You’ve probably made those cookies that involve stirring cocoa, sugar and oatmeal on the stove and then dropping by spoonfuls onto waxed paper, whether you know them as chocolate macaroons (the name I grew up with), unbaked cookies (the name my husband grew up with) or chocolate haystacks. I think I got my recipe off a tin of Fry’s cocoa but there are lots of versions on the internet. I’ve always loved them, but found the process of forming them a sticky mess which usually ended up with several broken cookies. So I asked myself, what if I made them as squares? It works, and you save a lot of time as well, though of course there are fewer broken cookie bits to be, er, cleaned up by the cook.
3 cups sugar
9 tablespoons cocoa
¾ cup margarine
¾ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups shredded coconut (if you don’t have any on hand, just add more oatmeal)
4 ½ cups INSTANT rolled oats.
Line the bottom and ends of a 9 x 13 cake pan with waxed paper, cutting or folding as needed, leaving a few inches overhanging at each end. No need to line the sides.
Combine sugar and cocoa together in a large measuring cup. Measure out coconut and oatmeal in another one. Melt margarine in a large saucepan. Stir in sugar/cocoa mixture. Stir in milk. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, coconut and rolled oats. Spoon into cake pan and spread evenly with spoon. Let cool.
Once set, you can use the ends of the waxed paper to remove the entire mass. Place on a large cutting board and cut into squares with a pizza cutter. Or you can leave them in the pan and cut with a knife, but the first method is easier.