Crisp, toasty coconut and luxuriously smooth milk chocolate are the only two ingredients you need to make this specialty candy store staple! Naturally gluten-free!
To this day, there’s nothing that lights me up quite like the sweet sugary smell and glorious display of a well-stocked candy store. I’m like a kid in a candy store…literally! Growing up, my friends and I would make several trips to the Sweet Factory in our local shopping mall to load up on all sorts of sweet, sour, chocolatey, caramel-filled goodies.
From sour watermelon belts to chocolate-covered gummy bears (still one of my faves!), the variety was never a disappointment. Along with the GIGANTIC jawbreakers which my friends and I would spend DAYS sucking on until we got to the center, we’d never leave the candy store without tossing one of our favorite chocolate indulgences into our candy bags…
Coconut haystacks contain only 2 ingredients–coconut and chocolate. So simple, yet mind-blowingly delicious!
And guess what??
They’re naturally gluten-free! SCORE!!!
Although there’s only 2 ingredients involved, it took me a while to figure out how to make a good copycat version of the original. As a child, I tried to make my own by just combining regular shredded coconut and melted chocolate, plopping them into mounds, and calling it a day.
They definitely were NOT the same as the ones in the candy store.
Luckily, with a few more years of baking experience under my belt, I’ve come up with a recipe that matches those candy shop coconut haystacks EXACTLY. So before I get to the recipe, here are some tips:
1. To get the authentic texture, make sure you use the right shred of coconut. I found this finer shredded coconut in the bulk aisle of a local grocery store (New Seasons), but I’m sure you could find it in other stores!
2. TOAST THE COCONUT! Whatever you do, do NOT skip this step!!! It makes ALL the difference in the world! Not only in the nice crisp texture it provides, but it also amplifies its flavor 100 times more!
3. Use good quality chocolate. Being that there’s only 2 ingredients in this recipe, the chocolate you use will make a difference in taste. I’ve tested separate batches using Hershey’s milk chocolate and Ghirardelli milk chocolate, and I did prefer the taste and creaminess of the Ghirardelli batch. However, if you’re not a chocolate snob, then any chocolate will do.
Feel free to use dark chocolate or white chocolate if you’re not a milk chocolate fan. I used milk chocolate because that’s how I remembered them.
If you still can’t get enough of these coconut haystacks, check out my recipe for Cake Batter Coconut Haystacks!
1 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut*
8 ounces milk chocolate
Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
Toast coconut in the oven for 3-4 minutes until lightly browned, watching closely so it doesn’t burn. Remove pan from oven and allow to cool.
Heat chocolate in microwave until smooth and melted. Add shredded coconut and continue stirring until fully incorporated.
Using a small cookie scoop (or two spoons), scoop mixture out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until chocolate has set, about 20 minutes.
*I found a finer shred of coconut in the bulk aisle of a local grocery store.