It’s very easy to make coconut haystacks at home, and if you use dark chocolate and unsweetened coconut, it’s a very healthy treat!
I first tried coconut haystacks in a small artisan chocolate shop in Lake Tahoe, California. As someone who adores both coconut and dark chocolate, it’s no surprise that I thought they were amazing.
There are several classic food combinations. Chocolate and peanut butter come to mind (these peanut butter chocolate bars are so good!). Chocolate and coconut is definitely another perfect combination.
My favorite candy as a kid, transformed
When I was a kid, my beloved grandma Chava had this huge tote bag that she used to carry everywhere. She always filled it with surprises for us, the grandkids.
It was one of the highlights of my week, that when we visited her and grandpa on Fridays, she would motion me and my younger brother to come and sit next to her on the bed.
Sitting there expectantly, grandma in the middle and my brother and I on either side of her, she used to slowly open her bag of treasures. Then, she would hand a candy (or three) to each of us.
For me, she almost always bought a candy bar named “Peh-leh” (translates to “wonder”), which I guess is the Israeli equivalent of Mounds. Sweet shredded coconut dipped in luxurious dark chocolate. It was by far my favorite candy bar. I believe the manufacturer had discontinued it years ago. 😢
It’s easy to make healthy coconut haystacks!
30 years after those visits to grandma’s house, back home from Lake Tahoe, I decided to make a healthy version of these wonderful treats.
Commercial versions are usually made with sweetened coconut and with milk chocolate. But it’s very easy to make a healthier version at home. And if you use dark chocolate and unsweetened coconut, it’s a very healthy treat.
The ingredients used in this recipe
You’ll only need three ingredients to make this tasty keto dessert (exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below):
- Dark chocolate: I like Lindt 90%, but you can use your favorite dark chocolate. Or use bittersweet chocolate if you find very dark chocolate too bitter. Another option is to use 90% chocolate and add a low-carb sweetener.
- Coconut oil: I add oil to the chocolate to make it a bit softer, as extra dark chocolate is sometimes a bit chalky. You can use avocado oil if you think that coconut oil is unhealthy.
- Shredded unsweetened coconut: The brand I get at Whole Foods says it’s “reduced fat,” but it’s not my goal to keep this low-fat. So simply use whatever shredded coconut you can find, but if you want this dessert to be healthy, you should use unsweetened coconut.
How to make coconut haystacks
It’s truly an easy recipe. The detailed instructions are in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
- Melt the chocolate. Start by melting the chocolate in the microwave. Do so in three 30-second sessions, stirring after each microwave session.
- Add the coconut oil. Now, stir the coconut oil into the melted chocolate.
- Mix in the coconut. Stir the shredded coconut into the mixture until it’s completely coated.
- Drop into wax paper and flatten. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture into a wax-paper-lined tray or baking sheet. I use a 1.5-tablespoon cookie scoop to drop mounds of the mixture into the tray, then I gently flatten them with a small rubber spatula.
- Refrigerate. Place the tray in the fridge until the coconut haystacks are set, about 30 minutes.
How long can you keep homemade coconut haystacks?
I keep them on the counter, in an airtight container, for up to three days.
You can probably keep them in the fridge for a week or so. But if you do, remember to remove them from the fridge at least 30 minutes before you plan on enjoying them. Room temperature is always best when enjoying chocolate.
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Dark Chocolate Coconut Haystacks
- 1 (3.5 -oz) bar extra dark chocolate (90% cacao)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sweetener or the equivalent in stevia (optional)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (2.5 oz)
- Line a tray or a baking sheet with wax paper.
- Place the chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second session, stirring after each session, until the chocolate is melted.
- If using, stir the sweetener into the melted chocolate until fully dissolved. Then mix in the coconut oil.
- Stir the coconut into the chocolate, mixing until the coconut is completely coated.
- Using a 1.5-tablespoon cookie scoop, drop six mounds of the mixture into the wax-paper-lined tray. Gently flatten them with a small rubber spatula.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes, until the chocolate is set. If you refrigerate for longer than 30 minutes, remove from the fridge at least 10 minutes before serving.