Cooking · Sweets

Chocolate Macaroons: The Cookies of My Childhood

I was recently had a conversation with my brother about our childhood home. I was telling him that Bobatt and I were planning to someday visit the area, and I was so excited to go back and see our old house. Then my brother dropped the bomb. Our house possibly wasn’t there anymore. And the entire neighbourhood was probably gone too. To say I was devastated is an understatement. We’d spent 9 years of our lives there. It was the place we lived the longest, and when you move every 4 years, staying put for 9 years is special.

Bobatt and I were out for dinner last night, and I was lamenting my heartbreak over this news. He suggested that I look on Google Earth to see what’s happened. So while we waited for our dinner to arrive, we used my iPhone to get a glimpse of my childhood. I was able to see as much of my old town as I wanted, except, funnily enough, my childhood home. I could only see it from the street corner. The good news: the house is still there, although it’s blue now and not the green it was. The bad news? The big tree in the backyard is gone, as was half of the military base that I remember. It was a trip down memory lane for sure. And I’m pretty sure everything, the woods, the streets, the hills, and the houses were much bigger and farther apart than this map is telling me (I’m fully aware it’s just the same, and it’s me that was smaller).

I was in a nostalgic mood, so I made the cookies that were a part of my blood stream back then. We called them Chocolate Macaroons. All the recipes I see today call them Haystacks. Whatever you call them, it only takes the smell of the chocolate cooking to bring me back to that tiny PMQ kitchen. These are one of my favorite memories; we made them almost weekly. To help these cookies grow up like I have, I added some toasted nuts to half of them (only half though, some needed to stay original). These were a really welcome addition, as they added a more texture and depth to the cookie.

If I’ve learned anything from moving around with the military, it’s that things change and it’s normal. Though the neighbourhood that watched me grow up isn’t the same, my family is, and we’ve added more people and experiences to our lives. I can’t go back to the way that neighbourhood was in my memory. I can, however, eat one of those cookies from time to time, just to remind me of the good times.

Chocolate Macaroons

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

Prep Time: 5 mintues | Cooking Time: 10 minutes | Chilling Time: 30 minutes


2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup lactose-free milk
1/2 cup lactose-free butter or vegan margarine
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup flake coconut


1. Comine the sugar, milk, margarine, cocoa and salt in a large saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.

2. Remove from heat and add the vanilla, rolled oats and coconut. Stir until thourougjhly mixed.

3. Drop by the spoonful onto cookie trays lined with wax paper.

4. Refridgerate until cooled and hardened.

(Adapted from No Bake Chocolate Haystack Cookies)


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