir it up, little darlin.
Then, lay a piece of parchment paper down on your counter so the haystacks have a place to chill out for a while. Drop the chocolat-y oat-y coconut-y mixture by spoonfuls onto the parchment. You don't have to wait for the mixture to cool before you do this.
The mix might be a bit crumbly as you work, but don't worry: the chocolate haystacks will get solid as they cool. What I do to make my haystacks is heap some mixture into a tablespoon, and then use my fingers to mound it together and push it onto the parchment paper. If you think it's gross to use your fingers, try something else.
Adding Bailey's to the haystack mix changed the flavour significantly. The irish cream flavour overpowers the chocolate quite a bit, so it's basically like having a different flavoured haystack. I still prefer straight-up chocolate, but if you're a big irish cream fan, you'd probably go mad for this variation on the standard recipe. You should adjust the sugar though. My suggestion would be to use 1 1/2 cups of sugar instead of 2 (less if you don't like things too sweet).
Here's the less long-winded version of the recipe . . .
Preparation time: approx. 30 min.
Yield: 4 dozen
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup milk (or liqueur of choice)
2 cups sugar (use 1 1/2 cups or less if using liqueur)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup coconut
Combine first five ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring regularly. Boil for 3-5 minutes until sugar is dissolved.
Stir in oats and coconut, and mix until well combined. Drop mixture by spoonfuls onto parchment paper (laid out on a cookie sheet or counter), and leave to cool and harden. Once cool, store in an airtight container.