no-bake chocolate macaroons

These no-bake chocolate macaroons are dense and fudgy and loaded with chewy oats and coconut. They're almost more like candy than cookie.

no-bake chocolate macaroons

It’s still too hot to be using the oven, so I’m continuing on with the trip down memory lane and my mom’s no-bake cookie recipes. This is probably the one my mom made more than any other. It’s not my absolute favourite – that one’s still to come – but it was definitely one of my favourites and I was always happy to see them when I came home from school. Oddly, I’m just realizing that I’ve never actually made these myself before. 

no-bake chocolate macaroons

I didn’t have her exact recipe – she hasn’t made these in years and she couldn’t find it anymore – so I googled and found something that sounded like what I remember. There are a lot of subtle variations on this recipe online. Just slight differences in quantities really, but otherwise they all have the same ingredients and are very close to each other.

Because I grew up with this cookie, I always assume that this is a childhood staple and everyone else has had them too. A lot of my coworkers are saying that their moms made these all the time too! But if you’ve never tried them? You should know they’re dense and fudgy and loaded with chewy oats and coconut. They’re almost more like candy than cookie.

no-bake chocolate macaroons

A lot of the recipes I found online either said to just bring the sugar and dairy to a boil and add the dry ingredients right away, or to boil for just 2 minutes before adding the dry. I find this is way too little time and the cookies won’t set up properly, or at least not quickly. Yes, I tried a batch at 2 minutes, and they stayed soft – delicious, but gooey – for at least a couple days. By the third day they were no longer sticking to things, but were still quite pliable. Boiling for 4-5 minutes turns that chocolate syrup into something more like fudge that will hold its shape and is much easier to handle. Some of my coworkers said they preferred the gooey version, but by the end of the first day, the softer cookies had melded together into one big lump that people were kind of tearing pieces off of.

no-bake chocolate macaroons

A lot of the recipes also said to refrigerate these cookies until they set – I tried half of them in the fridge and half on the counter. The ones in the fridge, even after as long as 2 days, stayed gooey and were hard to pull off the wax paper. The ones that I left sitting out on the counter overnight were set up perfectly by morning – at least the ones that I boiled for 4 minutes anyway. The 2 minute ones were set up by the second day. Which is weird because I distinctly remember my mom keeping them in the fridge. Maybe she kept them on the counter until they set and then stored them in the fridge…?

Everyone is going crazy for these. I love how the simplest cookies to make are the most popular with my coworkers.

All the recipes I found called these cookies either chocolate macaroons or haystacks. I’m pretty sure we used to call them bear turds when we were kids (heh).

no-bake chocolate macaroons

no-bake chocolate macaroons

<h2>no-bake chocolate macaroons</h2>


1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup milk

1-1/2 cups sugar

6 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup shredded coconut

Combine the butter, milk, sugar and cocoa powder in a saucepan and melt ingredients together over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Bring to a boil. Once a rolling boil has been reached, continue to cook for approximately 4-5 minutes, stirring often.

Remove from heat and add the vanilla. It will steam and bubble up a lot when you add it, so be careful. Then add the rolled oats and coconut and stir until completely moistened. Spoon out onto sheets of wax paper or parchment paper and allow to set.

Comments: 34

  1. Elizabeth @ August 14, 2013 at 8:37 pm Reply

    I love no-bake cookies! I have fond memories of them from my childhood, too. I’ve only had them with oats, though, never actually with coconut–that sounds like a great variation! I wonder what these would be like with coconut oil instead of butter, to boost the coconut flavor. Off to the baking laboratory…!

    • laurel @ wannacomewith August 15, 2013 at 9:03 am Reply

      They’d probably be fantastic. I actually remember my mom’s being more coconut than oat, but all the recipes I found were more oat-heavy. Regardless, they’re great!

  2. Angie | Big Bear's Wife August 25, 2013 at 10:46 am Reply

    Oh, now don’t those look good! yum!

  3. Paulette January 3, 2014 at 9:04 pm Reply

    My Aunt Cathy used to make these for every family get together. I ALWAYS made a beeline for them! I got the recipe from her years ago but have since lost it. I’m so glad to have found it on your blog! (They are actually my all-time favourite cookie.) Thanks for posting it 🙂

    Take care & Happy New Year!

  4. Rachel January 5, 2014 at 10:21 am Reply

    What are old fashion oats? The flaky oats that take 4-5 minutes to cook, or the quick oats that cook in 1 min?

    • laurel @ wannacomewith January 5, 2014 at 2:09 pm Reply

      Old fashioned oats are the slow cooking ones. They’ll keep their texture better and won’t turn mushy.

  5. Dawn February 1, 2015 at 7:58 am Reply

    Thanks for your recipe! I haven’t had them for years and started looking for a recipe for them. I won’t go further. They were hippo poops, here. : ]

  6. Lynda March 4, 2015 at 7:38 am Reply

    as a kid, i loved the cocoa and oats cookies. My mither would flub the recipe sometimes and this would result in shiny gooey cookies, didn’t like them. My favourite was when they were drier i guess you could call it, with a fudge trxture and they had no sheen. Elizabeth, you refered to boiling for 4 or more minutes, will this result in the cookies I remember?

    • laurel @ wannacomewith March 4, 2015 at 9:04 am Reply

      Hi Lynda! Yes, cooking them for 4-5 minutes will result in the drier cookies. I hope they’re the same as the ones you remember. 🙂

  7. Karen December 13, 2015 at 7:44 am Reply

    Hi Laurel.
    My mom used to make something like this. Although I think they were baked in oven for awhile. She called them mud pies.
    Karen (a former co worker who misses your baking)

    • laurel @wannacomewith December 14, 2015 at 3:06 pm Reply

      Awwww Karen. I still think of you every time I make something with coconut in it. Miss you! 🙂

  8. John March 19, 2016 at 3:52 pm Reply

    Just made these and followed the steps exactly; JACKPOT!! I feel like a baker and I didn’t even bake anything 🙂

    • laurel @wannacomewith March 22, 2016 at 1:51 pm Reply

      Hi John! That’s fantastic!! Fun right? And you end up with a tasty treat 🙂 I hope you keep experimenting and trying new recipes. Cheers!

  9. Carleen May 3, 2016 at 4:54 am Reply

    We called these famous childhood cookies “Do-Do Drops!”

  10. andrea December 16, 2016 at 8:42 pm Reply

    im sure my mother in law used shortening instead of butter. has anyone ever used this recipe?

  11. Susan January 26, 2017 at 7:08 pm Reply

    I lost my Mom’s recipe so I did a google search and found this one….so happy…and thanks for the tip about boiling longer…last time I made these they were fairly gooey and fell apart, and I was not happy…these turned out fabulous!!! 🙂

    • laurel @wannacomewith January 30, 2017 at 1:51 pm Reply

      Hi Susan

      I’m so glad this one worked for you! I lost my mom’s recipe too, but after I made these I’m pretty sure it’s the same recipe. Sure tastes like I remember!

  12. Darla April 6, 2017 at 10:13 pm Reply

    These look great. How well do they freeze?

    • laurel @wannacomewith May 13, 2017 at 6:29 pm Reply

      Hi Darla – sorry for the late reply! They freeze great! I remember my mom used to hide some in the freezer so they’d last longer. 🙂

  13. Brent April 27, 2017 at 2:14 pm Reply

    These are excellent. Some versions have the cookies dry and crumbly. O. K. If that is what you want. This one has that nice gooey texture. Thank you

    • laurel @wannacomewith May 13, 2017 at 6:28 pm Reply

      Hi Brent – I’ve had those dry crumbly cookies too. They taste just fine but it’s not the texture I like. I think it all really comes down to how long you cook the initial mixture for. Cook it too long, dry and crumbly. Not long enough, and they won’t set up at all. 🙂

  14. Val October 17, 2017 at 6:26 pm Reply

    HI Laurel – your story could be my story!!! I am going to make these for a bridal shower. How many days can i keep them out? Should i freeze them right away? How many do they make per batch?

    From the recipe book my mom had (I believe was an old church one) they were called Chocolate Do-dads! Thank you for the recipe.

    • laurel @wannacomewith November 21, 2017 at 11:31 am Reply

      Hi Val – I’m so sorry for the late reply. I hope you managed to figure this stuff out on your own! I know my mom used to keep them in the fridge for a couple weeks, and she would also freeze them for months with no problem. Personally, I’ve never had the problem of them lasting that long. 😉

      As for how many they make, it depends on how big you make them. Mine end up all different sizes, so it’s kinda hard to say.

  15. Andrea December 9, 2017 at 8:17 am Reply

    How many does this recipe yield for? I cant find it.

    • laurel @wannacomewith December 14, 2017 at 11:48 am Reply

      Hi Andrea – sorry, I didn’t post quantities because it really depends on how big you make them – and mine were all different sizes. It’s hard to estimate. ☺️

  16. Kari January 14, 2018 at 6:41 am Reply

    Do you use sweetened or unsweetened coconut?

    • laurel @wannacomewith February 18, 2018 at 9:34 pm Reply

      Hi Kari – sorry for the late reply! I usually use unsweetened coconut because there’s a lot of sugar in this cookie already, but if you like sweet things, sweetened coconut will work fine too.

  17. Debi December 24, 2018 at 2:21 pm Reply

    Hi everyone and Merry Christmas Eve. We’ve got snow here it was green grass till I woke up this morning and what a treat! It’s so pretty it really came down last night AND today! What will go good with this eve is making these I always loved em thank you for the reminder.

    I boil them a bit less, maybe 3mins and still use the quick oats since their on hand but must try the rolled oats next time. I found mine came out a bit too dry for my taste boiling it the full 4mins but each to their own right? I also don’t put coconut in I’m not a huge fan so I put walnuts in mine, I like the added crunch.

    Everyone have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and a Happy New Year!

    • laurel @wannacomewith January 17, 2019 at 4:46 pm Reply

      Hi Debi – walnuts sound like they’d be great in these 😉 I’ll have to try that. I think how long you need to boil them can be affected by the weather/humidity. Here in Vancouver it’s usually pretty humid, which is why I probably need to boil them a little longer. I’ve boiled them too long and had them come out dry as well. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas 🙂

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